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EGG DONATION

What would you do with $5,000? Pay off a nagging credit card debt? Go on vacation? Stow it away in a savings account for later? More than ever before, women are making this kind of money by donating their eggs. But is egg donation an easy way to make $5,000 (or more)? The procedure is not a simple one, and there are many factors to consider.

If the motives for egg donation were purely altruistic, the decision might be an easier one to make. But even with thousands of dollars on the line, there are questions and concerns — and many women who look into it decide not to go through with it. Some of them are turned off when they find out you have to inject yourself with hormones, daily, for a month. (shivers)

I first heard about egg donation about five years ago, but everything I read back then heavily stressed the need for an altruistic motivation. (To me, it all sounded like this: “You shouldn’t consider egg donation unless your motivation is to help someone! We will put you through a psychological examination!”) Since my motive wasn’t quite so altruistic, I figured I’d be exposed as a fraud and end up wasting my time.

[Read the rest of this post at BlogHer]

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16 Comments

  • Reply Leah March 6, 2007 at 10:52 am

    Interesting post. I’ve considered egg donation quite a number of times, but I think having a grandmother who died of a heart attack might preclude me (even though she was heavy smoker, as were all my grandparents).

    My other barrier to egg donation is all the hormones. With my schedule these days, I just don’t have time to deal with mood swings and whatnot.

    Strangely, the thought of giving away my DNA is fine with me. I’m pretty happy with my genetics, and I wouldn’t mind little mes running around the world. As I see it, egg donation would be increasing my genetic fitness, since I could certainly have more children via egg donation than I’d be willing to personally bear to term myself.

  • Reply jen March 6, 2007 at 11:16 am

    i have no problem with selling my dna or little potential children or whatever you want to call them. (not that anyone would want my eggs anyway, i’m too old.)

    but there is no way i’d take hormones or go through a surgery so someone could have a baby. i think it’s wrong to go to such lengths to get pregnant when there are so many children in the world who need homes, and there is no way i’d play a part in it, let alone mess with my own health to assist.

  • Reply sharah March 6, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Jen, let me assure you that there is no “surplus” of children in the world who need homes. It can take 2-5 years of being on a waiting list before being placed with a child in either domestic or international adoption. Add to that that many countries do not even allow children to be adopted by non-citizens.

    I would encourage any of you to spend some time on the infertility blog circuit before judging the women who are dependent on donor eggs to have children. There are restrictions and judgements placed on us and our decisions, no matter what our medical condition is, that are never made about fertile couples.

    I also want to point out that there have been quite a few stories lately about the “evils” of donating eggs, while donating sperm is done without a thought. That strikes me as a very sexist slant on ART — it’s okay if men are infertile, here have some sperm, but for a woman who can’t produce eggs, you’re just SOL?

  • Reply geeky March 6, 2007 at 11:48 am

    Huh. I had no idea women got paid to donate eggs. I guess I never really thought about it before.

  • Reply jen March 6, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    i think it’s preferable for “fertile couples” to adopt (or refrain from having kids) too. but that’s not what the blog post was about.

    i don’t see how it’s judging anyone to say i think a particular practice is wrong and i don’t want to volunteer my body to be a part of it. if someone who is anti-abortion doesn’t want to volunteer at planned parenthood, i don’t think there is anything wrong with that, either.

  • Reply Alyndabear March 6, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Wow, this is a really interesting post; but I have to say, the idea of people selling their eggs JUST for the money aspect is a bit frightening. I think it is a wonderful idea for women who are not interested in having their own children; if they legitimately want to offer another couple a chance.. but who am I to judge?

    I don’t think I could do it, though. I think I’d rather my body go through all those hormonal things as a result of a natural pregnancy. I’m not in the right time to think of EITHER right now, so we’ll have to wait and see..

  • Reply Dana March 6, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    I’ve always read about this and been torn on topics like this and surrogacy. As an altruistic act, my intentions are there. The selfish side of me though has to worry about impacting my fertility in the future and also how I would feel emotionally. I wish adoption was less expensive, as more people would consider this an option. If I get older and remain single, I want children. Hopefully by then adoption will be a little more affordable.

  • Reply janet March 6, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    An interesting topic, and you did a nice job getting in a lot of viewpoints.

    For me, I would do it in theory (maybe I read enough mommyblogs to have a sense of infertility and how tough that is?) but the actual process is so invasive and I’ve never been a big fan of the doctor’s office. The chance that it would mess with my own fertility puts it over the edge, at least for now.

  • Reply jen March 7, 2007 at 9:34 am

    ok, i know this is totally off topic, but now that two people have mentioned it i can’t resist… why would knowing how tough fertility is for some people to deal with change my ethical point of view on prefering adoption to the more expensive and invasive infertility treatments?

    incidentally, i HAVE read a lot of infertility blogs, most recently sharah’s, and i do know how devasting infertility is for some couples. i’m not ignorant; it’s not like i had never thought of the fact that some people are really grateful to have fertility treatments when i formed my opinions. however, my ethical beliefs are not based what makes certain people happy. in any event, i’m not callous to the pain, i just happen to think that adoption is the better way to remedy the situation. sometimes people are fully-informed about the facts at issue, have good intentions, and still disagree with you.

  • Reply Stephanie March 7, 2007 at 11:19 am

    The last part of Sharah’s comment relates to one of my first reactions to some of the quotations mentioned in the original post too:

    How many men donate sperm solely for the money? I know that personally, I couldn’t bring myself to donate eggs for money, or probably at all, unless it was to help a friend or sister, but I also think it’s seriously sexist for the world to judge women so harshly for donating eggs for money when men do this all the time with sperm, and have been doing this for years. It’s the same thing–just as an embryo created from a woman’s egg would be hers biologically, so would an embryo created with a sperm donor’s sperm be his biologically.

    I noticed in the post the quotation “as casually as one would treat donating blood or sperm”; this is not the same as donating blood obviously, but how is it different from donating sperm? I mean, I know the procedure is markedly different–donating eggs is much more difficult than donating sperm–but I can’t agree with the idea that an embryo created using a donated egg is somehow more the donor’s biological offspring than would be an embryo created using donated sperm.

    For society to chastise women for donating eggs, for whatever reasons, while treating sperm donation as somehow different or not as controversial is a serious, and obvious, double standard.

  • Reply sharah March 8, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Jen, your beliefs are your beliefs and I have no criticism of them. When I responded, I was trying to specifically point out that adopting is not as easy as most people believe, nor is it a fix for infertility. The fact that you think adoption is a better choice for all couples makes me think that you’ve put in a lot more thought on this subject than most of the people we infertiles run into. However, “Why don’t you just adopt?” is a common throw-away answer that almost every infertile couple faces at some point in their treatment cycle, and it fucking hurts to be told that.

    Infertility is more common than most people realize – about 15%-25% of couples go through some level of infertility. But hardly anyone talks about it! An article like the one Z linked to is the kind of information that gets out to the general public – something that’s a interpretation of a scientific study (and the data on the dangers of egg donation is incomplete at this point, by the way). You may have studied the science and made your opinion based on facts, but the majority of people have not. Understanding the pain that infertile couples go through is the basis of understanding the complicated decisions that infertile couples have to make on a daily basis. And honestly, we get tired of having to defend ourselves and decisions we’ve thought through very thoroughly against mass ignorance generated by half-assed popular journalism.

  • Reply mazza April 9, 2007 at 11:53 am

    which is the best website to cantact if you want to donate your eggs

  • Reply thelonging April 21, 2007 at 4:52 am

    I don’t care whether my child has blue eyes and blond hair, is short, tall, of superior intelligence etc. There is no adoption alternative for some. Especially when you have spent the last ten years in IVF, are now over 40 and have sold everything including your house to have a child.
    Then you hear people moralising about the evils of egg donation. I put on a happy face to the world but I know after two years of trying to recruit an altruistic egg donor, there are none.
    I have wanted nothing more than a child since I can remember. I would adopt if that were possible. It isn’t. I would work and work and work all over again to pay an egg donor. But it isn’t allowed here. I know that when the depression gets too unbearable I will finish my life. Nobody even then will know why. Some people can be harsh and judgemental.

  • Reply Bloggeroo May 15, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Very interesting and informative post. I am glad you took time to present both sides of the egg donation issue. For those interested in egg donation, my web site, A Complete Guide to Egg Donation and Infertility has a directory of every fertility clinic and egg donation agency operating in the US. For infertile people and women thinking about donating eggs, it’s a good place to find local services.

  • Reply Kasie June 2, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    To all of you who say that there are thousands of children who need to be adopted and ask the question,”Why don’t you just adopt?”, answer this. If given the choice yourselves, would you rather have a child or adopt? If you have the ability to choose for yourself, why shouldn’t everyone else?

  • Reply jonnastiv July 9, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    The donor is simply donating genetic material. She is not selling a child. An unfertilized egg is not a child. She can’t possibly think that egg is her own child, can she? Because another woman decided to grow the egg and sperm into a baby, and raise it and take care of it.

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