Have you ever wondered what a sperm donor looks like? Nice to meet you Toby Halligan.

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We know that there are many ways to make a family. The traditional birds and the bees explanation isn’t necessarily the norm in 2017; there are other ways individuals and couples can build a family of their own.

One such way is through sperm donation. It’s an idea that tends to have a stigma attached to it. One that conjures up images of seedy men and sticky magazines.

But have you ever wondered what a real life sperm donor looks like? Who are the men donating their sperm?

Australian comedian, Toby Halligan is a sperm donor. He might even have several kids running around in the world, something which he’s very proud to be a part of.

Toby Halligan talks to 'This Glorious Mess' about the reality of being a sperm donor. (Image: Supplied)

"It seemed simpler for me," he told Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo on This Glorious Mess.

"As a homosexual man, I want to have kids at one point... it struck me as being good karma, and something nice that I could do for someone else, given that I don't have a lot of the hang ups heterosexual people have, where they might've liked to donate but have the hang up of doing something outside of conventional norms."

The process of becoming a sperm donor isn't a random one, as Toby explained on the podcast.

"[With the clinic] becoming a donor is not just like a vending machine kind of scenario. Fortunately, there's interviews about suitability, and your motivations, why you want to do it," he said.

Listen: Have you ever wondered who donates sperm? And why? We ask comedian Toby Halligan, on the This Glorious Mess podcast (post continues after audio...)

"I filled out a three page document... it's almost like a dating profile. There are some things people get automatically excluded for like, inheritable conditions, certain mental illnesses, genetic heart conditions."

"I was totally upfront, like for example, as a kid I was diagnosed with ADD... most of that [information] would be in there."

In terms of how parents select their donated sperm, Toby explained it has a lot less to do with your physical attributes.


"[At the time of donation] you write a letter... it's the thing people decide on," he said. "It's a personal thing, I acknowledged my personality traits, being creative, impulsive, I was honest about the kind of person I am."

Listen to Meshel Laurie talk about dealing with her pregnancy without her partner.


And if you're wondering if Toby's sexuality was a deciding factor, you might be surprised to know it didn't come up.

"I don't recall [it coming up]. The most up-to-date statistics show that genes don't determine the sexuality of a child, it's got more to do with hormonal conditions in the womb, siblings and a variety of different stuff."

In recent years, laws surrounding sperm donation have changed, giving the children of donation the power to seek out their biological fathers upon turning 18. Speaking to whether this was a concern for him, Toby acknowledges he's thought about it, but it didn't impact his decision to donate.

"I thought those feelings through pretty carefully, and there's a lot of scenarios where it could be hurtful," he explained. "If a kid gets in touch and I'd like to have a relationship, but they don't, or it turns out they live in another country. I've accepted that it's the burden you bare."

Mamamia's Infertility Week shines a light on the joy, the pain and everything in between when it comes to creating families. To read more from Infertility Week, click here.