An increasing number of single British women, struggling with the biological realities of their fertility are opting to delay their search for the ‘perfect man’ in order to chase the perfect donor.
That’s right, an increasing number of women are choosing to ‘go it alone’ in their quest to become parents, with one of the world’s largest sperm banks helping them along the way.
The bank is Cryos International, located in Aarhus in Denmark. Their business has exploded in the past two years, thanks in a large part to the trend of single British women chasing motherhood alone. Twice a week, handsome Danish men in need of some extra income attend the office to donate, with their semen selling for as much as £1,000 a unit depending on its purity and quality. Cryos has been in operation for around 25 years now, and has shipped samples to women in more than 80 countries. But the last few years, according to their founder, have been busier than ever.
The Women Behind The Trend
So just why are so many British women choosing the Danes to be the anonymous fathers of their children? Well, the reason behind it might not make much sense to you, but to women like Holly Ryan, aged 37 from London, the answer is simple: “The Danes are a superior race and I want my child to be a part of that race.”
Holly Ryan spoke to Sunday People about her quest to become the mother of a Viking baby, saying that it was clear to her from the beginning that Danish sperm was the way to go.
“You only have to look at them to understand. They’re extremely good looking and they carry themselves with an air of confidence you just don’t get in Britain.”
“I knew as soon as I decided to have a baby on my own that I wanted the donor to be Danish.”
Holly is one of a massive seven women in her social circle who have chosen to use Danish sperm sourced from Cryos in order to conceive their children. The process is startlingly simple. Would-be mums just log onto the Cryos website, choose their donor and have the sample delivered to their front door with instructions on how to artificially inseminate yourself.
However, the trend is bigger than Holly and her friends. In fact, if Holly does have a baby with Danish sperm they will be a part of an entire generation of British-Danish children, with numbers estimated to be about 3,000, who will never know their fathers. But to Holly, it’s all worth it.
“I was brought up by my dad in a single parent family so I always hoped a child of mine would have two parents around.
“But when I found myself single in my mid thirties my desire to be a mother exceeded that.
“Being a woman and not being a mother felt like having a Porsche in the garage but never taking it for a drive.
“I knew that Danish men were superior in every way so it seemed obvious to have one as a donor.”
The Anonymous Danes
As it turns out, Holly isn’t the only one who thinks that Danish men are superior. The Danes behind the donations also hold this opinion, such as 24-year-old Simon Rassmussen. He has been donating at Cryos 2-3 times per week since last July in order to boost his bank balance, as well as to share his perfect Viking genes with the world.
“I have been very lucky to have got very good genes from my parents and as a result I have a very happy life.
“I can understand why British women who don’t find a man of their own want to have a baby with Danish DNA.
“For me I like the idea of there being lots of versions of me out there even if I don’t know them.”
However, the entire process seems more like a game to him and the other donors than the process of creating a life. They joke about the high standards of sperm, and how good it is when you are accepted but your friends are not. It’s a little unsettling to listen to them.
What About The Kids?
You might be thinking at this point, has anyone thought about how this process affects the children that come from these anonymous unions? Well, one person who says that he is Ole Schou, the owner and founder of Cryos. He says that while some of the donor children he talks to feel cheated and suffer with identity crises, he feels no sympathy for them.
“I tell them the alternative is not being here. How can they argue with that?”
The only problem with that flawless logic is that those kids never had that decision because their lives were decided for them before they were born. Sure, Cryos is making the dreams of parenthood come true for many single mums, but at what cost? Their children will never know where they come from, and will always be missing that genetic link to their fathers. While this may not seem like such a major factor, and while mothers are certainly capable of raising children alone, these identity issues can impact on a child’s development, especially for boys.
Educational psychologist Teresa Bliss warns that knowing where you come from is more important than we think:
“When they are trying to develop their own identity, it can be hard enough in a single-parent family. Being deprived of the chance to know about their other parent could cause more problems.”
“To a child a donor is not a donor but part of them and to grow up without that part can be damaging.”
Certainly, it will be interesting to see just where this trend goes, and how it is perceived as these children grow into adulthood.