Danes are spreading their genes around the world faster than ever aided by exports from local firm Cryos International, the world’s biggest sperm bank.
Each year Danish men donate sperm that contributes to around 1,000 pregnancies, and with increasing demand from Americans, Cryos has opened its first New York office — on Broadway.
Thousands of men visit Cryos’s three Danish donation centers, most of them students. They are paid 250 Danish crowns ($40.50) for each donation.
Visiting the donor room is not enough to qualify, though — only around 10 percent of the donations are of high enough quality to pass Cryos’s qualifications.
Childless couples can browse through about 250 successful donors on Cryos’s U.S. web, under Viking aliases such as Birk, Gorm, Olaf and Thor alongside a curriculum vitae which lists hair and eye color, height, education and professional details.
Cryos, which has currently accepts only Danish donators, exports to 40 countries. Within a year or two, Indian, Asian and African men will also be able to donate to Cryos, when it launches a global franchise.
Why does Denmark, with its 5.3 million people, donate more sperm than any other country?
Good technology and social acceptance, says Cryos founder and chief executive Ole Schou.
“We have developed a technique where at least 30 percent become pregnant after the first treatment. Most other donation centers can’t reach more than 10 percent,” he explained.
A highly secularized country, Denmark has removed many taboos which make donations awkward in other countries, Schou said. The same could be said of other Nordic countries and might explain why one third of the world’s sperm industry is found in the region.
But this position is under threat.