Not many women would turn down an offer of $10,000.
But some women might if it means selling their eggs.
Ivy League women are being targeted by various agencies to sell their eggs for anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000.
"College students are in the right age group to become donors, tend to have more flexible schedules than older, working women and are reasonably intelligent and motivated," said Dawn Hunt, president of Fertility Alternatives, an agency that has intermittently advertised in The Daily Pennsylvanian for about seven-to-eight years.
However, many Ivy League women are targeted by agencies that judge potential donors' eligibility by criteria such as SAT scores, talents and appearances.
Penn alumna and English professor Stephanie Harzewski said she dropped out during the approximately four-month process of egg donation when she was in her early 30s.
"I have mixed feelings about egg donation because it enables women who are not in a position to financially support a child to vicariously birth one," said Harzewski. "But on the other end, although women voluntarily enter into this arrangement, it is often because of student loan debt or insufficient funds."
To lure potential egg donors, some agencies offer large sums of money - at times over $10,000.
However, Amy Demma, founder and president of Prospective Families, said such practices fall outside of industry guidelines established by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
"If only I could get paid that much for my sperm," said Wharton freshman Ernesto Del Valle.
Hunt called unacceptably high payments made in exchange for egg donations a problem for agencies that are "honest and up-front from the beginning and will get the donor reasonably high compensation and match those donors with good, sound people simply wanting a family - not unobtainable perfection."
According to Demma, few laws surround egg donation, which may be the reason why women are lured into the process for financial means.
Under regulations set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, eggs donors must be non-smokers between the ages of 21 and 32, have healthy family histories and lifestyles and be practicing safe sex if sexually active.
Also, the ASRM has determined that $5,000 is the minimum acceptable payment to egg donors, $7,000 to $10,000 requires justification and amounts over $10,000 are unacceptable.
"I don't believe in throwing large amounts of money at young women to convince them to help a couple," Hunt said.
College freshman Diana Olivos shares a similar viewpoint.
"I would never do such a thing for the money, even though anything from $5,000 to $30,000 is a lot and tempting," she said. "It's like selling a life - horrible."
*This article was edited at 4:00 a.m. on Feb. 19 to clarify that Amy Demma said egg donor compensation over $10,000 is not illegal, but rather that it falls outside outside of industry guidelines established by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.Comments powered by Disqus
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