Anne-Bine Skytte
Anne-Bine Skytte
Scientific Director, MD, Ph.D (clin gen), Cryos International

Reasons why men become sperm donors

You have probably wondered, why do men decide to become donors in a sperm bank? A chat with three Danish sperm donors might help us understand some of the thoughts behind the action. 

Jacob, Thomas and Henrik are sperm donors and have decided to dedicate a share of their time to donate sperm at the sperm bank Cryos. Jacob is a young medicine student, Thomas is a teacher and a family father, and Henrik works as a butcher. We have asked the men about what motivated them to become donors and their thoughts about being donors.

Why did you decide to become a sperm donor?

Thomas: “It came about originally because of a long chat I had with my grandfather about being a decent person. I didn’t think I was a bad person, but I started to speculate that I could do more, and where I could make a difference. I realised that being a sperm donor was one of the things where I could actually make a difference. I could actually help childless couples, so they could experience having children.”
Jacob: “I chose to become a sperm donor because I liked the idea that I could help some people achieve their dream. And I believe it’s a brilliant and beautiful thought, to think that I can provide the basis for a new life. Naturally, there was a financial aspect to it, and as a student, it’s nice to get a little extra with my student grant allowance.”

Spern donor reading a newspaper

What is your biggest motivation for being a donor?

Thomas: “It’s because I have children and I have experienced the great joy you get from having children in your life. I thought that it was a small thing for me to do, if I could help people who couldn’t have children to have the same experiences.”

Henrik: “There are many people who can’t have children. I feel privileged that I’m healthy and well enough to help them. It’s a big deal for me, and I know it means a lot to those people that I can help. Obviously, there is a financial aspect to it, but it’s not because I need the money. I just see it as a bonus. I do it because it’s important for me to be able to help others to have the children that they dream of having.”

Sperm donor playing on an old piano

What are your thoughts about the donor children?

Jacob: “The way I see it, children are part of the families and environments that they grow up in. We have shown that we certainly can foster children and give them a really good life, even though they are not genetically related to their parents, and from that perspective it’s easy to be a donor.

Thomas: “There are so many people out there, who don’t know their biological origins. The donor children get parents who really want them and who’ve had to struggle to get them. I think that must be the best starting point.”

Henrik: “I’ve thought a lot about that many people will be prejudiced, thinking I’m going to have a lot of kids running around the city in a couple of years’ time. But it’s just not like that. I think more about the fact that there are children who come into the world with parents who get the child they wanted above everything else. I’ve thought about having kids in a few years’ time, so I understand without a doubt, those people who want to have kids. Bringing a child into the world must be an amazing thing. Especially for those who can’t but who are able to anyway. That must be the best feeling in the world.”

Spern donor walking into a field

Facts about sperm donation

  • Sperm donors must be physically and mentally healthy
  • Only 5-10 % of men who apply to become a donor are accepted after the screening program
  • It is possible to donate 1-3 times per week at the sperm bank

Source: Cryos International Sperm Bank