African American Women Are Being Forced To Choose A Donor Of Another Race Or Purchase Sperm From Unregulated Sources Due To A Black Sperm Donor Shortage

African American Women Are Being Forced To Choose A Donor Of Another Race Or Purchase Sperm From Unregulated Sources Due To A Black Sperm Donor Shortage

Black men account for less than two percent of sperm donors in America, which is causing Black women who desire a fully Black child to decide between a donor of another race or attempting to buy sperm from unregulated apps and online groups.

 According to the Washington Post, Reese Brooks, a Black woman, started her journey to motherhood and decided to take the donor route. However, Reese Brooks’ options became slim once she filtered her search in hopes of finding Black or African American donors. The cryobanks couldn’t provide Reese Brooks with what she initially wanted, a Black child that shared her culture.


Reese Brooks and her daughter

Brooks shared:

“I’d say I spent 40 hours a week looking for a donor. All together I think I searched more than 800 hours.”

The Black sperm shortage is forcing Black women who desire donor sperm from a Black man to either choose a donor of another race or attempt to buy sperm from unregulated applications and online groups. There are many reasons for the severe shortage, including; cryobanks failing to recruit Black donors and the exclusion of felony convicted donors.

On average, sperm is sold for $950-$1,300 per vial. Sperm donors are compensated $70-$150 per donation. Out of 15 women who were interviewed by the Washington Post, only one was able to purchase sperm and conceive a child with a Black donor. In addition to that, statistics also state that Black women face higher risks in conceiving and carrying a child. African American women are more likely to suffer from uterine fibroids and other medical conditions that compromise fertility and are three times more than White women to die of a pregnancy-related issue.


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Brooks initially spent $8,000 on three failed insemination procedures with sperm from a cryobank. Using sperm from a friend who is African American, Brooks conceived a child in 2019. Sadly, she lost her son, Kemet, after she prematurely gave birth to him at 24 weeks.

If she wanted to experience motherhood, Brooks realized she would have to take race out of the picture and broaden her search. Her girlfriend at the time encouraged her to start looking at Latino donors. Brooks’ child, Zurie, was born in November of last year. Unfortunately, she’s received hate online from strangers while sharing about her journey to motherhood. Brooks revealed:

“I got comments like, ‘Of course she’s mixed,’ and ‘You only wanted a light-skinned baby. You don’t like being Black.’” 

Acknowledging that she and Zurie don’t look alike she continued:

“I am not going to raise her strictly in the African American culture because that’s not who she is.” 

Brooks added:

 “I’m learning as much as I can right now about Peruvian culture.”

She shared:

“There’s so many good African American men out there, maybe they just don’t know how much they’re needed to create families.”


California Crybank’s Shamonki gave insight into their search for Black sperm donors. Shamonki said:

“Over the years, we have spoken to African American fraternities and student organizations to try to increase our number of applicants. This has not been very successful.” 

Shamonki added:

“It’s proven to be challenging to hit the right tone and appeal to these donors rather than further alienate them.”

What are your thoughts on the shortage of Black sperm donors? Share it with us in the comments below.


Authored by: Tsai-Ann Hill