Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fish and Chips without the Fishies

I was told about a story of Sperm Donor shortage in the UK. The first thing that leaped to my mind was, "why the heck did the guy forward the article to me". I mean, does he want me to know because if I somehow travel to England and want to get knocked up while visiting a sperm bank, there may be a line? Okay, so this may not be about me personally, and I almost lost interest. Almost.

But then I started thinking. Dangerous, I know, but I started thinking about sperm banks and related problems.

When I was in college, I knew a couple of guys who would donate blood every six weeks or so. I think they were paid $12 for their donations. The blood was tested, or course, and it went into circulation. And these two guys I knew did it for the beer money. I mean, they were broke, but they would donate a pint every month or so to get beer money. Plus, as an added bonus, they could get wasted really quickly after they donated. Not the brightest bulbs, mind you. Perhaps they are managing hedge funds (and making millions) now.

I gave blood as well, not as often, and all I would get is a cookie and a white t-shirt. Perhaps some juice. And a warning not to do anything too strenuous for the next 24 hours. I would donate twice a year, at the times when blood bank trucks blocked the entrance to the library. They shamed me into giving. A good friend of mine was 102 pounds and anemic. I envied her at blood bank time.

Now I don't know a lot about sperm banks. Only what I have read in porn. And I would imagine you still don't get the cream of the crop, no pun intended, when you ask for sperm donors. I mean, you are asking for guys to masturbate into a beaker to old tittie magazines for money.

And it just occurred to me that some of these guys are making donations frequently. Perhaps for beer money. And they are not just donating a bit of semen. They are donating genetic material that actually may make a person. I mean, some alcoholic may be donating his genetics to a whole classroom of children. And he may be doing this every time he needs beer money.

With blood, you have to wait every 6 weeks for a new donation. With sperm donation, I don't think the wait is nearly as long.

And if two products of artificial insemination meet and marry. Well, they could be genetic siblings. I am not sure there is a term for "unintentional inbreeding", but perhaps someone ought to think of one. I mean, Dolly the Sheep was created in Scotland. I mean, I am a geographically challenged American, but Scotland is part of the UK, right? What is it with the UK and avoiding sex to make babies? Must be a Church of England thing.


Grant said...

I can't help. I'm donating all of my sperm to Japan. I prefer the direct deposit method myself.

Anonymous said...

I had a friend from high school who donated in college. In the late 90's the payout was about $100/donation every week or so. Not bad money for a college student at the time.

Women can donate eggs for upwards of $5000 a session. It ridiculous if you have a high IQ and are fit and in shape. They ask for SAT and GRE scores too.


Anonymous said...

Oops, I typed late 90's I meant late 80's.

SSC~ The Domestic Diva said...

I believe there are a series of questions and background investigations done. I would want to believe they do. But don't ask me I did it the old fashioned way!

Leesa said...

grant: direct deposit. That was cute.

knot: My college job covered room and board and little else. Not even books.

ssc: Yeah, probably a bit better than just picking up guys off the street - the kind that donate some blood products.

~Deb said...

They must be all guilt-ridden single Christians donating their seed. Who knows? But, you make a valid point: if an alcoholic gives his seed out, doesn't alcoholism run in the family and isn't it genetic?

Hrmm. Interesting post!!!

Joe said...

How can there possibly be a shortage? It boggles the mind.

Never thought about the genetic piece, and I'm pretty sure that a lot of the people doing it don't either.

Now I'm going to pray that my father never donated.

QChique said...

As I understand it also they aren't compensated for their donations as some other places and to top it off now the donors have no more privacy...so I am confused as to why they wouldn't be expecting a drop in donations. No beer money + one day kiddie showing up to say "you're my daddy" Hmmmm

Michael said...

Obviously, there are rules about how many times a person can donate sperm so they would have to invent a series of alternative identities if they wanted to spread their seed a bit. A lot of trouble to go to for beer money. More alarming was the case of a doctor some years back who was throwing away donor sperm and replacing it with his own. He's probably got several thousand kids by now.

As for the UK avoiding sex slur, Americans are the notorious prudes of the world (think Janet Jackson's tit outrage) not Europeans. They are descended from zealous puritans, after all.

Anonymous said...

Leesa when you read the UK sperm donor shortage article, did it bring back memories of the gallons of sperm you have swallowed in your lifetime?

Leesa said...

~deb: there are a lot of Biblical references to seed. Makes one wonder.

joe: I knew a guy who didn't really think of the genetics piece until years after he donated. Sort of freaked him out.

QChique: when you wrote that they had less privacy, I immediately thought "at the time of donation."

anon/amy: gallons one ounce at a time. Are you jealous, sweetie?

~Deb said...

Leesa: Ask anonymous if she's still sippin' the seeds from her married boss that has children?

Leesa said...

~deb: what a lovely way to put it, sweetie.

~Deb said...

Funny you should mention it- I just finished watching Andrew Zimmern eat beaver and fish sperm at the same time. Apparently, "anonymous" likes to do the same. ;)

OK I'm done with this.

Love you!!!