If you’ve been trying to have children without success, and you’ve investigated IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), then it’s probably not a surprise to you that there are fees associated with acquiring eggs from an egg donor. It’s probably also not a surprise if to you if you’ve been looking for an Asian egg donor, that Asian egg donors can command fees much higher than the norm.
In a recent news report, that figure was as high as $100,000 for an egg donation from an Asian donor. By contrast, a typical fee received for egg donation is between $5,000 to $10,000 in the U.S. Typically fees vary due to the experience of the egg donor. A successful retrieval and pregnancy means an egg donor will receive higher fees for a second donation.
The ideal Asian donor is a young female, under 30 years of age, and one who has attended or is attending an Ivy League or top tier college. It helps to be pretty (prospective parents get to see a picture of the donor), and have a good health history as well. Because there’s much more demand for Asian egg donors than there are Asian women willing to be an egg donor, the amount prospective parents are willing to pay has steadily increased through the years.
In Great Britain, Canada, and Australia there are laws against payment for egg donation, and as such it’s harder to come by egg donors in those countries, with many of those nationals coming to the U.S. to find an egg donor, another factor that contributes to the increasing demand for Asian egg donors in the U.S.
There’s another factor that contributes to fewer Asian egg donors, and it’s cultural, as “Linh”, the Asian egg donor in the CBS news report indicates, there’s cultural taboos against giving away part of yourself, and she herself has kept secret her egg donation activity from her parents.
Back in 2004, when my other half and I decided to have a family, as a gay couple, one of our few choices was IVF along with surrogacy. We had to select an egg donor, and even back then Asian egg donors were rare, and the fees they received were higher than other egg donors. While our egg donor (a Caucasian female) received $5,000 in fees from us, the two available Asian egg donors were listed at $7,500 and more.
While other countries may prohibit payment to egg donors, after learning what an egg donor has to go through as part of the egg donation process I have to say they definitely earn their fees for the difficult process that is part of egg retrieval. In addition to surgery, egg donors have to go through daily shots of fertility drugs for 3 to 5 weeks, and lots of medical tests as well.
There’s one last reason why Asian women are less likely to become egg donors. There’s a psychology around egg donation (and one around being a surrogate as well). The surrogacy firm we used, screened both parents, donors and surrogates before allowing them to participate in the process. As it was explained to us, egg donors and surrogates were typically women who were very independent, and had a fierce sense of right and wrong.
It was especially true of women who worked with this firm, as they knew going in they were working only with gay couples who were trying to become parents. These women had to have these psychological traits because they usually chose to become egg donors or surrogates usually in defiance of what others in their life thought of their decision. While I know I’m using a stereotype, being independent and defiant isn’t a trait typically associated with Asian women.
So, if you’re an Asian woman, why would you or wouldn’t you choose to be an egg donor? Or a surrogate for that matter since there are some couples out there that insist on an Asian surrogate and there seems to be a lack of Asian surrogates as well.