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Jamaica to import and export sperm

By Jamaica Star

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An Asian nurse in blue holds up a bottle of donated semen sperm.

(JAMAICA STAR) — Jamaica will soon have its very own sperm donor facility.

By the end of this year, men wishing to donate their sperm will be able to do so in a unit at the Hugh Wynter Fertility Management Unit, located at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).

Currently, the facility accepts and freezes sperm for men with prostate cancer, who want to save their sperm for future use. It also imports sperm for women who are looking for sperm donors.

But Dr Vernon DaCosta, director of the unit, said that when this new facility comes on stream, they will be accepting sperm from Jamaican men for export.

“Those that will be collected in Jamaica from Jamaicans will be exported to other sperm donor facilities overseas. For example, people from Haiti are asking us to supply them with sperm,” he said.

“On average, we import maybe two batches of donor sperm per month. But an individual can get three tries out of a batch,” he said.

DaCosta said that sperm donations from Jamaican men cannot be used locally because of our small population.

TARGET YOUNG MALES

“We import sperm, and we not gonna stop importing. The reason for this is: Jamaica is a very small country. If we collect and use our local sperm here, you’re going to find that sooner or later, you’re going to be getting married to your cousin,” he said.

But the doctor pointed out that persons living in Jamaica, who aren’t Jamaicans, will also be able to donate their sperm for local use.

DaCosta said that the facility will target young males who are in university. He said these men are chosen because of the specifications given by women seeking sperm donors. He, however, said that a man’s level of education has nothing to do with the quality of his sperm.

When asked about the physical attributes sperm donors should have, he said: “It depends on what the individual wants. You know sometimes, for example, if the husbands are white, they (women) would want white sperm. We tend to match the donors to the recipient. But we find where it’s mainly black men.”

In explaining the process, the doctor noted that men who come in to donate their sperm would be placed in a special room, designed to stimulate them.

“We have two rooms. We call them a ‘masturbiturium’. They come in and go in the room. It’s set up with magazines and videos, so they have enough visual aids,” he said, adding that the men would be compensated financially for their sperm.

Jamaica has no laws governing sperm donation, so DaCosta said the facility would be following the laws of the United Kingdom.

He said that the men would have no financial obligation to these children, but both the donor and the child would be given certain rights.

“When you donate, you have the right to know how many children you have out there. And the child, when they reach 18, they have the legal right to know who their biological father is, so we’ll have to tell them,” he said.

However, he said that the man could choose to remain anonymous before donating, “but we will still be able to give the child your characteristics.”

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