Posted on April 16, 2023

Diverse Sperm Shortage Causes Dilemma for Some Black Women

Shanelle Kaul and Analisa Novak, CBS News, April 12, 2023

The pandemic helped expose an issue for some women of color using sperm banks: Finding donors who share their background.

CBS News looked into California Cryobank, Fairfax Cryobank, Seattle Sperm Bank and Xytex, considered the four major U.S. cryo-banks, and found that 53% of the available sperm is from White donors — while less than 4% is from Black donors. {snip}

This leaves many women like Jamila Galloway with a choice between having a child that doesn’t reflect their own race and culture or not having a baby at all.


“It almost felt like I was having a bit of my decision taken away from me,” she said.

Dr. Tia Jackson-Bey, a fertility doctor in New York City, said every patient of color at her practice has experienced the struggle of finding a sperm donor who shares their background.


Most cryobanks require three generations of medical family history, which not all Black Americans have access to. As a result, many Black women across the country, like Angela Stepancic, eventually give up on finding Black donors altogether.

Stepancic, who describes herself as half-Black and half-Croatian, welcomed a multi-racial baby girl last year with her wife via sperm donor.

Initially, having a Black baby was non-negotiable for Angela Stepancic when she began the process. However, she later realized that it was a concession she had to make in order to have a baby.


But her experience has inspired her to make a change to prevent anyone from having to go through the same struggle. This fall, she plans to open the first Black-owned cryobank in the country that will give Black women “warmth, safety and options.”


The number of Hispanic donors is also low, with only 8% of sperm donors to the four largest cryobanks being of Hispanic descent.