Unlike their US counterparts, egg donors in Britain don’t get paid vast amounts of money for giving childless couples a chance of parenthood. Their expenses are covered but the women who chose to donate their eggs are driven to do so by a compassion that doesn’t carry a price tag.
Whilst it may be true that a shortage of egg donors isn’t a problem in the US, where women can receive thousands of dollars for their eggs, there are good reasons why Britain should resist the temptation to use payment as a means of boosting egg donor numbers.
We need to differentiate between being a patient and being a consumer – between offering a gift and providing a service. Once that line is crossed egg donors are vulnerable to exploitation and they could put themselves and their own fertility at risk.
“The welfare of the egg donor must be paramount and experience shows that when this is the case the best results are achieved for the recipient,” says Alison Bagshawe, fertility professional and founder of the altruistic egg donation organisation, Altrui.
“Once you make donated eggs a marketable commodity you can’t go back to an altruistic system. By informing women about egg donation and helping them to understand how they can help couples who can’t conceive, I believe we can boost donor numbers without the need to attract them with high payments. We may need to increase compensation but we also need to be very careful of the implications in doing so.”
To find out more about becoming an egg donor contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01969 667875.