Some men may regard sperm donation as a risk-free way to supplement their income. They might be on to something; long-term participants might potentially amass a cool $264,000 in earnings. Once you’ve been accepted into a donation program, you could potentially start making $1,000 monthly.
The idea of compensating everyone who makes a contribution is enticing, but it’s just not feasible. Clinics that share their donor acceptance percentages might only take one percent of those who apply. The clinic is under no obligation to provide an explanation for the rejection of any applicant. Thus, not all men are willing to undergo the process of becoming an organ donor.
COVID Considerations for Sperm Donation
Sperm donation facilities are considered medical facilities by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health agencies in the United States.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is important to familiarize yourself with the centers’ policies on mask use, personal space, and capacity.
Is Vaccination Required to Donate Sperm?
The Food and Drug Administration does not mandate vaccination or screening for COVID-19 prior to sperm donation since it does not view COVID as a major threat to the reproductive tissue donation process. The reason for this is that respiratory viruses cannot be spread through reproductive organs like sperm.
Because sperm banks are independent businesses, they may have their own policies in place to ensure the safety of their staff and donors. Patients visiting health care facilities may be required to show proof of immunization or undergo a COVID test.
Immunization against COVID-19 is suggested for anyone above the age of 12; this includes individuals trying to conceive as well as sperm donors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises getting vaccinated against COVID-19. It has not been shown that the vaccine has an effect on fertility, and antibodies are not often transmitted to reproductive organs.
Rumors about Sperm and Vaccinations
Recent reports have mentioned “unvaccinated sperm,” however they are speculative at this time.
Since vaccines have no effect on reproductive organs, all sperm can be considered “unvaccinated sperm,” as stated by the FDA. Vaccines have no effect on DNA, sperm, or fertility, thus there will be no price difference between unvaccinated sperm from donors who have or have not received the vaccine.
Vaccination restrictions for clinic personnel rather than sperm donors would be ineffective as a criterion because sperm donation centers are unlikely to maintain track of whether a donor has been immunized.
It is difficult to foresee how niche perceptions of the COVID-19 immunization may effect one-to-one sperm donations with known donors. If misinformation is spread about the dangers of the sperm vaccination, some families may try to find unvaccinated donors outside of donation centers.
How Much Do You Get Paid to Donate Sperm?
Sperm donation is not a philanthropic act, hence the statement is a little misleading.
Donating sperm is not a selfless act, hence the remark is misleading.
The following are some common types of compensation structures:
- Donating sperm to the Seattle Sperm Bank and getting approved for $70 worth of sperm can get you up to $1,000 per month.
- Donors at the Sperm Bank of California receive $125 for each accepted sample, with most making between $400 and $600 per month.
- Donors to Cryos, an international network of sperm banks, can earn up to $40 per donation, with $20 for each ejaculate submitted and an additional $20 if the gift is accepted.
Free fertility testing, physical exams, and blood tests are provided by sperm banks while you are a donor, and some even provide a free annual physical after you stop giving.
If a recipient chooses to accept your donations on a regular basis, certain facilities may have more stringent contracts requiring you to continue making regular visits and payments. Depending on the details of this agreement, you may or may not get payment immediately.
According to Cracked contributor Sean Berkley’s account of his sperm donation experience in 2011, sperm banks retain donors’ income in escrow until the contract expires to guarantee that donors stick to their obligations.
In contrast, many sperm banks now require a membership fee or a per-visit fee. Get a firm grasp on your compensation structure before committing to anything.
3 Things to Consider Before Selling Your Sperm
You should have your facts straight before considering sperm donation as a side business. You may find some of these details surprising.
Do You Qualify for Sperm Donation?
Sperm banks have their own set of physical requirements for donors, but they are generally the same.
- The physical standards for sperm donors vary each sperm bank, but are standard across the industry.
- Anyone between the ages of 18 and 40 (none accept donations from minors).
- Maintaining a healthy weight for one’s height is essential.
- Physical and reproductive tests have indicated that I am in generally good condition.
- Having completed high school, college enrollment, or military service all qualify as positive examples of this paraphrase. Some banks provide higher salaries to persons with advanced degrees or those who attended elite schools (because recipients pay more for those donor qualities).
- I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs, so I’m not a user.
- The availability of a disease pedigree.
Even if you do everything possible to get into a clinic, you still might not get accepted.
Sperm banks, like any other company, aim to meet consumer demand.
This suggests that your sperm may be just as susceptible to biases as the people you meet in real life. Because of market forces, a clinic may refuse service to a patient who does not have the ideal skin tone, hair texture, or eye color.
If a donor has ever had sexual relations with “another guy,” they are ineligible to donate under FDA guidelines. Women who do not conform to a binary gender norm or who identify as transgender are not covered by this rule.
Your application could be rejected if it reveals that you have a hereditary health condition that affects how your blood clots or another serious condition.
Some sperm banks will provide you a reason for the denial of your application. Perhaps knowing this before applying would give you some peace of mind.
Donor Offspring Limits
When it comes to ethics in assisted reproduction, sperm donation and sperm donation organizations are always improving their rules and procedures.
Every few years, a new story emerges about a sperm banker who has fathered hundreds of children. You should verify the circumstances because the donor may have transacted with the recipient (a “known donor”) instead of a donation facility.
Donation facilities usually cap the total number of births or recipients that can occur from a single donor.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates sperm donation (as well as other organ and tissue donation), does not limit the number of children who can be born as a consequence of the gift. Instead, a maximum of 10 births per 850,000 people is suggested by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) (roughly the size of Seattle).
Donation facilities typically limit the number of recipients to fewer than the ASRM-recommended maximum of 25 American families per donor.
Anonymous vs. Open Identity Donation
Clinics are required by the FDA to keep some donor information for medical purposes, but the agency does not control donor anonymity. Choose the clinic carefully because your selection will depend on its quality.
Before giving to a nonprofit, think carefully about your selections and the impact your donation will have over time. These are some of the things that can be arranged with donors:
- No identifying information is shared between givers and receivers, protecting the privacy of both parties. It’s quite improbable that you’ll learn whether or not your sperm was utilized in the recipient’s pregnancy.
- There is an exchange of some personal data, but no names, addresses, or phone numbers are revealed. The clinic acts as a go-between when you need to get in touch with someone outside of the clinic. Obtaining photos of the child conceived with your sperm is possible. One alternative is to leave the door open for the child to contact you in the future.
- You and the recipient maintain open communication and may even plan to meet in person at some point. In a perfect world, you and the recipient would negotiate the details of your interactions with the child, such as how often you’d talk and if you’d meet up with the kid. Of course, you’ll be the first to know if and when the kid decides to get in touch with you.
Technology has thrown this arrangement into turmoil, as it so often does without any effort on our part.
Donor-conceived children who have access to family-tree DNA testing can learn more about their genetic past than ever before, despite the fact that their parents opted to keep their names secret.
Many countries, including the United Kingdom, have passed laws in recent years that make it possible for donor-born children to identify their biological dads (i.e., the donors of their sperm) after they reach the age of 18.
The Sperm Donation Process
Many components of sperm donation are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but the specifics vary by institution. This is, more or less, the status quo.
1. Find a Sperm Bank
To locate a sperm bank in your area, look up the appropriate information in the National Directory of Sperm Cryobanks.
Most clinics need donors to live within 25 miles or an hour of the facility due to the frequent visits that will be required of them if they are chosen.
A company’s registration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is indicative of its reliability. Verify the clinic’s legitimacy by looking it up in the FDA’s online registry.
2. Get Pre-Screened
Typically, the first step in the hiring process is a phone interview or an online application. One possible application of Cryos is demonstrated below.
Preliminary results from the screening indicate:
- The legal authorization to do paid job in the United States.
- Some background on any sexually transmitted infections, mental illnesses, allergies, or drug use.
- Your body type, stats, and heritage.
3. Provide Detailed Family History & Get a Physical Exam
If you get through the first round of questions, you’ll be invited to a longer session focused on your ancestry.
According to Berkley, you owe it to your parents, siblings, and any offspring you may have with your siblings or cousins going back four generations to give them “a full medical history.”
If you’re not convinced, have a look at the process described by Phoenix Sperm Bank.
The physical exam also includes laboratory testing, such as a blood and urine sample, DNA analysis, and an HIV test. This screening is provided at no cost to you, and many clinics will keep doing so for as long as you are a donor and even afterward.
4. Provide a Sample
The clinic will request a semen sample from those who have passed the first two levels of screening.
The sperm count, motility, and overall health will be tested, as you’ve surely seen on TV jokes about fertility tests.
You’ve probably heard fertility test jokes on television, and this test will be much like those others.
The sperm bank will not store this sample for the aim of selling it to a future recipient and will not compensate you for donating.
5. Sign a Contract to Become a Sperm Donor
Who can donate legally? Check. Is there a solid history of success in your family? Check. They aren’t, to put it another way. Check!
After passing the necessary tests, the donation center may offer you the chance to become a sperm donor provided you sign a donor agreement.
For example, the following may be included in a contract:
- How often it is expected of you to perform acts of charity. Contracts with sperm banks often stipulate that donors must provide samples at regular intervals.
- It is required that potential donors abstain from sexual activity prior to giving. You could be asked to wait a few days before having intercourse in order to donate sperm as a precaution.
- Rules govern the process of sending money. Your compensation, payment schedule, and any conditions attached to receiving payment should all be spelled out in detail in your contract.
6. Donate Regularly
In the beginning, the frequency with which you’ll be prompted to donate may come as a surprise, but the rest of the procedure is consistent with what you’ve seen in the media.
Your own semen cannot be tested at the clinic. You must be able to drop your sample in a secluded room where pornography is allowed.
Your sample will be stored in liquid nitrogen until a recipient chooses your profile from a database of donors. Frozen sperm can be used for IVF after being thawed.
Are You Ready to Be a Sperm Donor?
In America, infertility is a major health issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 6% of married women and 13% of all women aged 15 to 44 experience fertility issues.
The sperm banks are in agreement that there is a high and rising need for donors, and that sperm donation is one way to assist people start families.
The onboarding procedure is time-consuming, but the compensation is fair. If the clinic sees you once or twice a week as a sperm donor, you can make up to $1,000 per month.
10 Things to Know About Being a Sperm Donor
Your odds of getting into Harvard or Stanford are higher than your chances of being accepted as a donor at the major sperm banks.
Only one out of nearly a hundred applicants is accepted by the two major sperm banks in the country. Some sperm may be disqualified because they don’t survive the freezing process, have a low cell count, or have a history of health problems.
If you’re short, forget about it.
In most cases, sperm banks will not actively seek out white donors who are under 5’9″ in height because of the low demand for their services. However, the limit is set lower for members of ethnic groups who tend to be shorter. There may not be a strict height requirement for African-American donors due to the severe shortage of potential donors.
Your love life may take a hit.
Donating sperm requires that you not consume any sperm for at least two days prior to the donation. This limits donors to no more than two visits per week, limiting the opportunities for socialization.
You won’t get a quick paycheck.
The FDA stipulates that sperm must be frozen for at least six months and the donor must be retested before it may be used.
You won’t get paid by sperm banks until and until your sperm is processed and available for sale through their donor database.
You’ll fill out lots of forms and have lots of tests.
You should expect to be grilled on topics like your sex life, drug use, career goals, interests, skills, and even recent travels (to rule out Zika exposure). You will have to give blood, urine, and sperm samples in addition to undergoing a full physical, mental, and sexually transmitted disease (S.T.D.) screening (uncompensated).
Potential buyers will be shown an in-depth analysis of your physical attributes, and you may also be asked to submit a photo of yourself at any age, as well as an essay or an interview.
Your eligibility for genetic testing will depend on factors such as your family history. Ashkenazi Jews have been subjected to more comprehensive genetic testing than any other Jewish community. You may be eligible for free testing from the sperm bank of your choosing if you decide to become a donor.
Your pay will depend on how often you donate, and how many vials — usually two or three — the sperm bank can fill from each donation.
Active donors can earn anything from $0 to $2,000 per month, but a regular schedule of twice-weekly blood donations can net you $1,500 per month. Sperm for in vitro fertilization (IVF) or in situ hybridization (ICSI) typically costs between $500 and $900 per vial.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) with sperm has a lower success rate but requires less processing, thus sperm banks can offer their services at a lower cost.
You can’t wait for the mood to strike you.
Sexual activity with an unknown person is not a hobby. Certain sperm banks only accept donations during regular business hours (often 9-5, Monday through Friday). In addition, you should be geographically close to a sperm bank.
However, both California Cryobank and Fairfax Cryobank also work with a large number of smaller businesses around the country.
You have to make a long-term commitment.
In exchange for the $2,000 spent on recruiting and vetting sperm donors, most sperm banks require donors to commit to making weekly contributions for six months to a year. This means a lot of sessions in a little room with no more pornographic materials to see. Additionally, as a part of your treatment, you should expect to undergo periodic medical exams.
You’ll never know how many children you have fathered.
The largest sperm banks do not allow a single donor’s sperm to be used in more than 25-30 “family units,” as this number exceeds the legal limit. While some families may use the donor’s sperm to have several children, others may choose to keep the birth of their child private and therefore avoid having their counted toward the limit. Some men have been shocked and scared to learn they have dozens of children after joining the Donor Sibling Registry, a website that connects donors with their children.
You may or may not get to meet them.
If they so choose, sperm donors can choose either to stay completely anonymous or have their children contact them when they reach the age of 18. Donors are increasingly open to being publicly acknowledged, and there is a growing consensus that it is a child’s right to know who their genetic parents are. Because of the declining cost and increasing accessibility of genetic testing, even anonymous donors are being discovered by inquisitive kids.