Most donor descriptions read like OKCupid profiles written by the donors’ moms.
Here’s one of the less-rapturous profiles from Fairfax Cryobank:
Kind and gentle, this donor has a passionate talent in the arts. A great singer and actor, he aspires to be in the theater. He is cute and charming. He has shiny, straight brown hair that he keeps long and pulled-back. He has bright blue eyes. Of average height with a lean, fit physique, he cycles and runs to stay in shape. His smile is captivating. This donor has a desire to help others in any way possible. He is honest and direct with his opinions and he has an innate ability to make others laugh.
HOW DO THEY KNOW ALL THIS? Did the staff see him act and sing? Is the staff the panel of judges from “The Voice”? What was the sample size used to determine that he has an innate ability to make people laugh?
Also: Is long, pulled-back hair a heritable trait? (No.)
Here is Northwest Cryobank’s description of my donor:
He is a unique and eclectic man. He has many varied interests from biking to school to agriculture. He is funny and not afraid to laugh at himself. He seems to be dedicated to his jobs and hobbies.
This is the sort of spare and workmanlike prose I want from a cryobank. No assumptions here.
OK, so they could have hedged a little more:
He appears to be a unique and eclectic man. He says he has many varied interests from biking to school to agriculture. In the presence of Northwest Cryobank staff, he is funny and not afraid to laugh at himself. He seems to be dedicated to his jobs and hobbies.
I know choosing a donor is a crapshoot. I’m limited to CMV-negative men and I want one who is open to contact, which leaves me with, like, .5 percent of the sperm-donating population. I don’t want to pretend my bank did a New Yorker profile’s-worth of research (written up by an Us Weekly intern) on my chosen dude.