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Couples Import Semen from the United States Searching for Characteristics of the Famous

05/29/2018 - 12h35

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ESTELITA HASS CARAZZAI
FROM WASHINGTON
PHILLIPPE WATANABE
FROM SÃO PAULO

Active, seeking success, likes dogs, christian, tall, blue eyed. "Search."

It sounds like a dating site. But these are search criteria from a sperm bank in the United States, a country that has been exporting an increasing amount of semen to Brazilian couples or women looking to get pregnant.

The most recent data from Anvisa (National Sanitary Vigilance Agency) reveal that importation of semen from the United States, which can cost as much as R$ 5,000 (US$ 1,337) per sample, has increased by 2,500% in the last five years.

In terms of the total market, Brazil is still relatively small: according to Anvisa, 436 samples were imported in 2016 out of which 157 children were born.

But Brazil is already among the top 10 export destinations for American sperm banks. The 2013 Brazilian regulation of gay marriage and an increasing interest from single women in insemination should increase demand for the service even more, says Fredrik Andreasson, director of the Seattle Sperm Bank.

Up until now, the most successful donor to Brazil has been man #4282, from the Fairfax Cryobank: as of 2016, 30 of his samples had been sent according to Anvisa. He is a physicist with green eyes, a PhD, who loves cats and dreams of being famous. He is described as "extremely intelligent, pragmatic and friendly" - and "looks like Matt Damon".

American donors, who are paid for their samples (unlike in Brazil, where donating is voluntary), include in their registered profile photos from their childhood, an audio interview about their personality, musical preferences, religion, life dreams and hobbies.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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