In hard times, more U.S. women try to sell their eggs
Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:44am EST Email | Print | Share| Reprints | Single Page[-] Text [+]
By Michelle Nichols and Angela Moore
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Drawn by payments of up to $10,000, an increasing number of women are offering to sell their eggs at U.S. fertility clinics as a way to make money amid the financial crisis.
Nicole Hodges, a 23-year-old actress in New York City who has been out of work since November, says she has decided to sell her eggs because she desperately needs cash. "I'm still paying off college. I have credit card bills and, you know, rent in New York is so expensive," Hodges, who has been accepted as donor and is waiting to be chosen by a couple, told Reuters Television.
Hodges said there was also some satisfaction in helping an infertile couple have a child. "Yes, the money is very nice, but it's nice to be able to let a mother who wants to be a mother be a mother," she said.
Fertility organizations across the country said there had been a growing interest. The Center for Egg Options in Illinois has seen a 40 percent increase in egg donor inquiries since the start of 2008.
"There is an economic climate that encourages women to find creative ways to make money," she said. "That doesn't mean that anyone interested in egg donation actually goes on to donate because so few women are actually eligible."
Bernardo said only 5 percent to 7 percent of the applications she received resulted in the retrieval of eggs. An ideal candidate, she said, was in her twenties, healthy, attractive and well-educated.
Egg donors undergo medical, psychological and genetic testing as well as a background check. If selected, a donor must undergo hormone injections until her eggs are ready to be retrieved.