Today, buyers don't have to stand on the dock and examine their muscles and teeth of the various people offered for sale. Instead, they can examine all of these people on their computers from the privacy of their own homes. In fact, the Cryobank does the first round for them:
Today the California Cryobank—probably the world's premier sperm bank—tests for a dozen genetic disorders and for almost as many infectious diseases. Donors must complete a 38-page, three-generation medical history, and submit to months of blood testing. The cryobank accepts only college graduates or students enrolled in a four-year program. (The cryobank's offices are in Westwood, Palo Alto, and Cambridge, Mass., meaning that most of its donors hail from USC, UCLA, Stanford, Harvard, and MIT.) And donors must stand at least 5 feet 9 inches tall. By the time it weeds out the sickly, the short, and the dim, the California Cryobank accepts only 3 percent to 5 percent of applicants.And who is out there seeking to buy the genes of these wonderful men?
The cryobank barrages customers with choices. A recent catalog listed more than 170 men of every race, national origin, and appearance. A client can buy the entire long medical history (written in the donor's own hand, so the client can judge handwriting). Some donors make audiotapes that clients listen to.
...The California Cryobank supplies tall collegians because that is what women want. (The ideal donor, he says: 6 feet tall, college degree, brown eyes, blond hair, and dimples.)
Rothman estimates that 40 percent of his clients are single women or lesbians.