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Sperm donation for pocket money?

india Updated: Dec 12, 2011 11:41 IST
Shara Ashraf
Hindustan TImes

VJ and actor Ayushman Khurrana’s debut role in the upcoming flick, Vicky Donor, may raise a few eyebrows. In the movie, Khurrana plays plays a professional sperm donor. The role, says Khurrana, will bring back to the fore what was discussed in hush tones so far.

AyushmanIn a shocking trend, city doctors confirm that city’s school going boys are donating sperm to make quick pocket money. "The story is a light-hearted take on sperm donation. I play an unemployed college passout who becomes a professional sperm donor. While it’s true that college kids donate sperms for money, since it’s a sensitive issue, no one talks about it." IVF specialist Dr Rita Bakshi of Adiva Center says, "We get some 15-20 calls and a large number of mails every month from school going boys as young as 14 and 15 who want to donate sperms. We refuse them because it’s illegal for a boy to donate sperms unless he is 21." To confirm whether city clinic are indeed accepting sperm donation by boys under 21, HT City got a decoy pretending to be a schoolboy call up a few fertility clinics in Delhi, offering to sell his sperm.

Shockingly, the clinics readily agreed. "Come and we’ll explain the procedure," said one clinic while another agreed to pay R1,000 for the sperm. The doctor also said, "Since there is a great demand for sperms, you can donate frequently," and offered to forward our decoy’s number to other fertility clinics too. "Also, due to rising cases of infertility, homosexuality and single parenting, the demand of sperms is increasing.

A large number of young men find sperm donation an easy way to earn their pocket money," says Dr Anoop Gupta of Delhi IVF & Fertility Research Center. Boys get paid around R1,000 to R15,00 for one time donation, says the doctor. "People want tall, handsome and fair donor. Good looking boys get paid a lot better," says Dr Bakshi. Expert says that in the absence of laws to regulate fertility clinic, sperm donation continues to be a booming business.

"Unless the Assisted Reprod-uctive Technology Regulation Bill 2010 is implemented, it is not possible to keep a check on such rackets" says Dr Kaberi Banerjee, IVF specialist, Maxhealthcare.

What the ICMR guidelines say

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR):

The sperm donor has to be between 21 and 45 years of age

The ART clinic will obtain sperm from sperm banks; the identity of the donor will be kept hidden from the clinic and the couple

The clinic and the couple have the right to seek complete information about the donor such as his height, weight, skin colour, profession, family background, freedom from diseases, ethnic origin and the DNA fingerprint

The semen bank and clinic must not reveal donor’s identity to the couple.