— If you’ve got red hair, don't bother donating sperm at Cryos International, one of the world’s largest sperm banks.
"We have nothing against red-haired donors," Cryos agency director Ole Schou told msnbc.com Monday. "Our stock is about to explode. We have just too many on stock in relation to the demand for the time being."
Demand for redheads is still high in Ireland, according the clinic, but apparently it’s not enough to persuade officials at Cryos sperm bank to continue accepting them. It has 140,000 doses of sperm from red heads, and that’s enough.
Speaking from his office in Denmark, Schou explains the agency also won’t take any Scandinavian donors for the time being — unless they have brown eyes.
"What we need is brown-eyed Scandinavians/Caucasians and Mediterranean donors and other ethnicities and races," he says. "The problem is that we are located in Scandinavia and 'harvest' donors here but we supply to more than 65 countries all over the whole world. They don’t always want Scandinavian donors out there."
Schou later clarified to msnbc.com that the clinic is not shutting its doors to all red-headed sperm donors -- the specimen cups are still available for those with brown eyes. The issue for Cryos, Schou explains, is too many Scandinavian donors have blond, middle blond, dark blond and red hair, a legacy of their Viking ancestors who also heavily multiplied in Scotland and Ireland.
The sperm bank is also looking for more Black, Asian, Hispanic, Mediterranean and mixed-race donors, Schou says.
"Our function in society is to have all races and all ethnicities. Our problem is that we have too many Scandinavians only," he says.
If you're a blue-eyed redhead looking to donate sperm, you're still welcome at other sperm clinics, although you may be in higher demand if you’re really smart, tall, athletic or musical.
Maryann Brown, chief executive officer of International Cryogenics in Birmingham, Mich., one of the first sperm banks in the U.S., hasn't experienced an anti-red bias. The clinic has "a good call for redheads."
Prospective parents often do have very specific requests when it comes to sperm donors, Brown says.
When parents are seeking sperm, she says, they often prefer donors who are athletically or musically inclined, and they prefer donors who are educated. Sometimes they even want a specific blood type.
"Some people are very interested in their looks and even the shape of their face, and how tall the family members are," she says. "They want all kinds of ethnic backgrounds and eye color including green, hazel, brown and blue."