Indians Shopping for Brahmin Sperm?

Bangalore: It’s quite natural for childless couples shopping for sperm to demand both looks and brains. Dr Aniruddh Malpani, an infertility expert in Mumbai says he is often inundated with elitist requests from couples seeking sperm donors. But what’s downright unnatural and not well known, is a more outrageous request: caste-based sperm, as reported Mansi Choksi and Sharmila Ganesan Ram for TOI.

Dr Saurav Kumar, a Patna gynecologist, caused an outcry a few years ago when he told a newspaper that childless couples showed keen interest in knowing the caste of the sperm donor.  According to infertility experts, this is a phenomenon observed not only in states entrenched with caste biases such as Bihar, but also elsewhere. 

According to Dilip Patil, founding president of Trivector, an infertility solutions firm, there is a sure preference for Brahmin donors in Mumbai. He says, ‘’Even among Muslims, couples want to know whether the donor is Sunni or Shiite.’’ He further added that, ‘’However, going by Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines, we reveal only the religion of the donor, not the caste."

Although he dismisses caste-based requests by calling it a ‘byproduct of the Indian mindset’, Patil willingly obliges queries related to educational and professional backgrounds, extra-curricular preferences and linguistic skills.