For months, Beth Gardner and her wife, Nicole, had been looking for someone to help them conceive. They began with sperm banks, which have donors of almost every background, searchable by religion, ancestry, even the celebrity they most resemble. So in the summer of , at home with their two dogs and three cats, Beth and Nicole typed these words into a search engine: "free sperm donor. A few clicks later, the couple slid into an online underground, a mishmash of personal ads, open forums, and members-only websites for women seeking sperm—and men giving it away. Most donors pledge to verify their health and relinquish parental rights, much like regular sperm-bank donors. But unlike their mainstream counterparts, these men don't get paid.
My work, as a freelance journalist, comes with a good, but precarious income. When my mum was my age 37 , she was married. She had a house, five kids and a loving husband to help with all the nappies and jammy hands. But a lot has changed since her day. In fact, should I want to have a child any time soon, there are options. Lots of hugely progressive and inventive options, as it happens.
Sperm donors are needed for a plethora of reasons—from male infertility to same-sex couples or single women looking to start a family. While each sperm donor story is unique, the process in choosing one is actually pretty universal. This is what the process is like to find a sperm donor, according to fertility experts.
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