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Egg Donation Compensation

Posted Jan 26 2011 12:00am
Compensation for egg donation one of many factors to be considered in the decision to become an egg donor. Egg donation provides another couple with the potential to create a family that they could not otherwise have. This often brings great personal fulfillment to a donor. However, the donation process requires time, commitment and personal sacrifice. It is, therefore, appropriate for the a donor to be compensated for these inconveniences. Understanding how the egg donation compensation process works, the legalities and ethical considerations is essential to making a well informed decision to donate.

What is the Average Compensation?According to the Journal of Fertility and Sterility, in 2007 the average compensation for an egg donor in the US was $4,217. The amount of compensation differed by geographic location, the lowest being the northwest and the highest in the east. Most clinics offer a set amount for egg donation compensation, however some may offer higher amounts for donors who match extraordinary traits that are desired by recipients.
Are There Laws For How Much a Donor Can Be Compensated?Because it is illegal in the US to sell body tissues, any payment that is made to a donor may only be compensation for time and inconvenience. There is no law specifying just how much this compensation can be. However, the The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASMR) recommends that, “total payment to donor in excess of $5,000 require justification and sums above $10,000 are not appropriate”. Therefore any advertisements for compensation above $10,000 should be viewed cautiously by potential donors.
What About the Advertisements for $10,000 or More for Egg Donations?Although the ASMR guidelines cap compensation at $10,000, there have been reports of up to $60,000 being offered to egg donors. Most often, these large payments are advertised by recipients to recruit donors with very specific personal qualities. They may specify particular ethnic backgrounds, religions, standardized testing scores, university degrees, personal accomplishments, etc. A study published by the Hastings Center reported that for every increase of 100 points on an individual’s SAT score, compensation increased by $2350. This type of large monetary compensation given to donors raises ethical concerns. It may cloud a donor’s ability to fully consider all aspects of the donation process. Furthermore, it could potentially motivate a donor to conceal or fabricate personal attributes in order to fit the recipients requests.
When Do Donors Get Paid?The whole process of egg donation can take up to 6 weeks from the time of starting treatment to the time of the egg retrieval. Clinics typically pay the donors immediately after the egg retrieval. This is to ensure that the donor completes the entire process and is not based on how many eggs were retrieved. As mentioned above, the sale of body tissues is illegal, thus the number of eggs retrieved should not determine payment. Donors should receive the same payment if 5 eggs were retrieved as they would with 35. If the donation process were to be terminated before egg retrieval due to no fault of the donor, typically a smaller payment is given to donor for their effort. For example, one program for egg donor in New York offers $8,000 as a compensation for complete egg retrieval and $1,000 for early termination. If the procedure is terminated due to negligence or other reasons on the part of the donor, then no compensation is given.
Legal ConsiderationsWhen donating eggs it is a good idea for the donor to have a legal representative review the contract and conditions of payment. This is highly recommended especially if the egg donation compensation offered is more than $10,000 or coming from a private recipient, including family and friends. The donor should also be given a clear awareness in a contract of who will be responsible for any further financial burdens such as unexpected medical complications, etc.
How Many Times Can a Donor Donate Eggs?There is no clear guideline on how many times a woman can donate her eggs. However, the ASRM does recommend that a limit be given to donors. Typically this limit is set anywhere between 3-6 donations over a lifetime.

Original Article Publication in EZineArticles
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