Any moment now, a lucky parent-to-be will find out they’re a step closer to growing their family.
That’s because Halifax-based influencers Sam Kwiatkowski and Allie Conway are set to pick the winner of their latest hotly discussed, Instagram giveaway: A vial of donor sperm, free-of-charge.
Known as “Allie and Sam” to their sizeable following, the couple are well-known for posting about LGBTQ+ married life, scenic parts of Nova Scotia, and travelling. But the pair became an international news item late last week, due to the uniqueness of their Instagram contest.
“We are so, so excited to be partnering with @fairfaxcryobank to (hopefully!) help one of you grow your family!” they captioned their post. The women were sure to make clear that they themselves weren’t sending a mystery vial: The winner would get a credit with the sperm bank, to select a donor of their choice.
The concept of “winning sperm” made for comedic fodder online — “Do they care what I do with it?” tweeted media personality Tyler Oakley in one response. Jokes were cracked about the potential child who may be conceived because of the giveaway and how they’d react to discovering their origin story.
And of course, there were plenty of these offers:
Much incredulity was built on the typically superficial and self-promotional nature of Instagram giveaways. These sweepstakes are known as a common marketing tactic Forbes reports, in order to increasing follower counts.
However, just as vocal were supporters of the giveaway, who saw it as an act of kindness for people looking to conceive. For many Canadians who turn to assisted-pregnancy methods like sperm donation or in vitro fertilization, they are on emotionally fraught journeys to parenthood and face significant barriers: Lesbian couples figure heavily in Fairfax Cryobank’s own advertising.
Others felt that the giveaway also illustrated how unaffordable fertility treatments have become. A vial from Fairfax Cryobank costs families $860 to $1385, with shipping nearing $330.
“Poorer lesbians who want to be mums may turn to this [giveaway], and so much worse, out of desperation to have a child,” journalist Sophie Wilkinson told Grazia Daily.
Stances on the giveaway aside, congratulations will soon be in order for whoever wins; hopefully, they’ll have even happier news in nine months.
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