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| Motivations, Compensation, and Insurance |

While women of varying ages and life experiences are recruited to donate eggs, research suggests that optimal donors are married, have already had their own children, are not in severe financial need, and are donating primarly because they want to help infertile women conceive. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine recommends that donors be over the age of 21 and discourages the recruitment of donors on college campuses.

Motivations for Donation

According to current research, women most commonly donate eggs in order to help others conceive children. Women also donate for financial gain, to learn about their own fertility, to compensate for a terminated pregnancy, or to gain knowledge about the technology. A recent study found that donors who undergo the procedure primarily to earn money face a higher risk of postdonaton regret and psychological problems than women who donate primarily to help other women. Some critics of egg donation argue that paying donors large sums of money to donate eggs may coerce women in financial need to undergo the procedure. These donors, eager to pay off debts such as educational loans, may not adequately weigh the risks of donation and may not be able to give fully informed consent.

Appropriate Compensation

While some newspaper ads offer as much as $100,000 for egg donors with specific "desirable" characteristics, an average egg donor receives much less. The ASRM has suggested that compensation should "reflect the time, inconvenience, and physical and emotional demands associated with the oocyte donation process" and suggests a payment limit of $5,000. The committee also asserts that payments above $10,000 "go beyond what is appropriate."

Critics of a payment cap argue that the physical risk involved in egg donation is justification for high payment rates. However, because high payment can prevent women from making fully unbiased decisions about the process, a provisional payment cap may be a solution. In the event of complications from donation, women would receive a substantially higher payment than normal.

Health Insurance

All donors, whether receiving compensation or not, should ensure that they have health insurance coverage. If a donor already has insurance when beginning ovarian hyperstimulation, she should arrange for the recipient couple to cover any medical costs such as deductibles or co-payments in the event of complications. If a donor does not have health insurance at the time of donation, the recipient couple should pay for the cost of a policy. Recipient couples should be responsible for the health care of their donors regardless of whether healthy eggs are eventually retrieved. due to complications occuring during or after surgery.

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