That’s a lot of Fa­ther’s Day cards

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS -

A man from the San Fran­cisco Bay area has fathered 14 chil­dren in the past five years through free sperm do­na­tions to child­less cou­ples he meets on the In­ter­net—and he is now in trou­ble with the fed­eral govern­ment.

Trent Arse­nault of Fre­mont says he do­nates his sperm, which he touts as “or­ganic,” out of a sense of ser­vice to help peo­ple who want to have chil­dren but can’t af­ford con­ven­tional sperm banks. The 36-yearold min­is­ter’s son has four more chil­dren on the way.

“I al­ways had known through peo­ple pray­ing at church that there’s fer­til­ity is­sues,” Arse­nault told the As­so­ci­ated Press. “I thought it would just be a neat way of ser­vice to help the com­mu­nity.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion seems to have other ideas and has sent Arse­nault a cease-and-de­sist let­ter telling him he must stop be­cause he does not fol­low the agency’s re­quire­ments for get­ting tested for sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­eases within seven days be­fore giv­ing sperm. The FDA did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to ques­tions about what kind of pun­ish­ment he faces.

Arse­nault gets tested reg­u­larly, but fol­low­ing the FDA’S rules would make it im­pos­si­ble to keep of­fer­ing his sperm for free, he said.

Arse­nault says the FDA tracked him down from his web­site, which ad­ver­tises his avail­abil­ity as a sperm donor. In its let­ter, the agency de­scribes Arse­nault’s ser­vice as a busi­ness. Arse­nault dis­agrees.

“This is not a busi­ness or a clinic. It’s just peo­ple part­ner­ing up to have a baby out of com­pas­sion,” he said.

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