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Donor

27 Sep

I am a donor.  I donate to many different organizations.  I have allocated sums in my will to go to several different organizations.  I donate monthly.  I donate to hospitals, animal shelters, kids activities.  I have donated my time volunteering.  I have donated my DNA to a study for my disease, and I donate my time to be part of another study for my disease and get poked and prodded on regular intervals. 

I believe in donating.  I do not get paid for donating.  I have never been paid for donating.  If you donate and receive compensation for said donation, are you really a donor?  I don’t think so…and cannot believe anyone else believes a donor should receive compensation in any form.

donor [ˈdəʊnə] n

1. a person who makes a donation

2. (Medicine) Med any person who voluntarily gives blood, skin, a kidney etc., for use in the treatment of another person

3. (Law) Law

a. a person who makes a gift of property

[from Old French doneur, from Latin dōnātor, from dōnāre to give]

So why does the ART / IVF community insist that people who get PAID to “Donate” sperm and eggs are “Donors”?  Does it make their customers feel better while forking over thousands to tens of thousands of dollars?  Doubtful. 

More likely it is to keep public perception tempered because if you labelled them as the supplier of a product that in reality ends up being a person and they got paid it – all sorts of ick factors would kick in.  But that is what they are doing.  They are supplying the means to create a person and getting paid for that transaction. 

Several countries have banned or never allowed for compensation beyond the actual medical costs.  Of course people find ways around that but there will always be people who choose to break the law…

I was reading this post Young Women’s Eggs: Elite and Ordinary and then followed the first link in the post and I am seriously appalled and in fact down right nauseous.  I also strongly dislike the use of the target audience to find “Donors”, which is also a target audience of the adoption industry.  Make sure you follow the first link in the post above and thoroughly read that site, all the pages.

Oh and by the wayAnonymous “donation” is wrong…you will never convince me otherwise. There needs to be a law against it in every single country, and being paid – not acceptable…

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15 Comments

Posted by on September 27, 2011 in Ethics, Uncategorized

 

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15 responses to “Donor

  1. Damian

    September 27, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Great post, agree completely.
    Here in Australia, we supposedly don’t pay “donors”. The industry prefers to label it as reimbursement for time and expenses.
    However, in regard to sperm “donation” it is generally quicker and less invasive than donating blood but we don’t get a single cent for donating blood.
    These reimbursements can easily be up to a couple of hundred dollars depending on the clinic. If that is not an inducement to part with your next of kin I don’t know what is.
    I prefer to call my sperm “donor” father a sperm “vendor”.
    Money changed hands, there was a financial transaction. Essentially I was sold.

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  2. The adopted ones

    September 27, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Welcome Damian – your future posts won’t be moderated. Did you read the post and then follow the link to the site where egg donors can literally make tens and tens of thousands of dollars? That kind of money is coercive right off the bat – college students – in debt…wrong-headed…

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  3. The adopted ones

    September 27, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Just a side note – the start of the post is referring to me donating money or time to charities etc. I just wanted to show how people look at donors and donating until you get to the ART / IVF community and then the concept is massively difference. I apologize if anyone misunderstands what I was trying to say or accomplish…

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  4. Damian

    September 27, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Hi adopted ones, while I didn’t follow the link, I am very aware of the thousands of dollars that can be made by egg donation. The anecdotal evidence I have seen (as you mentioned) is that some of these egg donors are college women using it to pay off their tuition. While I have also seen some say that they use it to pay for house renovations, holidays etc.
    It’s not a nice feeling knowing that the reason for your existence was because your progenitor wanted a holiday, or wanted to buy a case of beer for the weekend.
    I knew where you were going with the start of your post and understand completely. If you donate, you should expect nothing in return. It is an altruistic gift. If you receive something in return then altruism is eroded.

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  5. The adopted ones

    September 27, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Damian – I really don’t think anyone would believe the amount. I was shocked and I am pretty cynical and thought I had seen the max – the new amounts they are offering a Harvard student will literally make you gag.

    When will people realize that individuals like you will be impacted and not in a nice way or in a one off. IT SUCKS what people are doing and have not stopped to even consider how you guys will feel. I just can’t believe they have not learned from the horrific practices in adoption. It pisses me off no end.

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  6. Damian

    September 27, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    If you have a look at my MercatorNet article:
    http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/what_price_baby_bliss
    I wrote about how I was easily able to find listings for between $3500 and $35,000 for egg donation on internet sites of these clinics.
    And that was just with simple searches.
    I am sure that the “right” donor would be able to receive more in the “right” market (as much as I hate using the word “right” in this instance – misnomer), which would be for those like the Harvard students. And that is what it has come down to, a consumer driven laissez faire market place.

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  7. cb

    September 28, 2011 at 4:47 am

    Interesting article Damian.

    I hope you don’t mind Damian that I am linking to the Oxford journals article that you linked to in your article as it is interesting as well. I note that only half of parents using DI plan on telling their child that they were conceived that way:

    http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/3/810.full

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  8. cb

    September 28, 2011 at 4:53 am

    The other thing is that when these non-disclosed DI children marry, aren’t their parents worried that they might marry someone whose parents also haven’t disclosed their DI status? If they share an unknown donor with a disease caused by a rare gene then the consequences could be catastrophic.

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  9. cb

    September 28, 2011 at 5:00 am

    On a lighter note, when I first contacted my bfamily who were unaware of my existence, when one of the cousins heard there was a “new” cousin, the first thing she thought of was that I must be a result of a sperm donation by one uncle, then I think she thought I was probably the result of another uncle’s possible premartial indiscretion, she certainly didn’t expect me to be her long gone auntie’s uknown about (born overseas) relinquished child.

    Sorry for all the different posts!

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  10. Damian

    September 28, 2011 at 5:19 am

    Hi cb, no problems with the link. There are a few other scientific articles which show the lack of disclosure, but I only linked one in that article I wrote.
    Consanguinity is certainly an issue. You only have to look at recent news reports of one donor having 150 offspring (and counting) to realise that in a defined geographic area that that can cause problems. And that is not even mentioning the other issues which can involve having to deal with that many relationships (siblings) and the emotional strain of feeling like being created as part of a herd. Apart from the offspring of Genghis Khan, this number of siblings is almost unheard of in the history of the world.
    Thanks for sharing your story, it is always interesting reading about others experiences. I really appreciate it.

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  11. Damian

    September 28, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Consanguinity was definitely something I had to consider when “dating”. Luckily my wife is so unlike me and I was able to meet her parents early on that it was easy to determine that it was not going to be a bridge we would have to cross.
    This issue is something many of my DC friends are worried about when dating. But if the other person is not informed then you are up against a brick wall.

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  12. momsomniac

    September 28, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    I considered “donating” eggs when I was in my late 20s…because I didn’t want to starve. The road I went down instead is one I don’t want to talk about on the internet. Unlike sperm donation, it is an invasive, painful, risky procedure. There are a variety of reasons I didn’t go down that path to survive, but I don’t think many women would risk future infertility for a case of beer.

    I honestly don’t think the comparison to sperm donation is entirely valid. In fact, I see the $ offered for egg “donation” as predatory. As the OP implies, the people who are targeted for egg donation are the same ones likely to be targeted to reliquish their babies.

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    • The adopted ones

      September 28, 2011 at 11:18 pm

      Oh I definitely think it is predatory to offer a young woman $80K or more for her eggs. That is about the cost of my first house…

      Seriously horrifying that no one is saying this is WRONG.

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  13. Damian

    September 28, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Hi Momsomniac
    the case of beer analogy was not directed at egg “donation” but rather sperm and is proportionate to the amount of payment (that would be a LOT of cases of beer with current egg payment values). Perhaps I should have been clearer in my original post (all offspring my age are sperm donor offspring and I was referring to my own situation with that quip). The students that were often targeted, sometimes (not always) used the money to go out and get drunk on the weekend. How do I know? Been to university, saw and spoke to those who did it. For older donors, we know that typically their reasons for donating are different and more complex.
    Yes, egg donation is invasive and risky. My bugbear in this regard is that I don’t think many of the egg donors are fully aware of the risks involved to their health and fertility. And we are yet to see the long term outcomes of the high dosage hormone treatment to stimulate mass maturation of eggs. Some people are suggesting that it may lead to higher incidences of cancer as hormones can stimulate the growth of tumours. Hopefully in time we will get a better understanding of these long term effects, and hopefully for those undergoing this, it is not an increased risk.

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    • momsomniac

      September 28, 2011 at 11:11 pm

      Thanks. I suspect that many sperm donors realize MUCH later that they have BABIES. But maybe I’m deluding myself.

      I am grateful that I had a decent enough education to understand that egg donation might mean…terrible things for me later. It saved me MUCH grief.

      I know I can’t imagine how this feels for the children.

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