Rapper Da Brat and her wife, Jesseca “Judy” Dupart, recently made headlines after they revealed that they had chosen a white sperm donor to conceive their first child. Their choice is drawing attention to a lack of diverse options for Black women looking to get pregnant through sperm banks.
The pair were discussing their decision-making process, including the difficulties, in an interview with the Root.
Da Brat claimed that the couple’s options had limits, particularly when trying to find a Black donor. There were initially a few thousand candidates for the pair. However, Dupart’s genetic screening eliminated some of them. They were only 300 applicants remaining, and just one of them was Black. Unfortunately, the man fell short of their physical expectations.
“The only Black donor that they had presented to us looked like Jiminy Cricket,” Da Brat explained. “I was like, ‘I’m sorry but that wasn’t gonna be my choice.'”
Despite the scarcity of suitable donors, the couple chose to move forward with a white donor because they said they feel that he is a fantastic match for their family. “I think we did a great job with picking,” Da Brat said. “He’s handsome, he’s tall and I think he’s going to look beautiful with my wife’s egg.”
Da Brat and Dupart’s decision has sparked a conversation about the challenges faced by Black women and especially those who are LGBTQ+ couples trying to conceive. The process can be expensive, time-consuming and emotionally draining. The lack of diversity among donors only adds to the difficulties.
According to CBS News, cryobanks in the U.S. have been found to have limited options for women of color seeking donors who share their backgrounds. In particular, there is a serious lack of Black sperm donors in the U.S., with 95 percent of the sperm that is available coming from white donors. The lack of Black sperm donors can be attributed to a number of factors, including the cryobanks’ failure to enlist them, the three-generation medical history requirement and the exclusion of donors with felony convictions.
Additionally, mistrust of the medical profession among Black men due to past discrimination also contributes to the shortage. Providing medical history records is also a requirement that can be challenging for Black men due to limited access to healthcare.
The location of sperm and egg banks is another factor that contributes to donor variety. These clinics are often located in largely white communities, which ultimately results in a scarcity of donors of African American, Asian and Middle Eastern descent. Will Kiltz, CNY Fertility’s communications director, said those factors contribute to the general issue of a lack of diversity in the available donor pool as well.
This has led to some women having to choose between having a child that doesn’t reflect their own ethnicity or not having a baby at all. Some cryobanks are acknowledging the issue and working towards recruiting more diverse donors. In recent years, a growing number of sperm banks have tried to increase the diversity of their donors to better reflect the needs of their clients. However, the process of finding a suitable donor can still be a daunting task for couples like Da Brat and Dupart.
Despite the difficulties, Da Brat and Dupart said they are looking forward to the arrival of their first child. The pair married last year and have been candid about their parenting experience on social media.
Da Brat and her wife’s decision to use a white sperm donor has drawn major attention. However, that attention is centered on the difficulties that LGBTQ+ couples experience while attempting to procreate. They said they hope that by sharing their story, they may be able to help other LGBTQ+ couples. Especially those who are going through a similar situation.
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