I always thought women who sold their eggs for money were only characters in Lifetime movies or weird 20-something college dropouts trying to make a quick buck. A few months ago, however, a friend of mine told me she was planning on studying abroad and when I asked her how she was financing her trip, she casually replied, “Oh, I’m selling my eggs.”
Immediately I had a hundred questions racing through my head. “Why are you selling them? Who are you selling them to? Are you going through a random Craigslist ad or a legit agency?” She told me that donating was an easy decision, knowing her eggs would help a couple have the child they always wanted and the money would pay her rent and finance the trip of a lifetime.
The idea of selling my eggs never sounded too appealing to me. But as my friend went on to tell me she made $8,000 from the transaction, and as she explained to me her reasons for donating, I became more intrigued with the idea.
San Francisco is not cheap. I’ve been living in this city a little more than a year now and I have already acquired $15,000 worth of debt. I knew living on my own wouldn’t be easy but I didn’t know pursing the life and education I always dreamed of would cost me so much. I’m a full time student who works part-time and barely makes enough to keep my head above water. If I work extra hours my grades suffer but if I don’t work at least four to five times a week, I can say goodbye to my social life and hello to eating microwave burritos for an entire month.
The conversation with my friend left me wondering, what if my purpose on this earth isn’t to grow up, get married and have a family? What if my purpose is to help someone whom I’ve never met create a family of his or her own?
With the reality of being a broke post-grad with a degree in liberal arts sinking in, I started to think more about my friends egg-donating experience and began to do some research of my own.
To become a donor, I would have to go through a psychological screening. This is to ensure that I would fully understand the benefits and risks of egg donation. Basically, psychologist and agencies want to make sure I am aware that donating my eggs would mean there would be a kid out in the world somewhere who looks just like me.
Apparently for females, passing on our genes is not as easy as ejaculating into a cup. The actual egg-donating procedure is relatively painless and takes only about 30 minutes but for about three weeks prior, you have to physically, mentally and hormonally prepare your body for the egg retrieval, according to Egg DonorAmerica’s website.
After taking all the health and psychological risks into consideration, I’ve decided that injecting myself with hormones for a couple thousand dollars isn’t such a far-fetched option after all. If I ever decide to donate specifically to get out of financial bind, I think I would try first exhausting all other options–loans, waitressing or asking my parents for money. With a conscious mind and a good heart, I would consider donating my eggs as a good deed. I’m not sure if I will ever really decide to donate or if I will have children in the future, but if I do, I would proudly tell them that when mommy was in college she had the opportunity to help a family create their miracle baby. For me, that’s one benefit that outweighs any risk.