London - Women looking for a sperm donor often make the daddy of all choices based on limited physical details such as the man’s height or hair colour.

But mothers-to-be will soon be able to pick the father of their child from a catalogue listing his personality traits, interests and even fashion sense - all from the comfort of their own home.

The online brochure is being compiled by the London Sperm Bank for infertile couples and single and lesbian women. It includes written statements from each man on why he is donating, plus staff assessments of what he is like. One donor is described by the clinic as “softly spoken, introspective, deep thinking” and with a “neat, relaxed style”.

Another is: “Very individualistic, quirky and artistic in nature. He has a unique ‘rock star image’ in terms of appearance but not at all in lifestyle or confidence.” It goes on: “Shy but if prompted will talk passionately about subjects that matter to him, namely art, music and photography.”

A sperm bank spokesman explained that women will not have to go to the clinic to pick their man. “They can access the catalogue from home and make their choices online,” she said.

By law, clinics are not required to give personal details about donors - and must not provide any information that will identify the men. Several banks do offer lists of basic physical traits, and some give occupations and hobbies.

The new catalogue follows statistics that show the number of British sperm donors is on the rise.

Latest figures reveal there were 396 in 2008 compared to just 251 in 2005. Clinics had feared men would be put off by laws brought in six years ago that allowed children of donors to trace their biological fathers. But research from the London Sperm Bank shows most men donate for altruistic reasons, and they empathise with a child”s right to know his or her parents.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is currently considering whether donors can be paid for their services. At the moment they are only allowed a fee of up to £250 to cover expenses and loss of earnings.

There are also calls for donors to be screened more carefully after a man in the US passed on a potentially deadly genetic heart condition to nine of his donor children. One of them died aged just two. - Daily Mail