An Instagram couple have prompted a serious debate online after they shared a ‘donor sperm giveaway’ with their followers.
Canadian duo Allie and Sam are a married couple who boast over 200,000 followers on their Instagram, and regularly include their fans in their content with giveaways and promotions.
The ‘lgbt travel couple’ left some fans confused, however, with a recent promotion which promised a lucky winner a vial of donor sperm in exchange for tagging friends in their photo’s comments.
“DONOR SPERM GIVEAWAY!!” the captioned a snap of them holding a board with the same announcement on it.
“We are so, so excited to be partnering with @fairfaxcryobank to (hopefully!) help one of you grow your family!”
The promotion asks participants to follow the cryo bank’s Instagram page, ‘like’ the photo and tag a friend for the opportunity to be the lucky winner of the sperm.
The bizarre ad gave many fans pause for thought, though thousands commented in a bid to win the very unusual prize giveaway that for many spelt a once in a lifetime chance.
“We just started our IVF process,” one couple wrote. “This would be a dream / big time-saving in the already huge bill.”
“This is amazing!” another agreed. “My wife... and I are just starting the process. We have been looking at [Fairfax Cyro Bank] - this would be such a huge help!!! Thank you for sharing your life together it’s such a positive representation for us and other women.”
Sam and Allie have shared their own hopes of starting a family together with their fans, hence the partnership.
In the pair’s native Canada, it is illegal to buy sperm from a donor or a third party, though clients are charged service fees by sperm companies that can add up to thousands of dollars.
Onlookers question ethics of advertising for free sperm
Though no money is being exchanged, some did wonder how ethical exchanging a vial of sperm for likes and advertisement was on the company’s part.
“I think this might be unethical,” one woman wrote.
The woman who initially shared the post to Twitter where many of the more critical comments were made, couldn’t help but point out an uncomfortable conversation in the future.
“Imagine telling a child that they came from an Instagram giveaway,” she pointed out.
The sentiment was echoed by one person who was born from a sperm donor. They warned the giveaway element could be confusing for any child born down the line.
“I myself am a sperm baby,” the person wrote. “As the child gets older they will ask questions about who and why... And to have this as a giveaway could make it more difficult.”
Others were frustrated that the pair had to do sponsored content on their journey to conceive a child.
“I think they are terrible in the way that I think late-stage capitalism is terrible,” the woman behind the original post wrote. “Queer [people] shouldn’t have to do [sponsored content] to create a family.”
Some say giveaway a positive for couples trying to conceive
Others argued the giveaway, though unusual, was a positive thing given the money couples can end up spending on IVF
“I mean, its phrased in a funny way, but I actually don’t see anything wrong with this if it goes toward a couple who want to conceive a child but don’t have the extra funds to pay for a donor,” one person wrote.
“This is odd, but sperm is expensive so I get it,” another wrote. “My main concern is are people just getting a random vial or do they get a credit and get to pick their donor?”
The duo specified in their post that the winner could choose the sample they won.
“Winner will receive credit for 1 vial of donor sperm (of your choice) from Fairfax Cryobank,” they explained in the caption.