Indians Shopping for Brahmin Sperm?
Although it is mostly the gynecologists who contact the sperm banks requesting for semen samples based on the client’s preferences, a few, especially NRIs, visit the sperm bank personally. Infertility specialist Dr Arun Patil, partner at Medilabs, a leading sperm bank, says close to 10 percent of his ‘elite’ clients are curious to know the donor’s background. Among their queries include "the name of the college the donor went to". Not surprisingly, they tend to favor institutions such as IITs and IIMs. Some even leave their photograph at the sperm bank to help the doctor find the closest match.
In 2008, Dilip Patil set up an awareness booth at IIT’s annual Mood Indigo festival with the objective of popularizing sperm donation. It resulted, he says, in an ‘’anti-climax’’. "The students were so shy that they changed their lanes while passing by the stall," he says. Patil used references about sperm donation in ancient mythology, props and money to convince people to donate sperm. His efforts made it to Vicky Donor. The film has been so successful that, there is a marked increase in the number of donations. "We had a 43-year-old father who was keen to donate his sperm. We told him he was too old to be a donor," says Patil, "so he sent his son the next day."