While compensation for egg donation is hotly debated in the UK, it has become common in the US. According to guidelines from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, women should receive between US$5,000 and $10,000. In 1996 women in federally monitored programs donated eggs about 3,800 times. By 2004, the figure had risen to 10,000 times. The demand seems to be fuelled by the rising number of older women on IVF programs. It will grow as more states fund stem cell research programs, which will require eggs. Anecdotal evidence suggests that fees for premium donors can be well above $10,000.
Everyone does it for the money,” says Jennifer Dziura, a donor, in an interview with AP. “No one would do that for free; maybe for your sister, but not for a stranger.” This is disputed by the president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, Dr David Grainger. He says that non-altruistic donors would not pass a clinic’s screening test. However, one woman who later regretted donation told AP that she had convinced herself that she was doing it for altruistic motives. But, she said, “if I’m honest, I did it for financial reasons; I wanted to travel.”.
A small survey from a fertility clinic in Illinois indicates that donors used their fees for everything from down payments on property to school expenses. Half of them used some of the money to pay off credit card debts and other loans.
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