What came into Brazil in great numbers in 2017: hundreds of tubes of imported US semen, often from donors primed to make "pretty" children—which for many Brazilians means white "biotypes" with light hair and eyes, per the Wall Street Journal. Such imports of overseas sperm have spiked over the last several years, and although same-sex couples still make up the majority of buyers, lesbian couples and affluent, single career women (a group NPR has deemed part of a "demographic shift") are increasingly scooping up foreign sperm. Brazilian buyers look for "Caucasian blond-haired, blue-eyed donors," per an exec with a Seattle cryobank. The reason: Most Brazilians are black or mixed race, but the ruling elite are often white; parents-to-be think whiteness will give kids a better shot at high-salary jobs and other perks.
Women in Brazil also like that a lot more information comes with US donors than with resident ones: One woman who has a toddler with an American donor tells the Journal she received nearly 30 pages of background on him, while info on a local donor might consist of little more than "brown eyes, brown hair, likes hamburgers." Imported sperm doesn't come cheap. "Genetically vetted" US samples can run $1,500 a vial, which is just a portion of the larger in vitro process that can cost upward of $7,000. And for those who can't come up with that kind of cash? There are said to be forums on Facebook where local men with the desired characteristics offer to impregnate women at no charge, either with a special syringe or … the old-fashioned way. (The "Just a Baby" app lets interested parties window-shop for donors.)