Fame Daddy offers celebrity sperm – but it could be a flop

Oct 17, 2012

Sperm bank offers 'donations' to women for £15K, but has no actual celebrity samples – and might never

A CELEBRITY sperm bank has caught the imagination of the online community – but the harsh reality of human fertility laws means the company looks doomed to fail even before it begins.

Fame Daddy started trending on Twitter when it launched yesterday and its CEO Dan Richards appeared on ITV's This Morning. The new company claims to offer "bespoke treatment to women looking for celebrated high achievers who have achieved excellence in a range of fields including sport, entertainment and business".

The Sun reported that women would pay from £15,000 for the sperm and that Fame Daddy claims to have "40 high-achievers across a number of fields on its books, including a rock star, a genius, an F1 racing driver and a former footballer".

Fame Daddy said in a statement that celebs have signed exclusive 'donor' deals and have been engaged on the basis of "guaranteed anonymity" and a legal waiver of their rights to access to the child. "The identity of the father will not be revealed, but women will be able to identify their area of achievement and other personal attributes."

On its website, Fame Daddy lists a range of "sample profiles", including an Oscar-winning actor aged 25-30 who is worth over £10m and a rock star with a "multi-platinum band" aged 30-35 and worth £40m.

However, celebrity-obsessed women shouldn't get their cheque books out just yet. Richards has admitted to The Daily Telegraph that the clinic has no real sperm samples "as of yet" and that the sample profiles are merely examples of the type of donors he "intends to attract".

He does claim, however, to have registered "possible donors" who include a retired ATP tennis professional and former English cricketers.

Richards said: "We currently have about 40 people on our register of interested donors. Of course, until we have premises we cannot store sperm and therefore we as of yet have no actual samples. I am confident most of these will donate once we are operational."

Fame Daddy is also yet to receive a licence from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

But there's a bigger problem. Fame Daddy cannot, as it claims, guarantee anonymity to its donors. A law introduced in the UK in 2005 amid much controversy ended the right to anonymity of sperm and egg donors.

As the law stands today, any child born using donated sperm or eggs has the legal right to contact their father or mother when they reach the age of 18.

A Fame Daddy spokesman told The Week: "We have never said we would guarantee donor anonymity to a child once it reaches 18. We comply with UK law and HFEA regulations."

So where does this leave Fame Daddy? Would a rock star from a "multi-platinum band" really donate sperm knowing that he might read a tabloid interview with his unknown child in 18 years' time? Fame Daddy certainly thinks so. "Many prospective donors have expressed excitement at the prospect of hearing from their progeny 18 years in the future," Richards told The Week.

"Future contact is actually a core [tenet] of the Fame Daddy business model... Offspring conceived by donation will be entitled to a donor portfolio offering personal and professional advice, a face-to-face meeting, and a mentoring option provided by Fame Daddy in conjunction with their donor - at their progeny's discretion, age 18. It is for this that donors are paid."

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This is obviously a hoax, and indeed it is.

Yes, it might be a hoax, but how many fame obsessed women will have their cheque books at the ready?