Jim Duffy: Why I'll never be a sperm donor

It may be one of the great American exports, but this new global industry is not an attraction for Jim Duffy

One clinic in California boasts having more than 600 sperm donors with 75,000 live births across the globe. Picture: PA Wire
One clinic in California boasts having more than 600 sperm donors with 75,000 live births across the globe. Picture: PA Wire

Never before has anything been more clear... When Donald Trump uttered the phrase – “Make America great again” – I thought it was just another campaign slogan. But there is no doubt in my mind that this American president and his administration are clear on this objective.

Turkey knows all about that as it experiences what it’s like to be targeted by true economic power as the Turkish lira tanks. Yes, make America great again is not just an eye-catching marketing strap-line. And it seems it extends to all areas of American exporting. Get ready for this one... Yes, even its sperm is topping the global charts!

It appears America is leading the charge in sperm donation and insemination across the globe. On the week when American sperm has been touted as a big international export, it made me think about why I would not and should not become a sperm donor.

As one clinic in California boasts having over 600 sperm donors with 75,000 live births across the globe, it could be argued that America is breeding its way to success.

Not in a scary eugenics sort of way, but more servicing a special need and of course making big bucks at the same time.

So, what would happen if I rocked up to Cryobank in Plato Alto, California and told them I wanted to make a deposit?

Well, the first thing is I would be banished to eternal damnation. As a Christian Roman Catholic [lapsed] I still suffer and am susceptible to the ever present guilt complex that encapsulates “sin”. So, if I decided to become donor 601 in this particular clinic, I’d have some real problems in the “cubicle”.

Recall if you will the Monty Python sketch – “Every little sperm is sacred – where every little sperm is great and if wasted, God gets irate!” Well, if it’s just me in a cubicle wearing a gown with some appropriate “reading material” and a cup, then the pangs of guilt will run deep and Monty Python will be going around my head.

Not really a good start...

The next reason for this Scottish lad to not become a sperm donor is that having had kids, I would not wish my kids on anyone else. As a messed-up INTJ, guilt-ridden, volatile Irish immigrant to Scotland, with “first among equal” tendencies who does not suffer loud people gladly and could kill when his mysophonia kicks in, then there is a strong chance the next kid could cop the lot.

Luckily my two daughters are fairly rounded and have many of their mother’s more gentle and accommodating traits and nature. So, if I was to do it all again, my frailties may have missed them and land smack bang in the DNA of the next child.

And some poor couple may have this devil child and have no real clue as to why it is so odd, complex, challenged and challenging. A simple “there, there, there...” would not cut it and I guess they would want their money back asap.

Staying on the subject on my current crop of kids, if I was to become a sperm donor I’d have to be honest with them and tell them the score. Daddy is going to donate his sperm to another person and one day, another dysfunctional human being may arrive at your door stating they are your long-lost brother or sister.

This would not go down well at all.

Why? Well, as Generation Y and Z of which my kids fall into both brackets, they have a strong sense of entitlement. Whereas, when my parents’ parents passed away, they really expected nothing in terms of legacy and cash,

But, this generation of millennials and post-millennials expect a whole lot more. Yes, and they have told me so.

It seems I’m worth a lot more to them dead than alive! This sense of entitlement to all that my hard work has created would be very much interfered with should another human being appear and stake a claim to one third of it. No, I don’t think I want to upset my entitled offspring and suffer their wrath at this time in my life.

But, it could get a lot worse. As you read this article, you may be thinking that if Duffy did go ahead, overcoming his self-inflicted obstacles to being a sperm donor, then this sperm could be used to sire a child somewhere in the world, bringing joy to a childless couple.

And this may be true. Twenty-five times over! Some sperm banks can use a donor’s sperm up to 25 times. Why waste a drop, eh? This means that there could be up to 25 mini-me’s roaming this earth, who are entitled to find out more about their “daddy”.

And I would not want the poor wee lambs to really get to know how awful I really am. I fear I’d have to go into hiding for their sake. And of course woe betide them if they meet Hannah and Laura – my daughters – looking for a slice of daddy’s will.

So I’m going to pass on sperm donation at present and leave the Americans to their much-deserved success in making America great again.

However, on a more sensitive and human note, having researched this topic, I have nothing but admiration for those men and women who help others achieve happiness with a new child.

It takes long-term accountability, bucketloads of administration and much emotional commitment to become a serious sperm donor.

It’s not for me. But, as a global industry, it is fulfilling a need and creating much happiness for others.

And in today’s world, that’s not a bad thing.