Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Man's Free Sperm Donations Result in 14 Kids, Angry FDA Letter

It's costly to give away your sperm for free -- just ask Trent Arsenault. The 36-year-old Northern California man has "fathered" 14 children since 2006, and has 4 more on the way. But they may be his last.

The FDA got wind of his one-man sperm donor operation last year and has ordered him to shut it down. Though he charges nothing for his services, the agency has labeled him a "manufacturer of human cells."

He's fighting the order, but could ultimately face a $100,000 fine if things don't work out.

Trent Arsenault connects with local couples on his website, trentdonor.org. It includes his resume, medical history, STD tests and pictures of babies born of his seed. His efforts have resulted in at least 328 donations to 46 unique recipients, according to the FDA's cease and desist letter.

That's a lot of sperm.

The agency's major problem is that Arsenault does not test his sperm before handing it off to local recipients. Even though he undergoes testing, federal regulations require the sperm to be tested, too.

He and his lawyers contend that he makes no money, so he can't possibly be covered by the law. That might not be true.

The regulations in question define "manufacture" to include the "recovery, processing, storage, labeling, packaging, or distribution of any human cells," including sperm. Arsenault's website states that he recovers his semen, labels it, and then hands it off to third parties.

Rule exceptions also don't seem to apply because he's not sexually involved with the recipients.

Trent Arsenault may actually be manufacturing his own sperm.

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