Looking for Mr. Dad? Find the Right Sperm Donor With a Dossier

Filed under: In The News, Infertility

Want your baby to look like Brad Pitt? Pick your sperm donor wisely. Credit: Corbis


Parents who are making babies -- in vitro style -- don't want to hook up with just any old sperm donor. Not when there are celebrity lookalikes available, or they can choose blue eyes, tall and handsome with just a click of a mouse.

Consider it Match.com for infertile couples. California Cryobank takes the confusion out of the donor insemination process by helping prospective parents select just the right sperm for the baby they want to create. Parents-to-be can even look for common interests with the donor through the use of keywords that describe who he is and what he's like, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Check out these scenarios: Donor 11736 has a slight cleft chin, medium-sized lower lip, round nose with an average nostril flare and thick brows, according to the newspaper. Or, there's Donor 12310, who believes life is "about being bold, going out there on an adventure."

California Cryobank sells donor information packages, on top of free information such as medical histories and personal essays, for fees beginning at $145. That allows customers to buy three months of access to detailed profiles, childhood photos and a feature called "Express Yourself," which allows the donor to write anything from a letter to poetry, the Journal reports.

But the service also takes it to the next level, where prospective parents can select "CCB Donor Look-a-Likes," that allows them to zero in on the look of actors, athletes, musicians or anyone else famous, the company's website reports.

CCB Donor Look-a-Likes links directly to photos of the two to three celebrities the staff has deemed each donor most closely resembles.

A $250 subscription offers additional access to descriptions of facial features, audio interviews with the donors and personality tests. California Cryobank asks customers to keep the information they purchase confidential, and donors get paid extra for some items -- think $50 to $100 for baby photos, the newspaper reports.

"Our attempt is to provide a three-dimensional version of this donor beyond just how tall he is," Scott Brown, communications director for California Cryobank, tells the Journal. Still, "there are guys who drop out because they don't want to do it."

The reason for the expanding profiles is a drastic change in sperm bank customers over the past decade. When California Cryobank started 33 years ago, most of its clients were couples who had infertility issues. A couple often chose a sperm donor based on how closely his looks matched the husband's, and the child was raised as the couple's own.

Now, 60 percent of the bank's clients are single women or lesbian couples. These clients will be "faced with discussing the donor in an open and direct way with their child because there's obviously no father involved," Brown tells the Journal.

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