In the 70s being a sperm donor was a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ Then Ian Smith realised he had seven children and everything changed.
There wasn’t much to being an anonymous sperm donor in the 1970s and ‘80s. You showed up, signed the papers, supplied the goods, and moved on.
Some men were motivated by altruism, by how their simple act could bring a lifetime of joy to a childless couple. Others were keen for a quick buck — the going rate back then was $10 per cup of healthy semen.