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Sign of Economic Times? Sperm Bank Donor Applications Increase

| by Reason Foundation

More men are seeking to enhance their bottom lines by selling a renewable resource located below their belts. According to the financial reporting and advice blog Minyanville:

Applications for sperm donation are way up across the country. And why shouldn't they be? Selling sperm for cash has long been considered a get-rich-quick scheme of sorts for men during recessions.

Ty Kaliski, Director of Operations at Cryos International in New York told me that he's seen an increase of 50-100 applicants a week.

Scott Brown, Communications Manager at California Cryo -- one of the nation's oldest and largest sperm banks - told me that he's seen a 15-20% increase in potential donors.

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How much could aspiring gamete generators earn?

While it's refreshing to think that thousands of young men are lining up to donate their DNA because it makes them feel good, the financial benefits of sperm donation are a more likely motivator.

At Biogenetics in Mountainside, New Jersey, men get paid $100 per sample. Donations are limited to a one-year window, but if you can manage two visits a week you could theoretically earn $10,400 (not to mention experiencing the rare, paternal joy of having fathered 104 kids).

Donors at Biogenetics can earn as much as $500 per sample if they enroll in a new program called Open ID that allows sperm recipients to meet the donors face to face.

So far only two individuals have participated in the new program.

And selling sperm nowadays involves more than just making an occasional deposit.

...you also have to be 5'10 or taller, go through a series of interviews, take numerous semen and blood tests, submit a family history that goes back at least 3 generations, and have graduated from or be enrolled in a 4-year university. Oh, and the competition is stiff. Most of the accepted donors have gone to places like Stanford, Princeton, Yale, and UCLA.

"It's easier to get into Harvard than Cryo," Brown joked.

Whole Minyanville article on this latest indicator of economic hardship can be found here.