ASRM: Compensation Among Egg Donors Varies

Current price for egg donation not coercive, in most cases, studies find

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Financial compensation among egg donors and gestational surrogates is not coercive, for the most part, but some agencies pay certain donors more than ethical guidelines suggest, sometimes more than $10,000, according to two new studies presented at the 62nd annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in New Orleans.

Vishvanath C. Karande, M.D., and Sigal Klipstein, M.D., of Karande & Associates, S.C. for Fertility in Hoffman Estates, Ill. surveyed anonymous egg donors who had donated at their clinic from January 2003 to January 2006. The donors' average age was 24.5 and they had each received $5,000 per donation. Donors spent their money on savings, down payments on property, school expenses, paying down car loans or getting out of debt, not luxury items.

Most said they would donate again, but when asked if they would donate for a lesser amount, 70 percent said no. Some said they would donate for $7,000. The researchers conclude that $5,000 is not high enough to be considered coercive, but $7,000 may be.

In related research, Janelle Luk, M.D., Ph.D., of Harvard University School of Medicine in Boston, and colleagues found fees that agencies charged and paid for egg donation and surrogacy varied by region. Agencies in the Mid-West had the lowest agency fees and those in the South paid the least to egg donors. Six of the agencies surveyed had paid donors more than the recommended amount according to the ASRM guidelines, including one that paid more than $10,000 to egg donors.

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