Times Are Tough: Would You Donate Your Eggs to Make Money?
Sperm? Relatively speaking, not so pricey if you're in the market to buy some to help conceive a baby (and, um, I'm speaking from experience on this one.) Eggs, on the other hand, are worth their weight in gold. And if you're young, fertile, and in good health, you've got 'em.
I came across an interesting post in The Cafe @ CafeMom asking if you'd "leggo your EGGo's" to help your family stay afloat in this dismal economy. Obviously, there are other benefits to donating eggs, too, like the knowledge that you're helping an infertile couple have a child, which is why Sarah (SLGross215), chose to donate her eggs twice.
II spoke to her to find out what the process was like.
Where do you live, and do you have kids?
I live in Minnesota, and we have three kids -- Tajmaah (DD), 11 years old, Janai (DS) 10, and Evyn (DS), 2.
What gave you the idea to donate your eggs?
I wanted other couples to know the joy of having a baby and going through the whole process, from conception to birth.
How did you find the clinic where you donated?
I saw an ad for it in our local paper.
How are moms selected to be able to donate? What's the process like?
They are very, very selective in picking donors. You must have already given birth at least once and you have to be within a certain age range -- for my clinic I believe it was 20 - 31. The process is pretty lengthy the first time you do it because you have to go through a number of tests, including a physical evaluation.
How much money did you receive, and is it taxed?
I was given $3,000.00 both times, and it's not taxed because it's considered reimbursement for time missed at work. You are not selling your eggs, you are donating.
Are you paid the money right away?
No, you have to wait a week for the reimbursement because you have to go back to the clinic for a follow-up visit to make sure there aren't any problems.
What's involved with the egg donation process? How long does it take? Does it hurt?
Well, you go through quite a bit of testing, including blood draws a few times a week once you start the process. They also do an internal ultrasound to check your ovaries. You must be able to give yourself injections a few times a day for 2-3 weeks.
The injections are hormones to keep you from ovulating [until they're ready for you to]. The goal for them is to harvest as many eggs as possible. The first time I did it, they only got seven, but the second time, they got 24. They all go to the same family so that if the couple decides to have future children they will look alike.
Once it's time to harvest the eggs, they put you under and it only takes about 15 minutes for them to retrieve the eggs. When you wake up, the only thing you feel is some slight cramping.
Were you an anonymous donor?
Everything is anonymous between the donor and the families. You're just a number on your file so that when other moms come in for their IVF treatments, they aren't wondering if you're their donor.
Would you do it again?
I would, but now I'm over the age limit for it.
What were the downsides, if any?
There were no downsides to doing this.
Do you think some moms do it mostly for financial reasons, or in your experience is it a mix of altruism and financial gain?
Honestly I think it's a mix of both. At least back when I did it. Now I feel it's more for financial gain given the current state of the economy.
What do you think? Would you consider donating your eggs?