This is a rather controversial issue and has been addressed several times by the Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). The fertility industry remains a “free market” but is self-regulated under the auspices of ASRM. The ASRM has issued guidelines regarding donor compensation, which have been updated regularly over the past ten years. In 2008, the ASRM issued guidelines to affirm that, “financial compensation of women donating oocytes for infertility therapy …. Is justified on ethical grounds” and then issued a series of guidelines suggesting what was acceptable. The ASRM also suggested a $10,000 ceiling on egg donor compensation – prompting the filing of a class-action “price fixing” lawsuit! The following is a three part summary of the Practice Committee’s 2008 report on this very important issue.
Proven fertility of the donor is desirable but not required.
No owner, operator, laboratory director, or employee of a facility screening for or performing egg donation may serve as a donor in that practice.
If an agency is used to recruit oocyte donors, no individual who has a financial interest in that agency may be used as an oocyte donor
Payment to the Donor
Monetary compensation of the donor should reflect the time, inconvenience, and physical and emotional demands and risks associated with oocyte donation and should be at a level that minimizes the possibility of undue inducement of donors and the suggestion that payment is for the oocytes themselves.
Financial obligations and responsibilities in the event of complications or medical expenses of a donor should be contractually agreed upon prior to initiation of a stimulation cycle.
Payment may be prorated based on the number of steps completed in the procedure.
Payment should not be predicated on clinical outcome.
To discourage inappropriate decisions to donate oocytes, programs should adopt effective information disclosure and counseling processes. Donors independently recruited by prospective oocyte recipients or agencies should undergo the same disclosure and counseling process as donors recruited by the program.
Oocyte-sharing programs should formulate and disclose clear policies on the eligibility criteria for participants and on how oocytes will be allocated, especially if a low number of oocytes or oocytes of varying quality are produced.
Treating physicians owe the same duties to oocyte donors as to any other patients. Programs should ensure equitable and fair provision of services to donors.
If you are interested in helping an infertile couple achieve their dreams, please contact InVia Fertility and become an egg donor today!
Dr. Karande is Board Certified in the specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the subspecialty of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.