Eggs for sale! Get them while they're fertile

March 22, 2010

Torah Kachur

A fertility clinic in London is enticing women to come to their in vitro fertilization seminar by raffling off a free baby.


       Torah Kachur egg donation human embryo IVF in vitro fertilization

That's right, for sitting in a room with a whole bunch of other wanna-be mothers you get the chance to carry someone else's child.  Because the Bridge Centre, in conjunction with the Genetics and In Vitro Fertilization Centre from Fairfax, Virginia, is giving a door prize of a human egg complete with fertility treatments (worth over $13,000).


Not only that, potential incubators (I mean mothers) are given the choice of race, level of education, upbringing and health of the egg donor.  The American egg donors are carefully screened and any woman without a university degree, a smoker or someone who is overweight is immediately discarded.  No wonder the cost of a donor egg and IVF is so high - supply and demand.  With 62% if the adult female population being overweight and only 40% have a university degree, it's amazing they found any donors at all.


In the UK, it is illegal to sell eggs for a profit, but in America - it's the wild wild south.  American women can sell their eggs for $7000 or more.  For some people, this just isn't okay - they say that this exploits a woman's body by making it a commercial entity, and that babies cannot be bartered for. 


I agree, raffling off a free baby seems a little gauche (to say the very least), but a woman's egg is just that - an egg.  Not a human being, not a baby, and not some precious thing that is not wasted once a month.  But maybe there is an emotional root to the issue people take with egg donation. Maybe this goes against some evolutionary ideal of the nuturing mother and the sperm-donor daddy?


We have to give the IVF clinics some credit - this is quite the stunt.  And, after all, a chance at a free human egg is an improvement over a chance at a cheap Vegas weekend in a timeshare.



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