When the pandemic began, demand for sperm donors skyrocketed. The New York Times published a piece about how the demand led to a shortage and women getting fed up with conventional means, turning to things like underground Facebook groups. However, if you Control+F the piece and search the terms “Black,” “African-American,” or “of color,” nothing shows up. The focus on whiteness as the default here tells you what you already might suspect—if this issue is hitting white folks hard, it’s probably hitting Black folks even harder.
As the Washington Post reports, Black women have been having a lot of trouble finding Black sperm donors. For all the panic about donors in the Times piece, there are still a lot of viable potential donors at cryobanks. When you begin to filter by height, attractiveness, and a host of other factors, options begin to dwindle. If factored by race, the options start to drop precipitously. According to the Washington Post, less than 2 percent of the supply from the country's four largest sperm banks comes from Black donors. When Black women do find donors who are Black men, the competition can be so intense that vials from Black donors can sell out within minutes. This sounds worse than the SNKRS app.
There are plenty of reasons for this. Cryobanks don’t recruit Black donors, there is often a strenuous selection process that asks for three generations of medical history, gay men get excluded, and after things like breeding during slavery and the Tuskegee experiment, a lot of Black men probably don’t feel comfortable putting their specimen in a cup for a couple of bucks unless they damn well know where it was going.
This problem is forcing prospective mothers to make tough choices: wait it out, and hope a better situation arises in the future while their fertility is waning, seek out unregulated methods, or widen the pool and raise a mixed-race baby that doesn’t come with a life partner you love to match. Well, if there are any “high-value men” out there with “high-value” secret sauce out there, you know what to do. It’s your time to shine.