Why do People Donate Sperm?
Top Reasons Why People Apply to Become Sperm Donors
In the U.S, between 30,000 and 60,000 babies conceived with donor sperm are born every year. That’s tens of thousands of hopeful parents-to-be, tens of thousands of families created, and tens of thousands of dreams that come true. Using donor sperm to conceive a child is safe, effective, and opens the reproductive doors to many couples and single parents by choice who would otherwise have limited options. There’s so much in it for the recipients—but if you’re considering using donor sperm to build your family, you probably can’t help but wonder about the other side of things: what’s in it for the donor?
The altruistic donor
In studies examining the motivations of sperm donors, the desire to help others is cited as the most common reason for donating, followed closely by wanting to do something valuable and worthwhile, and wanting to enable others to enjoy parenting as the donor has. For these donors, the desire to donate sperm comes from the same place as the desire to give blood or donate an organ—they are here to help others in any way they can, and their healthy bodies offer incredibly impactful ways to give.
For some of these altruistic donors, the desire to donate is prompted or increased by having friends or family who have experienced infertility, or who have used sperm or egg donations. For others, having an infertile or subfertile partner made them want to help others in the same situation.
The health-conscious donor
Some donors pursue donation to learn more about their own health. Because donors are given in-depth, comprehensive health evaluations for everything from infectious disease to genetic conditions, the screening and donation process itself is an extremely valuable commodity. For donors who are uninsured, it is an excellent avenue to get a high-quality health screening, and for those who are curious about their own fertility options, donation offers finely tuned fertility analysis that is otherwise unavailable outside of a reproductive endocrinologist or fertility specialist’s office.
The transactional donor
Reputable sperm banks are choosy about whose sperm they accept and compensate their donors generously. Many prime donors are young and are thus still working on their educations or building careers. Being paid well for a very small investment of their time simply makes sense, especially when you compare sperm donation to other side hustles, which take significant time and pays relatively little. With sperm donation, a donor can feel good about knowing their role is positively impacting others while it facilitates their goals.
Other types of donor motivation
Other donors have a range of reasons for wanting to donate. Some are reasonably sure they do not want to raise children themselves but would like to pass on their genes. For some with this reasoning, the desire is about knowing their genetic line doesn’t end with them. There are also men who don’t have a partner and don’t want to raise kids on their own but want to procreate in some capacity.
You only need one reason to give
Donating sperm is a generous act, regardless of your primary motivating factor. Whether you’re pinching pennies to get through law school or just love the idea of helping infertile couples find happiness, your sperm donation is creating an option in the world that didn’t previously exist. As a donor, you should be proud of your contribution, and for recipients, understanding the motivations of many donors may help settle any anxiety you have about using donor sperm.