sperm
Declan Rooney's sperm has already been used by 31 women who have successfully given birth and there are another 15 women currently at various stages of pregnancy.Bobjgalindo/Creative Commons

A middle-aged man is expecting to become father to his 54th child in the coming months after setting up a smartphone app offering his services as a private sperm donor. Declan Rooney, a 43-year-old former graffiti artist and website designer, decided to start donating sperm in March last year and insists he does not charge for his services because he's just trying to help women.

Rooney's sperm has already been used by 31 women who have successfully given birth, and there are another 15 women currently at various stages of pregnancy. Adding to this figure, Rooney already has a further eight children of his own with four different women, bringing the total to 54.

Mr Rooney says he is fed-up with critics of his donations, however, claiming people assume the app is a trick or a way to lure women into bed. "I'm a nice guy. Why can't people understand I am just doing this to help out?" the Sunday Mirror quoted him as asking.

"Egg donors get treated like saints, sperm donors get treated like back alley, smutty boys… But I'm not doing a bad thing. I'm not ashamed. I have helped women create families," Rooney added.

He insists his service is far superior to those offered by other private donors, not only because he refuses to accept money for the sperm, but also because of his high success rate. More than 50% of recipients get pregnant the first time they use his sperm, with three women instance where three women fell pregnant in the space of just 24 hours.

Rooney says there is never any sexual contact during his donations and he insists all would-be mothers give up smoking during their pregnancy. He also insists upon checking the recipient's finances to ensure she can afford a baby before he will donate his sperm.

Rooney claims to have turned down numerous offers of remuneration for his services, including flights to the Caribbean and urges women to avoid sperm donations from men requesting payment, which is illegal in the UK. The only money he says he accepts from the women is to cover the cost of petrol if the sperm needs to be delivered to their homes.