More American women selling their eggs for cash
In the recession, more young American women are becoming interested in being egg donors. Egg donors are compensated anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 for an egg retrieval.
The process to become an egg donor isn't an easy one. To become an egg donor at Egg Donor Surrogacy USA, an agency based just outside of Washington DC, young women fill out a 10 part application that includes psychological screenings and checks of their health and academic records. Only 20% of the women who apply to become an egg donor through the agency are selected.
Profiles of the selected donors are featured on an internet database where intended parents can browse through pictures of the donor and read up on their hobbies, academic achievements and family health backgrounds.
"If they happen to have the feeling that they're going to have babies out there we don't accept them into our program. We look at a candidate who looks at the whole thing like I look at blood donation. I donate blood, I don't care where it goes and that's the kind of thing we're looking for as well," said Susan Ondr of Egg Donor Surrogacy USA.
"They have all different kinds of requests. Intended parents can order up anything they wish. Some of my parents want an exact duplicate of the intended mother….my most challenging case was a PhD couple that I was working with and they had to have a donor that had a PhD as well," she said.
Dr. Pierre Asmar started the agency after working in reproductive medicine for 15 years. He saw an increase in career oriented women who were looking to beat their biological clocks and have babies later in life. About half of Dr. Asmar's business comes from abroad where egg donation is illegal.
"We can serve those patients who come in just for a period of week have their treatment completed, enjoy a vacation or visit to Washington DC and then be able to travel back," he said.
The donors and Dr. Asmar and Susan Ondr see the process as giving the ultimate gift to families in need.
"I don't think of it as my child because it's not just my child, it's an egg…I do think about it I definitely do now that I have kids of my own but it's not something that bothers me. It's my part in helping them get a family that they want," said Megan Heyer, an egg donor.