TreVaughn Roach-Carter had been waiting to donate his sperm for nearly two years in early 2020 when he visited the Sperm Bank of California. The day after providing his semen sample, he received a rejection email. The reason: He checked a box for being gay, and Food and Drug Administration regulations prohibit anonymous sperm donations from men who have had sex with men in the past five years.

“I thought these bans were something that was long gone and over and that I wouldn’t have to worry about it,” Roach-Carter said.

Sperm banks already have an uphill battle trying to get men of color, especially Black men, to donate sperm. A Washington Post analysis found Black sperm donors represent less than 2 percent of all sperm donors at the country’s four largest cryobanks.

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