There is a lesser-known community in the business of baby-making. For those in a homosexual relationship or having a bit of a problem conceiving on their own, artificial insemination and in vitro are becoming a more popular route to parenthood. This can be the perfect decision for many people, however, it comes with a hefty price tag. And with good reason... The men who choose to give up their swimmers for the sake of helping out people who'd like to become parents (and also for some compensation) undergo an extensive checklist prior to sealing the deal.
These men experience scrutiny in all aspects of their lives for the entire screening process; it's almost as if they have to live under a microscope until the donation bank has made up its mind about them. Which is good news for anyone considering this alternative method of pregnancy. However, this leads to a bit of a circus act as far as finding exquisite human beings to fill the demand for donations. From the more realistic–but super inconvenient–restrictions, to the most outlandish and shocking, you'll find that donation banks have no problem digging through the human gene pool until they find exactly what they want. Although, there's an entirely other theme of personal restrictions. Giving up your genes for the sake of another can be a bit of a relationship-killer for some. How far are men willing to go to donate to these banks?
15 Women Tend To Prefer Tall Men (And So Do Donation Banks)
There are various reasons as to why this is likely a big deal to donation banks, but in retrospect, it seems sort of bizarre. In order to become a donor, a man must be at least 5' 10". Although, this varies based on different banks, and some even require the donors to be 6' or larger. A large part of this stringent requirement could have to do with the cultural preferences most Americans have; overall, we tend to prefer taller men over the short. Just like anything else, while it's a business designed to help people start their own families, donation banks are always a business before they are anything else. Therefore, being selective about whom they include in the pool of donors also makes them more competitive in the baby market.
14 Becoming A Donor Isn't Exactly A No-Brainer
It comes off as a bit strange that education would come into play at a donation bank, but they have pretty specific requirements as far as this category goes. All banks require that the donor have at least completed high school, which is a given; not many people are going to select the donor who dropped out of middle school and is a blue-collar worker. Not that there's anything wrong with that lifestyle, but the baby-making business is a competitive market and most consumers have the preconceived notion that the education level of the donor will have a direct link to their own child's education level.
Many banks require at least a bachelor's degree from their donors,
and some even want them to have a Ph.D. If the donor has attended an Ivy-league school then he's that much more likely to be selected. On the flip side, it appears that soon-to-be parents must also believe that the genetics of a highly-educated Harvard grad will automatically mean their child will fill those same shoes. While this is a hasty assumption, the fact is: higher education sells. We'll save the nature versus nurture debate for another time.
13 They'd Like To Avoid Mental Health Issues If At All Possible
It's understandable that mental health problems are completely undesirable for potential parents. However, it's also a bit overkill when even the most common ailments can disqualify a donating candidate. For instance, people who experience schizophrenia, depression, autism, or anxiety disorders are unable to donate. On the other hand, neither are people who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. One can easily agree that they would prefer their child didn't inherit ADD because it can be quite a handful. Although, this is a bit unfair because a growing number of the population is afflicted by ADD in some way. In other words, it's nearly impossible to find a candidate with no relatives diagnosed with the disorder. This makes finding donors like searching for a needle in a haystack. It would likely be a more efficient process if the diagnoses of each individual case were taken into consideration.
12 Serving Time Is A Disqualifying Offense
It's unclear whether health violations come into play here, or if it's just unattractive for a donor to be an ex-con. Either way, there are very specific policies regarding prison time. Almost all
donation banks require that candidates have never served time in prison.
Although, there are a few that will allow this, albeit if the person had only been imprisoned for 72 hours in total. Some believe that this regulation has to do with health standards in prisons - which is apparently not very high - and the type of situations that prisoners tend to put themselves into. For one thing, it's fairly common to get a tattoo in prison. So, there's the risk that a prisoner may get a prison tat and contract a disease that could be passed onto their offspring. Then there are instances of prison fighting where inmates are stabbed and/or cut; this can also cause infections or disease. The most convincing reason as to why prisoners aren't typically allowed to donate to banks is likely because of how it would affect their reputation as a business. These banks want to stay as competitive as possible; they want their donors to appear to be powerful, intelligent, and whatever else they believe that consumers will want.
11 Age Is Just A Number...Unless You're Fathering A Child
Unsurprisingly, age is a big deal when deciding whether or not to donate.
Banks require that the men are between the ages of 18 and 40,
however, some are even more strict about their age standards. It's not exactly the most astonishing discovery. How many women will actually choose the elderly man over the college hunk? No one is getting involved on a truly physical level, but exterior appearances affect people's decision-making more than you'd think. Which is partly why banks are against older donors. On another note, it can also be a fairly big obligation to fill if you're above the typical age to donate. For one thing, if you've already had children of your own and are happily married, it would very likely stir up some unwanted issues among your own family members. But, what about the lonely, old guy who just wants to make a difference in the world? For the time being, donating his swimmers to singles and LGBT couples is not going to be in the books.
10 Choosing Between Money And Privacy Can Be Tough
Imagine wondering how many children you have out there, and what you'd do if one should ever come to look for you. Out of all of the requirements for becoming a donor, this one is likely the toughest part. Candidates have the option of remaining 'closed' or 'open', meaning that a child may or may not be allowed to access your information if your manly fluids happen to do its job correctly. Choosing a closed donation is easier psychologically because you can almost guarantee that a child won't come knocking on your door 18 years later, however, your pay is significantly lower. Previous donors have revealed that closed donations pay $20 each time. Open donors typically make around $120 each time they do the dirty for the bank. That's a pretty huge disparity in terms of pay, but it's a difficult call and can be potentially life-changing.
9 Gingers Aren't Welcome At Donation Banks
In spite of the many notable gingers in showbiz and the popular artists that people seem to fall in love with, negative perceptions associated with redheads still exist today. Many
donation banks have recently stopped allowing redheaded men from donating
their swimmers. As it turns out, very few people want a ginger baby. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that most of the population is not redheaded, therefore, most people want a child that at least resembles themselves. Whatever the reasoning, this hair color doesn't sell enough. And on the same note, nor do certain eye colors. Banks prefer tend to prefer recessive eye colors, although, they'll state a disclaimer that even if a donor has blue eyes, it doesn't necessarily mean that this will directly impact the eye color of the child. These stringent coloration rules tend to apply to banks dependent upon location, so don't let this deter you if you've been disqualified by coloration alone.
8 They're Not Homophobic, They're Just Playing It 'Safe'
Yes, this may be one of the most shocking finding of all. At quite a few donation banks, male donors may only be heterosexual. This is to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, which is a pretty common requirement at blood banks, so it only makes sense that these banks would have a similar approach to men's bodily fluids. However, almost all donation banks also require that their donors have never had any STIs even if they've been cured. Which means that there's a possibility for a homosexual man to have the ability to donate if he's never had an STI. Banks that do accept donations from homosexual men have the stipulation that they may not have ever had any intimate relations with men from Africa. This all likely has more to do with passing on illnesses to the offspring than any other reason as to why homosexuals are discouraged from donating. Mainly because the majority of the current consumers are either single women or homosexual couples. Heterosexual couples are less and less likely to choose to have a child by way of artificial insemination or in vitro, therefore, lessening any biases against homosexual men that may have existed in the industry prior.
7 Banks Want You To Know: This Isn't The Biggest Loser
You've got to be in top-notch shape if you want to become a donor. While getting completely ripped isn't a requirement,
you need to have a healthy BMI
as well as good blood work and an extensive list of other health-related abilities. If you're an active individual and maintain a fairly balanced diet then you shouldn't have any problems on this part of the screening process. Although, a six-pack may help your case, especially if you have a weakness in another required area. Anything that a woman would find attractive in a man, or what a couple would desire in their baby is on the table. So, if a donor has an accelerated ability to gain muscle, then it's probably a safe bet that his swimmers will be chosen more frequently than others. Meaning, if you've got a nice body then you're more likely to be selected as a donor. Although, overall good health is an absolute requirement.
6 Minorities Have Much Fewer Chances To Donate
Selecting fewer minority donors seems a bit discriminatory (and it could be), although it has a lot to do with market trends. While most sperm banks–especially very large international businesses–prefer to have a variety of ethnicities on hand, they just tend to select less of minorities than you'd expect. Overall, it seems that
white donors are preferred
simply because the majority of their clients happen to be white as well. This doesn't disqualify minorities altogether, though. As long as the donor-to-be has not lived outside of the United States in the last year, then most banks will push the applicant along. Minorities have a much greater chance of being selected as donors if they choose to apply at large banks that serve clients from across the nation or even across the globe.
5 You May Need To Track Down Centuries-Old Health Records
Lineage is one of the most important aspects of the donation process. This point alone disqualifies many men right off the bat. If you're adopted you are automatically unable to participate. And for those who weren't, you must have access to at least three generations of medical records, which is where things get sticky (especially if you're an American)... The age-range among donors, but say you're a modern-day college guy looking to make some extra cash, then you're looking at ancestry from the early 20th century (and possibly even earlier), which is when a lot of migration occurred. So, you wouldn't have access to any of those records if your family came from a foreign country. Over time, this requirement will likely be a lot easier to pass because of the technological advancements in the medical world–specifically the digital medical records programs–but for now, this remains a bit of an issue to prospective donors.
4 No Alcoholic Relatives Since...Forever
Remember that third cousin that is constantly in and out of alcoholic binges and/or rehab? Few of your relatives have kept in contact with him, so you've also maintained your distance because of the destructive effects of his sickness. Well, that cousin could be the only thing standing between you and becoming a donor. Alcoholism is a huge deal to potential parents, which is understandable considering what a debilitating disease it can be. However, it's also a very common one at that. Which can make it difficult to eradicate it from the bloodline of potential offspring. However, many experienced donors have stated that they'd hardly been selected purely because of a distant relative's affliction with alcohol. Even if someone is a sobered alcoholic whom no longer has an issue, the mere fact that there was ever a family history of substance abuse is grounds for elimination.
3 You'll Need To Keep Things G-Rated With Your Spouse
Men who choose to be donors are sacrificing a lot of their time and it can be a stressful form of income. It's often not the most desirable situation for the spouse of donors purely because they don't want to be involved with future offspring. Although, there's a much more immediate implication that takes over a relationship. If you're a donor,
you cannot be active in the bedroom
for 2-3 days before giving up your manly stuff. Since most banks like their donors to commit to at least two times per week, that means there's pretty much only one day of the week that you and your spouse would be able to do the deed. This can wound a healthy marriage if not well thought-out and discussed with the spouse because it leaves no room for spontaneity and your often obligated to a six-month deal with the donation bank. And who's to say that the one day of the week you are able to get intimate with your significant other is even a good day for you. This is how college guys became the most prominent pool of donors. If a donor is in a committed relationship, then talking about this with the spouse is an absolute must before pledging your swimmers to a corporation.
2 A Fondness For Piercings And Body Art Is A No-No
Well, it shouldn't be much of a shock that tattoos and piercings are inadmissible at donation banks. It's not so much that they choose to create a distinction among the applicants with people who love to get inked; it has more to do with health restrictions. Basically, if you've gotten a tattoo or piercing in the past year then you are ineligible to give up your swimmers. This has been pushed primarily because of the possibility of infection or disease since it's possible to contract something from a dirty needle when receiving your body art. Banks try to steer clear of this at all costs. In fact, even if you haven't had a tattoo done in the last 12 months, there's a great chance that you will be discriminated against by these banks, anyway, if you have tattoos or piercings.
1 Are You Willing To Kick That Nicotine Addiction?
As if giving up your manly essence wasn’t stressful enough, to add to the laundry list, you'll need to quit smoking. Of course, for habitual smokers this is likely a make-or-break situation, but there’s a logical reasoning behind this. Studies have implied that smoking alters hormone levels in men and can therefore affect their fertility. In other words, if banks are going to pay you top dollar for your swimmers then they want to ensure that they can get the most out of it – this is a business, after all. Although, a much lesser studied cousin of smoking cigarettes is the usage of marijuana; donors may not smoke this either if they want to participate. There’s less literature to back any hardcore claims against this, however, since it’s not fully legalized in the U.S. and other countries. It’s probably safe to say that this may have more to do with liability issues more than anything.