Friday, May 3, 2019

Donating eggs for fertility: an update

Slate brings us up to date:


"The first US child conceived from a donated egg was born in 1984. Since then, the procedure has grown into a thriving industry. Demand from aspiring parents, along with a dearth of regulations, have spawned matchmaking agencies that offer to help parents find the perfect young woman whose eggs will result in the equally perfect child.

"Donating eggs can be lucrative, with agencies paying as much as $50,000 per cycle in some cases.
"Ads or marketing materials targeting potential donors rarely mention the risks or common complaints. Liz Scheier donated eggs three times between 2005 and 2007, and says she was told there were no known risks associated with egg donation. Today, Scheier is a media liaison for We Are Egg Donors, a women’s health organization that works with more than 1,500 donors to promote transparency and advocate for their concerns. She says that donors nowadays hear the same line she did, delivered almost verbatim. But it’s missing one key detail. “There are no known risks because no one has looked,” she adds.
"Egg donation has thrived in the US in part because there are few laws regarding the transfer of unfertilized eggs for reproductive purposes, according to industry experts. They say a handful of states have policies that touch on some aspect of egg donation, generally from the perspective of the recipient.

With few regulations, the US has become a magnet for well-off wannabe parents in other countries where egg donation is regulated, or outright illegal. Egg donation is barred in China, Germany, Italy, and Norway; paying women to donate eggs is prohibited in most of Europe, as well as in Canada and other nations.
"In 2011, an egg donor sued ASRM [American Society for Reproductive Medicine] over the organization’s compensation guidelines, which the donor claimed were a form of illegal price-fixing; other donors later joined the case. In a 2016 settlement, ASRM agreed to eliminate its payment suggestions, pay $1.5 million in legal fees, and give the plaintiffs $5,000 each. Agencies were freer to offer donors more money.
"Since then, donor pay has soared, particularly for attractive, well-educated donors."

HT: Stephanie Lo

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