Why are black sperm donors so scarce?

A recent issue of the HuffPost UK has a fascinating intersectional analysis of the market for sperm. Susan Kamau, who is a British woman of colour, writes about her search for a black sperm donor. When she trawled through the profiles of donors on a site which claimed to be the UK’s “largest provider of donor sperm”, she drew a blank.

She discovered that there were far more black sperm donors in Denmark – but it was far too expensive there.

She ended up resorting to Facebook. There she discovered a group of black donors. Comments posted by their clients were useful in winnowing out the duds. However, as she acknowledges, this is still risky. The sperm could be infected and could carry genetic defects. It’s difficult to get a psychological profile of the donor and there could be legal battles afterwards. She complains:

The population of the UK is 13 times bigger than Denmark (67 million versus five million) and the proportion of immigrants is similar (8% and 10% respectively), but there has been little research done to understand why there are so few Black donors in the UK, compared to Denmark, and what can be done to motivate men to donate their sperm.

This lack of research continues to expose women, particularly Black women and their children, to unnecessary risks. Nor can we continue to rely on Denmark for Black donors when it’s unclear how Brexit will affect customs and trade. A homegrown solution is required now, more than ever.

Otherwise, as the headline above her narrative declares, “A Shortage Of Black Sperm Donors [will be] Putting Black Women At Risk”.

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge

MORE ON THESE TOPICS | intersectionality, sperm donation

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