Monday, January 31, 2005

What would you pay for a dozen eggs?

In last week’s New York Times, there was an article about women going overseas for embryos. An increasingly affordable option for infertile couples is to “import” embryos from other countries and have them introduced into the woman’s uterus in the U.S. or to travel to another country and have the procedure performed there. “Fertility tourists” is how these people are referred to in countries such as South Africa and Italy.

I am not able to find anything on the economics of egg donation for the women in these countries who choose to do so. I know it can be a fairly lucrative business for young women in the united states. A single “harvesting” can have between a $5,000-$15,000 payoff. Rebecca Mead wrote a great article for The New Yorker, “Eggs for Sale,” on the whole business of human egg collection and commerce.

But what about women in Romania or Germany? Are they paid handsomely for their hormone manipulation and abdominal punctures? I fear this is another case of Americans’ treating other peoples as mere resources, as means to a cheaper end, as with clothing manufacture or gem collection.

And yet, I don’t know what I’d do if I was still trying to conceive a child instead of mothering a near-seven-year-old. I certainly couldn’t afford the cost of in vitro in the U.S. Maybe a vacation to Cape Town and an undeclared import on the return trip would be just the way to spend a few February weeks.

As an aside, in vitro fertilization in Romania allowed a 66 year-old woman to give birth to a pre-term daughter two weeks ago. I do not think anyone was done favors in that situation.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if there are women in the world who make their living churning out eggs, or attractive white couples who just breed for profit.

-Client Maynard

11:08 AM  
Blogger doulicia said...

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll take a dozen.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Sage Femme said...

I donated eggs twice while I was a midwifery student. It was one way to pay for school.

I was what they deemed a "high producer". Both times, they "harvested" over 23 eggs from me.

Was it worth it? No, not really. I was in quite a bit of pain as my ovaries were the size of golf balls for at least a week.

11:52 AM  
Blogger doulicia said...

Good Lord! I should say you were a good producer! Friends who've gone through IVF were pleased to get over 10 eggs with one "harvest." One had persistent hyperstimulation, however, which sounded horrible. Sounds like you know that of which she speaks.

12:45 PM  

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