The Fine Print of Buying Sperm: Shopper Beware

I speak to my mom just about every day, so she knows all the ins and outs of what my wife and I are going through right now to become mothers which I guess you do, too, considering I’m sharing our journey online. But mom relationships are special, as I’m sure you know. Mothers can get away with saying things no one else can. Like the other day after I told my mom about my transvaginal ultrasound, she said, “There sure isn’t anything sexy about this process, huh?” It’s uncanny how right mothers can be.

To make our road to motherhood even less sexy and more like an interstate highway than a Sunday-driving country road enter: Buying sperm. It’s amazing that something so little can cost so much. Who ever knew that shopping for sperm would be so much like, well, shopping??

  • Washed or Unwashed Sperm 1 of 11
    Washed or Unwashed Sperm
    Talk about a great marketing ploy! Labeling sperm samples as "washed" or "unwashed" (sometimes even "raw") -- and charging more for washed sperm -- is a hard-and-fast way to guarantee higher sales. Unwashed sperm just sounds dirty, and let's face it: No one wants dirty sperm. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, in which I'll explain the difference between washed and unwashed sperm (which by the way, isn't actually dirty).
    Photo: Andreanna Moya Photography
    Get more info here
  • Anonymous Donor or Open-Identity Donor 2 of 11
    Anonymous Donor or Open-Identity Donor
    Some men decide to be anonymous donors, meaning any children their sperm may produce will never have access to the donor's personal information, making it impossible for contact when the child turns 18. Coincidentally, their sperm costs less than open-identity donors, which are donors who agree that any offspring can come a'knocking at 18. The difference in cost is often $100 or more for open-identity donor sperm.
    Photo: Paul W. Frields
    Get more info here
  • Release of Childhood Photos 3 of 11
    Release of Childhood Photos
    If you want to see what your donor looked like as a child, or if you want to compare whether your child resembles your donor when he was a child, you're going to have to pay extra. Childhood photos are rarely included in the overall price of sperm.
    Photo: rejon
    Get more info here
  • Personal Essay From the Donor 4 of 11
    Personal Essay From the Donor
    Like the modern-day "Deep Thoughts with John Handy" (or hopefully not), you, too, can learn the inner-most depths of your donor with the purchase of a personal essay. But it's going to cost you roughly $20.
    Photo: waferboard
    Get more info here
  • Access to Full File 5 of 11
    Access to Full File
    You'd think when you purchase a donor's sperm, you'd get all that comes with it. But no. If you want the full file -- baby photos, personal essay, current photo -- you've got to pay extra.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
    Get more info here
  • Subscriptions to Donor Databases 6 of 11
    Subscriptions to Donor Databases
    There's a lot of pressure in choosing "the perfect donor," and with access to thousands of donor profiles at your fingertips, it's easy to see how picking a donor could be a lengthy process for women. And the sperm banks know just how to cash in on this with their offers of different types of subscriptions. Most sperm banks offer subscriptions with monthly terms, 3-month terms, and unlimited-subscription terms.
    Photo: danielmoyle
    Get more info here
  • Delivery 7 of 11
    Shipping and handling not included. And this goes for donor-profile documents -- photos, essays, files, you name it! -- and for the sperm itself. Documents run upward of $30 for the shipping of hard copies, and the going delivery charge for sperm is anywhere from $125 to $220 with an additional $850 for a tank deposit.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
    Get more info here
  • Bulk-Order Discounts 8 of 11
    Bulk-Order Discounts
    Like most things American, more is more. This rings true for buying sperm. And since most women don't get pregnant on their first try, having a few back-up shots of sperm on reserve isn't that uncommon -- so why not offer "Buy 5 Vials and Get 1 Year Storage for Free"? If you are lucky enough to get pregnant your first go-round, don't worry: Most sperm banks have a buy-back rate for unused, untouched sperm.
    Photo: bcmom
    Get more info here
  • Audio of Your Donor Interview 9 of 11
    Audio of Your Donor Interview
    Want to hear your donor's voice and how he answered his interview questions? No problem. For an additional 40-ish dollars, many sperm banks will mail a CD of the interview right to your doorstep (shipping and handling not included).
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
    Get more info here
  • Handwriting Sample 10 of 11
    Handwriting Sample
    At what point does it all just become ridiculous? I've gone back and forth with this one, and for the life of me, I can't understand what purpose a writing sample would serve. Does anyone really believe you can tell anything about a person from his handwriting? Apparently, some people do, because some sperm banks change an extra $20 for a copy of a donor's penmanship analysis.
    Photo: Taylor Liberato
    Get more info
  • The Fine Print 11 of 11
    The Fine Print
    At the end of the day, the sperm banks have needy and wanting women in the palm of their hands. They know they have the one small item needed to make the dream of having a family a reality for many of us. And they've perfected their marketing tactics to appeal to the modern-day shopper in us all, making as big of a profit as they can off those who need them the most.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos

Main Photo: Images_of_Money

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