In , Vanessa van Ewijk, a carpenter in the Netherlands, decided that she wanted to have a child. She was 34 and single, and so, like many women, she sought out a sperm donor. She considered conceiving through a fertility clinic, but the cost was prohibitive for her. Instead, she found an ideal candidate through a website called Desire for a Child, one of a growing number of online sperm markets that match candidate donors directly with potential recipients. Van Ewijk was drawn to one profile in particular, that of Jonathan Jacob Meijer , a Dutch musician in his 30s.
At a casual glance, the Twitter profile of Keita Yoshizawa, 34, might read like he is trying to land a relationship online. What he is soliciting, however, is not a romantic partner, but a recipient for his sperm. This type of rendezvous is a common occurrence for Yoshizawa, but he largely keeps the meetings secret from those close to him. The meeting typically goes like this: Yoshizawa, upon the arrival of his recipient, ejaculates into a sterilized cup in a private room. He then hands over the cup to his client — these range from spouses grappling with male infertility to lesbian couples and women who want to be single mothers by choice — so they can self-inject his semen with syringes. After a six-hour interval, they repeat this process to increase the chances of pregnancy.
Techniques to freeze sperm were invented in the s, giving way to sperm banks. The first baby created with a donor egg was born in Australia in , and egg donor agencies have been around since the early s. More than 20 percent of in vitro fertilization-related births in the U. Use of donor eggs and embryos, specifically, has increased nearly 27 percent since Not everyone has equal access to donor materials or surrogates.
Many people want a pandemic baby, but some sperm banks are running low. So women are joining unregulated Facebook groups to find willing donors, no middleman required. Alvaro Dominguez. By Nellie Bowles. These men are flying all over the place.