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Weak Economy Gives Birth to More Egg Donors

Twenty-three year old Stephanie already works two jobs and shares her Chicago apartment with a roommate, but she wants to go back to college to pursue a biology degree. When she learned that donating her eggs to a local fertility clinic would earn her at least $7,000, Stephanie decided to become a donor. She knows her weekly $800 income won't cover tuition and living expenses and sees the extra money as a much-needed cushion in a weak economy.

Robin von Halle, president of Alternative Reproductive Resources, isn't surprised that more women have been signing up to be donors. She said, "In my 16 years in this field, I've noticed a trend that when the economy or unemployment rate starts slipping, we start receiving way more calls. Lately, we've been very busy — much more than usual."

Becoming a donor is no small decision; it involves a medical and psychiatric evaluation and the equivalent of outpatient surgery. Do you know anyone who has thought about donating her eggs for the money?


Join The Conversation
4peachMoney 4peachMoney 8 years
Hmm...I could use the money BUT I really don't agree with the whole birth-by-science thing when there are so many orphaned/abandoned/abused/neglected children out there. Why not adopt?
insanitypepper insanitypepper 8 years
I would be worried about accidentally becoming pregnant with quintuplets while taking all those fertility-boosting hormones. Does the process have safeguards in place against that?
lindserelli lindserelli 8 years
I've certainly thought about it seriously. But my long-time boyfriend has (and deserves, IMO) serious questions about what that might do to any future fertility. He's even against me taking birth control pills b/c of the hormones. Before the backlash comments come, he's been over-ruled on that one. No babies for us yet.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
I would love to do it! I don't think I want children of my own, but I'd love to give someone the opportunity to have their own children. I've looked into it... the only problem for me is that I've had cysts on my ovaries before, so I don't know if I'd be a viable donor...
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
well tuition IS expensive... if she goes to Northwestern or UChicago I could understand the tuition expense...
fancifulfabi fancifulfabi 8 years
I could never do it, personally. The thought that I could potentially have a son/daughter wandering around without me ever seeing them or being a part of their lives would just kill me. And you have a great point looseseal, its sad that people will go through such an expensive procedure to bring more kids into this world when there are millions of orphans in the worldwide who would love to be adopted into a family.
looseseal looseseal 8 years
Seems like a bad idea to give your genetic material to strangers. I'd hate the idea of the products of my eggs somehow ending up banging their biological sibling and making deformed inbreeds (yes, I know inbreeding doesn't guarantee deformities, but still). Also, I'm of the opinion that super-expensive artificial fertility procedures are for people who are overly focused on the process of having a BABY instead of being actual parents. IMO, parents are people want to raise children so much, they would love a child even if they didn't conceive it, artificially or the old-fashioned way (Yeah, by which I mean an adopted child). The artificial procedures are for the people who want a specially made baby to go with their specially made designer diaper-bag. I wouldn't want to feed into that, as lucrative as it may seem. I don't think there'd be any takers for my eggs anyway. I'm a perfectly healthy university graduate, but I'm not white.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Most places, I have looked into ---want you to already have had a kid. She lives in Chicago making $800 weekly --hell she makes more than me biweekly and she has a roommate. I wonder what neighborhood she lives in.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
this reminds me of a movie that was out a few years ago with Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari where she was going to donate eggs to get some extra money to pay for school and things like that. it's interesting the lengths that people will go through to make money - and if you think about the process that it takes to donate eggs - maybe you'll think twice about it.
kelliegonzo kelliegonzo 8 years
i'm in the same boat as a few of these girls. i don't want kids myself but i would love to give another woman the chance to make her dream of being a mother come true. i just have to lose a bit of weight and get a bit healthier before i can apply as a donor.
rannew rannew 8 years
Yes I have a friend that plans on doing it and is very adamant about it. She also doesn't want kids of her own so she says it doesn't really matter to her, she's just helping out and getting paid.
SomethingWicked SomethingWicked 8 years
I would love to help other women have children, But I don't want to cause my body so much stress that I can't have some of my own.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
$800/week won't cover tuition & living expenses? My god where does this girl want to go to school? Anyway, I remember answering this question on sugar recently already. I said I would never do it, and I don't know anyone that has either -- though I totally see the appeal! $7000 would be great!
cubadog cubadog 8 years
I worked with someone that did this anout 10 or 12 years ago. I thought about it too but after I saw all the hormones she had to put into her body to make sure enough eggs were available during the procedure I decided against. She had to giver herself injections and I just was not into that.
darkangeldaria darkangeldaria 8 years
I've given serious consideration to it, particularly because I myself don't want children but love the idea of helping another woman who wants children do so. I have too many health issues/risks due to genetics to be considered a viable donor from what I have read...oh well.
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