At a Sperm Bank in Bihar, Caste Divisions Start Before Birth (New York Times)
“Naturally, couples using donated sperm want to know all they can about the donor. In many parts of the world, that would include where a donor went to school, his medical history or what kind of job he had. In Bihar, couples’ primary concern is caste, doctors said.
“‘Sometimes, before asking about the culture, health, physical features, even religion, they ask about caste of the donor, and it becomes very difficult not to satisfy them,’ said Dr. Saurabh Kumar, who runs Frozen Cell, another sperm bank in Patna. He reveals the donor’s caste if patients ask.
“A gynecologist who runs a fertility center in the adjoining district of Muzaffarpur said that patients can get ‘fanatical’ about knowing the caste of the donor.
“‘It’s almost like tubes in our sperm banks are labeled with “Brahmin,” “Bhumihar,” “Yadav,” “Rajput” and several other caste stickers,’ said the doctor, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue. In Bihar, caste plays a large role in society and culture, but many people are reluctant to discuss caste preferences openly out of concern that it would make them appear to be prejudiced.”