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Getting Paid for the Gift of Life: Donating Sperm

Today’s side hustle is a bit on the strange side, but if you are “up” for it it’s one that could net you pretty big bucks. I’m here today to talk about donating sperm for money and yes this is a serious way to improve your finances. I know this is more specific to the guys out there, but don’t worry ladies you will get your chance tomorrow.

The truth of the matter is that there are plenty of women out there who are struggling to get pregnant, either with their partner or as singles, and they are more than willing to pay a hefty premium to get some good genetic material. If you meet the criteria set by the sperm banks you could potentially be looking at as much as $18,720 extra dosh per year. That’s enough to fully fund your 401(k) with a bit left over for fun money.

While this may sound like a great deal don’t get too excited yet. It certainly isn’t all fun and games and you will be working for your money, no matter what you might think.

Getting Started Donating Sperm for Money

The first thing you will need to do is find a sperm bank in your area. Most banks want their donors to live within a 1 hour drive from the facility, so there’s a good chance that alone will rule many of you out. There’s a large database of sperm banks located here

You should start by giving them a call during which they will ask you a set of questions to determine if it is worth your time and theirs to have you come in to the sperm bank. Some of the qualifications they are looking for may include (these differ from bank to bank)

  • Male between the ages of 18 and 44
  • Specific hair or eye color
  • Height over 6 feet tall
  • Caucasian
  • Minimum high school graduate. Bonus points for college education and masters or doctoral degrees.
  • No addictions or criminal history
  • Special talents such as mathematics, music, sciences, athletics, etc.

If everything checks out during the call they will set you up with an appointment to come down to the sperm bank for a more detailed grilling questionnaire.

Let the Questions Begin

When you arrive at the sperm bank you will be expected to fill out lengthy and detailed questionnaires, not just about your health and medical history, but about the health and medical history of everyone in your family (parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles) going back at least 3 and sometimes 4 generations. There are over 50 genetic and medical conditions that can disqualify you as a donor, have a look at a sample questionnaire here.

Anything from a history of genetic diseases like Crohn’s or Parkinson’s to something as minor as a food allergy can remove you from the acceptable pool or donors. If you have ever had any STD at all don’t even bother to start the process, you will be disapproved. If you can’t provide a detailed enough history, that can disqualify you as well. And don’t think you are off the hook once you are finished filling out the questionnaires because there is a very good chance you will get a follow up call to delve more deeply into any medical anomalies in any of your or your relatives past.

Assuming you can make it past this grueling screening process the next step will be to bring you back to the sperm bank for an interview. Yeah this is a real job and you will have to undergo an interview process before being hired.

Getting the Job

If you’ve made it this far congratulations! The vast majority of wannabe sperm donors have been culled from the herd before this and you are the “cream” of the crop. After a basic physical and some blood samples (similar to what you would give when donating blood or plasma), you will be escorted into a room for the job interview.

Believe it or not the interviewer will ask you similar questions to what you would experience on any job interview. What are your strengths and weaknesses, where do you see yourself after 5 years, why do you think you would be a good fit with the bank, etc. If you impress the interviewer suitably you’ll move on to the next phase, samples.

You aren’t out of the woods yet as these sample deposits will be used to determine if your little swimmers have what it takes. They will be evaluated for total sperm count (higher is better), motility (they want strong swimmers) and morphology (two heads are not always better than one). Be warned that even though you are one of the top candidates at this point, between 50 and 90 percent of candidates who made it this far are eliminated based on their samples.

You will be escorted to the donation room which looks quite similar to any examination room with a few small modifications. For one thing, instead of an exam table there is a TV and DVD player flanked by a couch or armchair. And secondly, you are the one who will be taking care of the exam in this room. Oh, and unlike most exam rooms this one is stocked with magazines and videos to help you in your quest for excellence.

Once you are done giving your sample it gets lidded and placed into the small bag given to your prior. You are then instructed to wash your hands and wipe everything down with the antiseptic wipes provided and you then take your sample back to the reception desk. Expect this to be the most embarrassing part of the whole job since the majority of staff are female and they know what you’ve been up to. Of course they see this all day and they are professionals, so get over it already.

Delayed Gratification – Don’t Spend That Money Yet

If your samples pass muster you will be invited to become a paid donor. This isn’t as simple as donating plasma; you shouldn’t expect to get paid for the next 6 months at a minimum.

If you agree the sperm bank will have you sign a contract with them, obligating you to donating anywhere from 1-3 times per week for the next 6 to 12 months. And because some diseases take a long time to show up in your blood you won’t be paid during the first 6 months. They want to wait for your follow up blood tests after 6 months to be sure you are fully cleared of all diseases. If so, you will get paid your back wages at this time.

Payments can range from $20 all the way up to $125 and are specific to each sperm bank. You will need to contact the bank nearest to you to find out what the going rate is. One thing I can say is that if you want to make the most money doing this you will have to opt for open donations rather than closed donations. A closed donation is one in which your information is never shared with the recipient, but in open donations they will share all of your medical history and other information.

This opens a huge can of worms because it means that both the recipient and the eventual children could contact you at any time. This is enough to scare many men away from becoming donors and I certainly can’t blame them. Do you really want to take a chance that 20 years from now a biological child of your (or maybe 2 or 3) will show up out of the blue? Scary stuff if you ask me and even if you opt for closed donation you aren’t off the hook. DNA testing could very well lead little Johnny or Janey to you even though you thought your identity was safe.

Say Goodbye to Your Sex Life

One final point I haven’t mentioned that is relevant to those of you in a relationship; you need to keep your sperm count high if you want to continue to get paid and that means abstaining from sex for 2-3 days prior to donating. If you are donating 2-3 times a week this means at best you’ll have 1 day out of the week to share with your significant other. Needless to say this can be frustrating for both parties and has even been known to lead to jealousy.

You can also say goodbye to many potential future mates, assuming you are honest and upfront about your donating history. Here’s a good place for you ladies to chime in; let us know in the comments below if you would be willing to date and/or marry a guy who is currently donating sperm or has even donated in the past.

The Good With the Bad

I know up to this point I’ve probably made what some would consider a dream job sound downright horrendous. There is definitely a silver lining though. Your donations are giving the gift of life and parenthood to those who might not otherwise get to experience the joys that children bring. That in and of itself could be enough to make you overlook the downsides of donating sperm (if the money hasn’t already). In the end this is one side hustle that requires some deep thought on your part before jumping in whole heartedly. While it’s true that you can make significant money, there are challenging moral and ethical questions that only you can answer regarding sperm donations.

Since I’ve invited the ladies to comment, let me invite you guys to comment as well. Have you ever donated sperm or considered it? Did you know all the ramifications at that time? Now that you do know everything involved would you still consider donating?

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