With the science-fiction-like leaps in medical technologies to help a woman get pregnant, parents can increasingly try to control things like genetics, looks and academic potential in their offspring. The ramifications are enormous, the ethical dangers alarming. But those concerns have, for me at least, been mostly theoretical. Until today.

Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men.” (Matt Sayles/Associated Press)

According to The Telegraph, by way of Gawker, the world’s largest sperm donor bank has revealed that, despite Christina Hendricks star turn at the Emmys, it has begun turning down red-headed sperm donors.

Ole Schou, Cryos’s director, told the Danish newspaper Ekstrabladet :

“There are too many redheads in relation to demand. I do not think you chose a redhead, unless the partner — for example, the sterile male — has red hair, or because the lone woman has a preference for redheads. And that’s perhaps not so many, especially in the latter case.”

Cryos serves clients all over the world, so their findings of bias is international.

There’s just one place where redheads are wanted. It happens to be the same country where I first traveled abroad. I remember distinctly departing the airport there in 1991 and immediately feeling that I was suddenly among my own freckle-faced, flame-haired kin, that I suddenly fit in. Yes, Ireland. 

Mr Schou said that in Ireland alone sperm from red-headed donors sold “like hot cakes.”