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He's a 45-year-old divorced father of three, but Andrew lives for the text message he'll get from a woman announcing that her pregnancy test showed a BFP—"big fat positive," in fertility-speak—followed by a string of exclamation points.

By that point, he's typically gotten to know the woman over many months, progressing from an initial exchange of emails to phone conversations and, eventually, in-person meetings. He's assessed her attractiveness and confirmed that she's financially secure and emotionally stable. He's put his medical records on the table. With everything in order, he's arranged for the woman to stop outside his home or office to collect a small package.

"Curbside service to go," Andrew says, of the parcel that contains his fresh ejaculate. He's likely already coached the woman on the mechanics of do-it-yourself insemination, with instructions on how to maximize the chances of conception. For certain he has signed a contract renouncing any parental rights or responsibilities. Prior conversations with the recipient have assured him that, should the transaction fully succeed, the resulting child is free to inquire about him or meet...