Indians Shopping for Brahmin Sperm?
His experience with bizarre requests does not end with this. A few months ago, a woman approached him with an over the top request. "A Page 3 personality walked in with a strange chart in her hand. There was a list of Bollywood actors such as John Abraham and Emraan Hashmi and each of them was graded as A+, A, B+ and so on. She asked my staff if there were donors in these graded categories and insisted that she was ready to pay anything. We told her that we could not accept such demands; this was not a clinic for designer babies," said Patil who was part of the medical research team for Vicky Donor, a movie based on sperm donation, as reported by TOI.
Dr Malpani says that the ‘designer baby syndrome’ seen in elite sperm shoppers is inspired by what happens in some of the other parts of the world. While the donors remain anonymous in India, couples abroad have the option of going through a ‘’shopping catalogue’’ which contains the details of various sperm donors. Here, all that the couples are told is that it is "a young, healthy and fertile physical match". Malpani says, "They want to match the primary characteristics such as height, skin and colour with their husband. Mostly, they want someone who is taller and a shade fairer than their husband," calling it a ‘’consumeristic’’ approach.
While most couples are concerned about medical history, skin color is also given priority. "Certain communities prefer a fair-skinned donor," he says. Race of the donor is another important factor for couples shopping for sperms. This is because the physical characteristics differ depending on this. In India, for instance, physical features of North-Eastern people are significantly different from other regions, ’’ we have to isolate donors based on these considerations’’, he says.