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02/15/2010

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I'm one of those who regards donor conception in the US as like the wild west. It's all about what the clinics and parents want, and the interests of the donor-conceived always seem to take a back seat.

It's cool that your son knows his story, and he's probably fine with the whole thing. There are plenty of donor-conceived people that are against paying egg and sperm donors though. Are you intimating that their feelings don't count?

Contrary to popular belief, there doesn't actually seem to be a donor shortage in the UK except for people who get it for free on the NHS. It's certainly nowhere near as bad as journalists seem to suggest. Anyone that wants (and is able) to pay for private treatment doesn't have a problem. Just ring up any private clinic. Foreign clinics are cheaper, but fertility tourism is nowhere as common as people seem to think.

Hi and thanks for commenting. While I think the concern about possible donor exploitation is a valid concern I think truly it's a red herring. The bigger issue again I feel is having a government body controling my reproductive choices. Right now egg donation and sperm for the most part are self governing -- some would argue that it's the "Wild Wild West" -- thankfully the Octomom situation is an exception rather than the rule. But on the whole clinics follow the guidelines set forth by ASRM when when treating egg donors and recipient mothers alike.

In regards to donor conceived people -- I have a child via egg donation, and are you intimating that my child as an adult is going to feel somehow horrible, or have emotional damage because we compensated our egg donor for her time, trouble, and pain and suffering? (Egg donation as you know is way more invasive than sperm donation). My child knows his story backwards and forwards, we haven't left out one detail. How my child came into the world isn't a big deal because we don't make it a big deal. It is what it is. We focus on the fact that he's here, and we love him. Because we don't make it weird he doesn't feel weird,or odd, or like an outcast.

And what I don't get is why people make it weird. Because really it's a beautiful thing, but that's another post all together:)

I apologize if I misspoke date wise. The point is 384 donors in a population of how many - 50 or 60 million? And how many of those people in the UK are facing infertility for one reason or the other? How many of those are women who have either lost their ovaries or the use of their ovaries to illness? Should those women really be made to wait years and years for an egg donor who will donate for just expenses? These are the same women who are traveling to the US, the Czech Republic, The Ukraine, Spain etc.. to try to become pregnant and become mothers.

Again thanks for responding -

Marna Gatlin
PVED

There are real issues with payment of gamete donors. It's not just about what the clinics and would-be parents want, but also about possible exploitation of the donors, and also what the donor-conceived people think about it. They have to live with the consequences longer than anyone else, and many of them are not happy that one of their genetic parents became that because of a commercial transaction.

"You know the UK went this route in 2004. They made compensation for both sperm and egg donation illegal. Guess what? The number of egg and sperm donors dropped horribly."

Donor compensation (except for expenses) has been illegal in the UK for a lot longer than that. The change in 2004 was the ending of donor anonymity.

According to HFEA figures, the numbers of sperm donors have gone *up* four years in a row since 2004, thus reversing a three year decline. The 384 donors in 2008 was the highest figure since 1996. There are also more egg donors than in 2004.

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