In the News
Have Eggs, Will Sell … Especially in This Economy
Would you consider donating?
The admonition “don’t put all your eggs into one basket” has a different twist for today’s young women. Fertility clinics know where their resources lie, and they’re not shy about recruiting egg donors on college campuses and by placing ads in college newspapers. To many of the donors, selling their eggs could mean thousands of dollars they can put toward school loans and other expenses.
In a downward-spiraling economy, many women seem to be turning to this option, and not just those on the scholastic trail.
“Whenever the employment rate is down, we get more calls,” said Robin von Halle in a Wall Street Journal article by Melinda Beck. Von Halle, president of Alternative Reproductive Resources in Chicago, said the number of inquiries from potential donors recently increased by up to 30 percent. The agency is receiving approximately 60 calls each day. “We’re even getting men offering up their wives. It’s pretty scary,” Von Halle told the Journal.
In the same article, attorney Andrew Vorzimer, who represents would-be parents in Los Angeles, says the wait for a surrogate in California (which had been six months) has also decreased. “Many of these women have college loans to pay off or they want to help buy a house or provide for their own kids’ education,” Vorzimer told the Journal.
My eggs have passed their expiration date. However, if you’re between 18 and 28 (or in some cases, 30) and are prepared to undergo extensive medical, genetic and psychological screening, you may be eligible to donate your eggs to a couple and, in the process, be paid a fee of $3,000 to $10,000. I even saw an ad on Craigslist.org that offered $20,000 for a Jewish egg donor sans agency.
In 1985 there were only 30 fertility clinics in the United States. A decade later, there were more than 300. Today, they seem comparable to Starbucks. You know, one on every block, in every city. That may be an exaggeration, but the clinics have proliferated, and some of them even have patio furniture out front so potential donors can relax and read up on the latest medical breakthroughs while sipping a latte.
I scoped out several donor Web sites and found that one medical center in Newport Beach, Calif., listed donors by ethnic group – Caucasian, Asian, East Indian, African-American and so on. Along with a head shot of each woman was a list of her vital statistics, including age, hair color, eye color, weight, height and heritage. There didn’t seem to be a shortage of candidates in any category.
James Liu, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at University Hospitals, Case Medical Center in Cleveland, says his roster of egg donors has increased threefold, and there is no longer a wait for those interested in receiving donated eggs.
There seems to be no shortage of need in this area, and if I were eligible, I’d certainly take advantage of what seems to be a very fertile industry.