Motivations and Compensation for Egg Donation

Participating in egg donation is a serious emotional and physical decision. Not only will a donor’s body be pushed to develop eggs and undergo an invasive procedure, but she will also need to be comfortable with the ethical aspects of her decision. For those donors or recipients unsure about what induces a woman to become a donor, several of the many motivations and compensation for egg donation are explained below.

Genuine Interest to Help

Many egg donors feel a genuine desire to help a childless or infertile couple. Wanting to carry and bear your own child, despite knowing that genetically the child isn’t yours, is an emotion understandable to many women. Beneath this emotion is the desire to create a family the most natural possible and to fully experience pregnancy and your child’s development from conception. Women who are able to conceive and have caring hearts want to provide other women the same opportunity. 

Being chosen as an egg donor is not easy; donors must fall within specific weight and mental health guidelines, making it difficult for many women to actually donate. The fact that a donor cannot be merely anybody supports the fact that altruism is a main motivation for many donors.

While many donors are anonymous, some are known to the recipient, such as a family member or close friend. In this situation, altruism is the main motivation, since many may refuse or not request payment for the service.

Desiring Scientific Advancement

Many donated eggs are not immediately implanted, but instead frozen for future use or scientific investigation. Women wanting to advance scientific knowledge of fertility and a woman’s reproductive cycle may donate their eggs. This reason often comes under attack, however, by critics of the procedure who believe it is unethical or immoral to retrieve unreleased eggs.

Protect Individual Fertility

Women stricken with cancer or other debilitating diseases may decide to donate eggs for future private use. Many times, the medications used to treat diseases will destroy a woman’s ability to conceive or carry a child. For example, radiation therapy for ovarian cancer will destroy a woman’s ovaries and possibly her uterus; sometimes a patient will have her entire reproductive system removed and then undergo radiation. For these patients, donating their eggs means that in the future they will be able to have a genetically matching child via surrogate.

Financial Incentives

Egg donors are paid quite well. An egg donor’s payment can be a preset amount or depend on the number of eggs retrieved. Typically, the range for donation is anywhere from $4,000.00 to $10,000.00. Previously successful donors are often paid more than first time donors. Many donors need this money to pay off debts or loans. The recipient or fertility clinic will pay for a donor’s expenses, including medications and health insurance. Since there is very little financial cost to the donor to donate, almost the entire received fee is profit.

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