One woman’s story sheds light on the growing seriousness of the situation, which is affecting Black
women seeking motherhood in unconventional ways due to a lack of Black sperm donors. According to
the Washington Post, only 2% of sperm donors at cryobanks are Black men. The outlet claims that their
vials are gone in a matter of minutes.
In her search for a Black child, Reese Brooks discovered that for herself firsthand.
Following her shift as a prison guard at a women’s jail, she searched online for sperm banks every night
after 1 a.m.
Less than two percent of sperm donors are black men. Despite the fact that websites provided Brooks
with access to hundreds of potential sperm donors and allowed her to filter for factors such as height
and interests, she had few options when searching for Black or African American donors.
According to Cryobanks, the number of Black women seeking sperm donation services increased during
the pandemic, despite the fact that this trend has been ongoing for some time. The most recent data
from the Census, Black women between the ages of 35 and 45 are more likely than women of other
racial demographics to remain single. Only 16% of White women and 44% of Black women (non-
Hispanic) are married.
Black women are frequently forced to choose a donor of another race and raise a biracial child because
Black sperm donors only make up 2% of the four largest sperm banks in the country. The Washington
Post says that some even buy Black sperm from unregulated apps and online groups. The publication
offered several explanations for the shortage, most notably the failure of cryobanks to recruit Black
donors and the selection process that requires a medical history spanning three generations. That
presents a significant challenge for Black men, who may not have access to high-quality medical care.
Additionally, many Black men already have a mistrust of the medical profession as a result of
discrimination in the past. Also excluded are potential donors who have been convicted of a felony.
Sperm is typically sold for between $950 and $1,300 per vial, with donors receiving between $70 and
$150 for each donation. In an effort to limit the number of children fathered by a single donor,
cryobanks sell a predetermined number of vials per donor.
There are only 12 Black donors out of a total of 748 at four of the country’s largest cryobanks, four of
which have more than 100 donors. As of October 11, there were only 12 Black donors out of a total of
748 at those four cryobanks.
Hispanic and Black donors are still underrepresented, despite the disproportionate representation of
White and Asian donors. The Post spoke with 15 women who wanted to conceive with a Black donor by
purchasing sperm. Only one of the 15 was able to accomplish this successfully.
They noted the fierce competition for Black donor vials on cryobank websites. They told the Post that
such vials sell out in a matter of minutes.