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FDA Cracks Down On Fremont Man’s Sperm Donations

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Trent Arsenault of Fremont has fathered 14 children as a sperm donor. He is currently in a legal dispute with the Food and Drug Administration. (CBS)

Trent Arsenault of Fremont has fathered 14 children as a sperm donor. He is currently in a legal dispute with the Food and Drug Administration. (CBS)

CBS SF Bay (con't)

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FREMONT (CBS 5) — The Food and Drug Administration is trying to crack down on a Fremont sperm donor who has fathered more than a dozen children.

Trent Arsenault has fathered 14 children as a sperm donor. Arsenault said he is just helping people who cannot have a baby on their own.

“It is helping people in need,” Arsenault said. “I don’t make any money, I don’t charge people anything. And it is just helping childless couples have children.”

But the FDA does not see it that way. In a legal dispute that has gone on for more than a year, the agency said Arsenault must cease his donations because he is violating the law.

An excerpt of the letter said, “Your firm or establishment located in Fremont recovers and distributes semen and therefore is a manufacturer of human cells…”

Arsenault said the only thing he is doing is entering into mutually desired partnerships with childless couples. So he is a bit puzzled as to why the FDA is holding him to the same standards to which it holds for-profit sperm banks.

“I think inspectors typically go to clinics and hospitals and that sort of thing. So it was probably unusual for them to come to a house,” he said.

Arsenault said he started donating sperm in 2004 when he read about a neighborhood teacher who wanted to have a baby.

He attended the United States Naval Academy and works in Silicon Valley as a computer security expert.

The Fremont man has now set up a website with all of his relevant personal and medical history, saying he had about 20,000 email inquires in all.

“Yeah I would like to continue helping the families in the community who have asked me to be their donor,” Arsenault said.

Arsenault continues to donate while he awaits a formal hearing by the FDA.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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