How Much Money Can You Make Donating Sperm?
For some men, the thought of donating sperm sounds like easy money. In fact, this could amount to a whopping $264,000 for those who are committed to continuing with the program over the course of many years. After acceptance to the program, the pay is good, you could expect to earn around $1,000 a month. First, let's look at what it takes to become a sperm donor as there are a few things to consider. Although it sounds like an ideal way to earn some extra cash, not all donors are accepted. In clinics which publish their acceptance rates, it can be as low as 1% of applicants who finally become donors. There are various reasons why men are declined and the clinic isn't obligated to tell you why your application was not accepted. Not all men want to go through the lengthy process before becoming a donor. Let's take a look at what is involved in becoming a successful sperm donor.
Requirements to Become a Sperm Donor
First, you will need to be assessed to see if you meet the qualifications. Although different clinics will have their own requirements there are similar standards across the board.
- Height: Most require men to be 5'7”-5'10” there are some clinics which specify 5'9".
- Build: Normal with a BMI of between 18-25
- Education: A college degree or enrolled working towards one
- Health: Non-smoker and in good health
- Family history: No known genetic problems
There are also more subtle requirements such as your general look. Although you may find it unnecessary, you will be judged on your appearance. The clinics want the couples to have an attractive child and therefore it isn't only down to your education, height, history and health. If you arrive looking unkempt and show up late, it is likely you will be turned down as a donor. Don't let this happen to you, treat it as though you are going to a job interview. If you have acne or scars of acne, this too can have a negative effect on the outcome. If you want to make a supplemental income as a sperm donor, you need to be presentable. Over the course of several years, this could amount to a sizable amount of money.
Let's do the math.
How Much Can You Make as a Sperm Donor?
Although payments from sperm banks vary, most are between $100-$125. If you pass all the screening procedures, you will be expected to donate weekly. You are potentially looking at a $1,000 every month.
Start at 18 years old and most clinics will allow donations of healthy men up to the age of 40. There will be periodic screenings to ensure the quality of the donation is still high.
Here are the figures:
40 -18 = 22 years
12 months x $1,000= $12,000
$12,000 x 22 years = $264,000
What's the Process for Acceptance as a Sperm Donor
Filling in a questionnaire is required and information about your family history will be taken. The questions will highlight any potential genetic problems which could be passed through to offspring. The clinic would be negligent if they accepted donations from donors who were carriers of gentic diseases such as:
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Color blindness
- Heritary cancers
Checking Your Sperm Count
The clinic will be spending several thousand dollars screening applicants, so they want to get the best possible men they can.
After you have answered a questionnaire which will be rather lengthy you will also need to provide a sample. You will be taken to a room which will have adult videos and magazines which will assist you in the process. You will put your sample into a sterile container which will be provided by the clinic. This then will be examined for both quantity and quality. To achieve the quantity it is suggested you abstain from sex or self-stimulation for 2-3 days before your visit to the clinic. The sperm will then be examined under a microscope to determine their motility. The clinic only wants donors whose sperm will likely result in a successful pregnancy.
The sperm banks spend not just money but also time, screening their potential donors, so they want those who are committed for the long term and those who will be a good investment of their funds.
In some clinics, less than 1% of donors are deemed as suitable. The steps are:
- Online application: this will include the height weight, ethnicity, education and family history.
- If this level is passed then you will be contacted to come in for an office visit. More detailed questions will be asked at this point and a semen sample will be given for analysis.
- A second office visit will be required for further analysis and this is when consent forms would be signed and a detailed profile will be completed. Another semen sample will be taken and the sperm will be frozen with liquid nitrogen. They will test the viability of the sample after the freezing to see if it is suitable for their clients.
- There will further visits required for a physical examination, extensive blood work and genetic work.
This process can take 4-5 months before you become a sperm donor. If you are successful, there will be ongoing screening and semen analysis. A questionnaire will be required for every donation.
Approximately every 3 months there will further tests for diseases and twice a year you will have a doctor's examination.
All of these procedures help ensure the recipients get the highest chance of success for their IVF treatment. Most reputable clinics will limit the number of successful pregnancies allowed per sperm donor. In the USA it is 25 children¹. Some countries allow the export of frozen sperm.
Who Is Likely to Use Donated Sperm
Heterosexual couples who have been unable to conceive. This could be for various reasons.
- A low sperm count
- Klinefelter's Syndrome
Some will be single women who want a child but not a partner. Others may be same-sex couples who wish to have a child.
Private Sperm Dontation
Let's not forget about the end user. The childless couple, either heterosexual or homosexual who want to use a sperm donor to complete their family. Although most will contact a fertility clinic to receive treatment, some will do this privately.
If someone you know can't conceive and need a sperm donor, they may ask if you would be willing to do this. There are men who will do this for altruistic reasons and others who want payment. If you opt to do this privately without the aid and secrecy of a fertility clinic, contact a lawyer so you know your rights.
¹Sperm donation laws by country. (2017, April 06). Retrieved May 09, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sperm_donation_laws_by_country
© 2017 Meredith Davies