1. Health
Rachel Gurevich

Selling Your Eggs For Cash: Is Egg Donation Ethical If Done Only For The Money?

By October 28, 2008

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During these difficult financial times, more and more women are turning to egg donation as a way to make some extra cash. But is it right to donate your eggs just for money?

Good Morning America reported on the sudden rise of women looking to be egg donors. (Click here to watch the clip on egg donors.) According to the report, there has been a 30 to 40% increase in the number of women looking to be egg donors over the past month. Egg donors get paid anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 for a cycle, and that's a lot of cash, certainly an incentive when money is tight.

Technically, women are not paid for the eggs they produce. If one woman produces 10 eggs, and another produces 20, they are both paid the same amount. The money an egg donor receives is for the time and inconvenience of the experience.

Egg donors go through much of the same treatments that women going through IVF treatment experience, not including the embryo transfer, of course. Egg donors need to take fertility drugs, give themselves injections, and go through egg retrieval. There is no doubt in my mind that these women should receive compensation for what they go through.

But it's one thing when a woman donates her eggs because she knows someone with infertility or wants to help those who can't have kids by themselves. What about women who might be doing this only for the money? What if their heart isn't really into it? I'd think that the emotional impact of egg donation is different when done for altruistic reasons, as opposed to strapped-for-cash reasons.

Of course, all potential egg donors are screened, and you'd hope that they wouldn't take an egg donor who is only doing it because of a desperate need for money. Still, it's a concern, given the sudden increase. It's hard to believe that the economic crisis just happens to coincide with more people feeling the urge to help infertile couples.

What do you think about this? Take our poll and let us know.

Also, feel free to leave a comment below, or a post in this thread on our forums. What are your thoughts?

More on egg donation:

October 28, 2008 at 4:56 pm
(1) Pam says:

I voted “I’m not sure” because I can see a woman doing this if she’s been laid off, or the main income in her family has been lost, and the bucks are really needed. What I would protest is women doing it just extra dough to buy stuff they don’t really need, like lotto tickets, cigarettes, booze. But there probably isn’s a way to filter candidates for that stuff.

October 28, 2008 at 5:25 pm
(2) Elizabeth says:

They may be screened for health issues, but they are NOT well educated about the potential risks for their own health. I had a former student trying to find out information about egg donation and the vast majority
of the information out there is from the perspective of the recipient. It’s very difficult for individuals to find unbiased medical information about the potential risks of donation. I think that the process,
particularly with the sums of money involved, is bordering on becoming unethically coercive. And I say this as a woman who devoutly wants to have children, but may not end up being able to for various reasons.

October 29, 2008 at 3:21 am
(3) Krissi says:

I think it depends on the individual person. With the physical aspects aside, for different people, donating eggs could be either be a major emotional thing or as unemotional as donating blood depending on the person’s philosophical view.

I’d hate to think of people who feel emotionally about egg donation doing it because they feel forced to do so by economic circumstances. But for people who don’t have that view and who view it as a simple medical procedure to be forgotten as soon as all is said and done, I don’t see any real problem with it as long as they are fully informed about everything that will happen.

November 1, 2008 at 8:19 pm
(4) Leslie Rowberry says:

I don’t know how I feel on the subject. I am a IVFr. I did IVF/ICSI in 2006 and am now considering donating my eggs to help another couple out there who can’t and want a baby, and also the financial aspect of it to save it for another cycle of IVF. I think it’s okay if they are REALLY needing the money. I think that women who are not familiar with infertility or just donating to get some cash really need to think about what all is involved. It’s a very emotional process no matter who you are and what your situation is. I feel anyway.

December 1, 2008 at 6:19 pm
(5) heather says:

i wont to sell my eggs so where sould i go or who do i talk to.

January 16, 2009 at 1:56 pm
(6) Sami says:

I think it is because while its a magical thing for the people who want the eggs, its just a surgery and a community service for the egg donors. I wouldn’t mind selling my eggs, but thats because I’m a starving college student that has no use for them and I think the question of ethics comes up because the people who get the eggs are usually well off and don’t understand the plight of people with limited means.

February 19, 2009 at 12:21 am
(7) Susana says:

I don’t think women should donate their eggs with out thinking about the serious consequences. Not enough or nearly any research has been conducted to determine the long term effects of donation. Women, please educate yourselves on this topic before considering this. A child is a product of this procedure. A child that has half of you genetic make up. Think about the long term consequences.

March 22, 2009 at 5:38 am
(8) travis says:

Me and my girl were talking about the great opportunity science provides women nowadays to rake in a little extra money in tough times. So I came across this sight and I was floored by the idea that donating for monetary reasons wold be amoral. What is wrong with profiting from what I understand to be a intense proses? What is amoral is ever expanding welfare state that is creating the biggest entitlement generation in history. Or do these people think the child is gonna have the horrible characteristic of wanting to get paid for providing a valuable service.

April 18, 2009 at 6:00 am
(9) Laura says:

Im considering selling my eggs but would like to find out for information and how to go about it. Can anyone give me advice of where I can get this?

May 25, 2009 at 6:22 am
(10) Lindsey says:

I just got done donating my eggs last week, litterally Tuesday was my egg retrieval, I gained 5lbs of water weight and was really bloated and hormonal with mood swings for 3 weeks, but it was worth it! THe couple has a chance to carry a child of their own, and I was compensated for all those injections and 15 visits for ultrasounds and bloodraws $7,000. I originally did it for the money, then as i continued the process, i was really excited for them, and felt awesome that i could give a gift like i was. I paid off my student loans which i was drowning in, and they finally have a family! Its a win/win situation. Of course we do it for the money first but once you are into it, you feel inpowered. I plan on doing it again, since i am blonde hair blue eyed, im in a higher demand and flattered that i was chosen. ~current and future egg donor!

May 25, 2009 at 6:24 am
(11) Lindsey says:

Oh ya, you dont want to be emotionally attatched, it just makes it harder at knowing that you have a biological child out there, you have to be strong and think of it as a gift and a return! seriously, i did it.

May 25, 2009 at 6:30 am
(12) Lindsey says:


March 29, 2010 at 2:20 pm
(13) Chelsea says:

I found this article when I was researching this. There was a lady that came and spoke to my college class about this and encouraged us young women to think about it and consider the possibilities. Her remark was alot of young college girls do this to save some money. It disturbed me alot that she was allowed to come encourage us in this way. I mean I considered it by the way she talked about it but was ashamed because the only reason I would do it would be for money. Young women don’t really realize the emotional effect it can have on them later. I understand there are certain circumstances that would compel some people to do this and thats okay but for me being a young college student without the right mindset…I think its wrong.

April 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm
(14) Sonja says:

Im thinkin about doing this b/c i already 4 kids im 24 years old and im struggling day 2 day with bills i have no job and my bf dont make alot and if i can help someone out and get paid 2 do it then its a win win situation.Right?

April 19, 2010 at 1:31 am
(15) Carla says:

I friend called me up and said she is doing this for the money. Mind you she just got married to a nice husband and bought a house. She has a job that pays 43k a year and a time share. I think it is sick! Laws need to be placed on this right now- another form of Prostitution -which should be illegal. Its not right to play God.

July 22, 2010 at 9:09 pm
(16) julie says:


November 30, 2010 at 11:15 pm
(17) megs says:

sooo i dont think that its is bad for one to do it for the monies money is tight now days but think for each women who is on the rag think that could have been a life who knows who that could have been but if you donate… that could be someone to think, for one person there eggs could have been one BIG difference.

January 15, 2011 at 5:05 pm
(18) Aleena says:

I would say the most important thing is that you like yourself, I think my offspring would be posative motivated people like me, or at least half of them. Call me concieted but I think the world could use more people like that. Plus I have a pretty good IQ and what not…again something we could use more of. My husband can’t have children so this would be another way for me to still feel like my bloodline is extended. Rereading my comment though it does all sound pretty wierd…

February 17, 2011 at 8:27 pm
(19) Britney says:

I feel that if women want to sell their eggs more power to them and the money isn’t bad. For me, my husband supports us and its a constant struggle, anything i can do to help you can bet i’m going to do it. I assume its not easy thing for women to do and consider in most situations. Agree with win/win i mean if they sell it and buy a car with the money the other family still gets the chance to have a lil baby. My husband and i are talking about it… i like the freedom to do what i would like to my body if that be selling my eggs donating blood or keeping everything to myself anymore i’m tired of people telling me and my husband not to do this or to do it. I honestly would love to do this for a women or family in need.

March 15, 2011 at 12:38 pm
(20) SHAY says:


April 6, 2011 at 8:28 pm
(21) Debbie says:

To be honest I think about it all the time but to me its really emotional just knowing you have a part of you out there and will never know. :(

May 16, 2011 at 6:44 pm
(22) KGreen says:

Who cares?…nobody is asking you to donate ur eggs…to each his own so if I wana sell my eggs so I can get lipo or something…its my body and my choice…ill reap the benefits as well as the consequences…end of debate.

October 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm
(23) JOHN says:

Who cares if it’s just for the money? Men get paid much less for sperm and there are much more rigorous screenings. Women dictate all matters of sex and procreation, so of course they’d get more money and do it for the money. Men do the same thing. We donate for money. Granted it’s a lot more fun the way we donate haha

October 13, 2011 at 10:20 pm
(24) Alli says:

“I voted ďIím not sureĒ because I can see a woman doing this if sheís been laid off, or the main income in her family has been lost, and the bucks are really needed. What I would protest is women doing it just extra dough to buy stuff they donít really need, like lotto tickets, cigarettes, booze. But there probably isnís a way to filter candidates for that stuff.”

Why? It’s their body and their money. Who are you to decide what they “don’t really need”?

December 3, 2011 at 9:33 am
(25) Tiffany says:

I don’t see anything wrong with it either way the eggs are donated to a family who needs them, the Intentions of the donor aren’t technically an issue there. Although it is selfish, they do still help people.

December 3, 2011 at 9:33 am
(26) Tiffany says:

I don’t see anything wrong with it either way the eggs are donated to a family who needs them, the Intentions of the donor aren’t technically an issue there. Although it is selfish, they do still help people.

December 17, 2011 at 9:56 pm
(27) Vanessa says:

I often think about egg donation. I myself am very privledged to live a very comfortable life so it would not be about the money. However, I know personally that the recipient pays upwards of $30k for the procedure. If I decided to donate my eggs for free would they be willing to give my eggs to someone less fortunate who could not afford such a surgery? (or portion of) That is doubtful. It leaves me feeling that if I would elect to donate my time, eggs and recovery, the monies received would merely cover my personal time spent. Just a thought contrary to the above comments. Who would benefit? Certainly not the recipient (unless guaranteed), but rather the firm offering such services.

January 18, 2012 at 11:06 am
(28) Lydia says:

i were can i donate my eggs for cash we invested in a place and they lost everybodys money and now we lost everyhting and i have 4 children so its hard. Please help

June 4, 2012 at 8:58 pm
(29) P says:

I think donating your eggs (selling your child) to strangers is sick this should be illegal unless u can be in the childs life. No one is thinking about the fact u gonna have kids that r yours all over smh how pathetic. What has the world came to its not a blessing its sick.why not adopt kids tons of kids need to be adopted they have no parents. Why populate with more kids who will feel lost and like they have no identity this world is screwed.

June 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm
(30) georgette says:

i don’t see anything wrong with a moman or a man helping i have been laid off for close to a year now and i would like to help and if that means giving my eggs for a good cause then okay the n iam all for it and if i could give my eggs to loving family because im really not using them at the moment

September 17, 2012 at 9:00 pm
(31) Annalise Tralee says:

I’m in my twenties and have been thinking about doing this for a long time, and if I have the chance (I don’t currently live in a big city with these options available) I will definitely do it. The motivating factor that ‘breaks the camel’s back’ for me is 100% based on being paid. I’ve got a ton of student loans and I’m more than happy to pay them back faster. Of course, the idea of helping out a couple who wants kids is a bonus, but I don’t think there is anything shameful in being paid for it. They want it, we’ve got it, end of story. No one’s forcing them to buy them, no one’s forcing me to sell ‘em. I don’t know how well they inform donors of risk as I haven’t done it yet, but most smart people have the foresight and self-concern to research it at least a bit on their own.

I understand the comments about women not foreseeing the emotional impact, but I want to underline the fact that many of us really don’t have any attachment to it. Someone can point out all day long that this means there is a child out there with some of my genes, but at the end of the day, that isn’t my child, it’s the couple’s child. End of story.

December 17, 2012 at 8:41 am
(32) nellie ross says:

I am interested in being an egg donor where do I go

February 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm
(33) Valerie says:

It’s a win win situation. it’s like a business (sounds horrible, I know) in a way and do the businessmen care anything else than money? no, they do not. I don’t see anything wrong with selling something you have plenty of, even just to treat yourself.

March 17, 2013 at 10:25 am
(34) payingcashforcars.wordpress.com says:

An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me lunch due to the fact that I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your blog.

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