Raul made about $10,000 total by donating a couple of times a week for a year and a half, at $70 a sample. He didn’t dwell on the outcome—the possible children, the various mothers. He went on with his plans for a legal career, his artistic pursuits, and his own family life. Last year, he mentioned to colleagues that he’d been a sperm donor during his time off. “Have you ever Googled your donor number?” one of the other lawyers asked.
Raul had not. But that morning at work he typed his donor number into the search engine. The first hit was a blog called Django Djournal, a mother’s chronicle of the baby, Django, she had conceived with Raul’s sperm. At the top of the page was a photo of a chubby 2-year-old in striped shorts, smiling halfheartedly—Raul himself as a toddler. “It was out of context,” he explained. “So it took me a minute to realize why it was familiar.” During the period he was donating, he’d sold the photograph to the bank for an extra $200, to give a sense of what a baby of his might look like.
The next photo on the page was of 6-month-old Django, and the resemblance was indeed striking—the dark hair and eyes, the open face. Raul and his wife had two children of their own by this time, and Django resembled them, too. What made the blog entry even more transfixing, though, were the photographs of two other babies also conceived with Raul’s sperm. Their mothers had tracked down the blog, and the result was an impromptu online community of mothers who’d used Raul’s sperm.
Should there be a limit to how many times one man fathers a child by donation? Depending on the clinic, maybe twenty to over a hundred children could be produced by one man. An article in The Atlantic raises the question of whether sperm, particularly sperm like Raul's that is in demand by multiple families, should be considered a product for sale or something more. In the internet age, there are also issues of privacy, obligations, and genetics. But there are no easy answers -especially for children who were conceived in the age of secrecy and grew up to confront the openness of the internet -and all their parents. Link