The culture of sperm donation is not as big here as it is in the First World. Owing to several reasons like busy schedules and medical complications, many people can’t conceive or make time to conceive their own offspring.
So it was someone’s brilliant idea to come up with sperm banks, where men could go and “donate” their healthy sperm which will be stored under frozen conditions until the time is right to use it.
These men usually do it for two reasons – to preserve healthy sperm for use later or for financial gain.
Cash has proved to be the incentive over the years as sperm banks are known to pay out their donors to thank them and encourage more donations.
As with many adoption cases, many donors sign a contract that states that they cut all ties with whatever life form that comes out of the use of their seed.
And so life goes on, people populate the planet and in most cases children made in this manner never get to know their biological father, thanks to the legal inhibitions.
This understanding is what makes Generation Cryo an intriguing show to watch – as the described arrangement is challenged for the first time on TV.
Breanna, 17, is a donor-conceived person who is curious about her origins. When she asks about her father the only answer she gets is that he donated his sperm with no intention of ever meeting her.
But in a need to find her roots and put a face to the man who is partly responsible for her existence, Breanna intends to go across America to find her father.
The plot thickens when her first mission is to find her other half-siblings who may have come out of the same sperm bank that her father deposited in.
Bold & Beautiful scripts have nothing on this show because it reeks of drama.
It is almost like an American version of Khumbul’ ekhaya and if you watch that show then you will know that happy reunions are not always a given.
Let’s look at the reality of Breanna’s situation.
So daddy gave away a part of him, probably for cash – we won’t speculate what it was for, perhaps the dude really needed it – but as he walked out of the bank with a couple of million sperm missing in his system, he probably did not think that he would see the resultant baby.
In fact, he probably forgot all about it and he’s now married with a family, or better yet, he’s a priest who has turned his life around and dedicated it to Christ.
Now imagine Breanna and her army of lookalikes who are only a barcode short of being something out of Will Smith’s iRobot. It would be too much for the poor man to handle and it might just disrupt his life and routine.
But then again if we look at it from Breanna’s perspective, we can understand her quest. We all need that sense of belonging that comes from biological parents.
It is just nature that even wild animals largely adhere to. In fact, it is funny that Generation Cryo is coming to our screens now just as Hollywood has released a film called The Delivery Man, starring Vince Vaughn. In the movie he donates sperm for money to pay the mob, but 20 years later a total of 533 children track him down to tell him they are biological offspring. Imagine his response, now imagine Breanna’s dad’s real response.
• Generation Cryo airs every Wednesday at 9.15pm on MTV (DStv Channel 130).