Funny Business with Jane Wells

Unusual Stocking Stuffer: Free Sperm


Trent Arsenault gets around. Sorta. The 36-year-old single engineer from Hewlett-Packard has been acting as a one-man free sperm bank.

Funny business, indeed.

Cohen/Ostrow | Getty Images

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Arsenault started his service five years ago after answering an online ad from a couple which couldn't conceive.

He decided to skip the rules—and income—of a sperm bank and deal directly with the couple. This way he could potentially establish a relationship with them, maybe someday know the child, while a contract would free him of any responsibility.

Arsenault lives in Fremont, California, a Bay Area community hit by the loss of employers like GM and Solyndra. People are hard up, and free sperm is a gift.

After his first success, Arsenault started a website detailing his background and seeking new customers. Turns out he went to the U.S. Naval Academy, giving new meaning to the term seaman. He includes all kinds of information and photos on the website, including his sperm count, reasons why he thinks his diet may lessen the chance of Autism, and he claims no recipient has aborted a successful pregnancy using his sperm.

He also talks about the importance of abstinence while donating, but I can’t tell if he’s personally embraced the idea.

The Chronicle reports that over five years Arsenault has provided 348 sperm donations to 46 women, and 14 children have been born. "It only takes me 15 minutes to do my part," Arsenault says. "They'll send me a text message, and by the time they get to my house, it's hot off the press."

Now, the good times may be coming to an end.

The FDA is threatening Arsenault with a $100,000 fine or up to a year in prison for ignoring rules requiring a blood test every time someone donates sperm. This is to make sure the sperm does not carry things like HIV and Hepatitis.

Arsenault says he's had five blood tests over five years, but getting a blood test every time would cost too much, especially since he's giving away the sperm for free. He's hired a lawyer to fight the case. "What the FDA is doing infringes on reproductive rights," he tells the Chronicle. "The government is reaching into the bedroom." Plus, he claims his sperm is " top quality, owing to a low-calorie, all-organic diet."

Meantime, the feds will allow Arsenault to continue giving away his seed until the case is resolved. He's been a busy. .Last month he impregnated three women, a record. "I know the holidays are busy ... but I didn't know that included babies."

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