morally uncomfortable - sometimes I find the whole process of choosing a donor

morally uncomfortable - sometimes I find the whole process of choosing a donor

anonforthis
anonforthis

September 1st, 2010, 12:02 pm #1

morally uncomfortable and the whole process just too strange. Does anyone else feel like this?

I have heard of agencies charging more for good looking university educated donors and less for less good looking/ less educated donors. The donor herself does not receive the extra fee but the agency does.

And the agencies logic?

It makes choosing a less attractive less educated donor more affordable for people with less money. Therefore if you have less money you should have a less 'desirable' donor...I find this nauseating. It makes me think that Spain's system of the doctors choosing the donor for you is so much better...

Am I being overly sensitive? This just makes me feel really sad that having a child has to bring factors like this into the equation...

Anonforthis
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Piper
Piper

September 1st, 2010, 1:57 pm #2

I understand your discomfort and I empathize with your feelings. American Society of Reproductive MEdicine has guidelines in place which state that no donor should receive compensation in excess of 10K. Unfortunately, agencies violate this all the time and clinics simply do not do due diligence in checking this.

ASRM also has a list of agencies who have signed an agreement not to compensate donors beyond ASRM guidelines but some of these agencies on the list do violate the agreement.

You can go with a clinic which has a donor pool and compensates donors the same for their time. Generally, the match is done through a donor coordinator and in most cases (although not all) the donor is anonymous.

A lot of people feel that egg donation is no different than organ donation and there should be no compensation at all. There has been legislation introduced in several states which would ban any compensation to egg donors. Unfortunately, this movement is gaining a lot of traction and has backers on both sides of the political aisle. Egg donation has been deemed exploitative and dangerous to young women and I think we will start to see a lot more legislation in this area- that is not intended to help the IPs.

One of the big things that would help is for IPs to insist that doctors and agencies adhere to their own medical societies guidelines.

Egg donation is a wonderful treatment and the way so many families are able to grow. We, as IPs just need to understand the issues involved with this treatment and work to make sure that it stays available.
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anonforthis
anonforthis

September 1st, 2010, 2:01 pm #3

find so upsetting about this is that the donor does not got a higher fee but the agency does - so the agency profits more when they consider the donor more intelligent/good looking than average. The donor fee is set regardless.....
I am too far involved with this agency now to change and really love my donor but if I had realized this probably would not have gone with this agency......
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Joined: September 13th, 2008, 5:13 pm

September 1st, 2010, 2:45 pm #4

morally uncomfortable and the whole process just too strange. Does anyone else feel like this?

I have heard of agencies charging more for good looking university educated donors and less for less good looking/ less educated donors. The donor herself does not receive the extra fee but the agency does.

And the agencies logic?

It makes choosing a less attractive less educated donor more affordable for people with less money. Therefore if you have less money you should have a less 'desirable' donor...I find this nauseating. It makes me think that Spain's system of the doctors choosing the donor for you is so much better...

Am I being overly sensitive? This just makes me feel really sad that having a child has to bring factors like this into the equation...

Anonforthis
I found the whole donor selection process when I started at a U.S. clinic icky feeling. I never realized that the "premium" donors, the ones with higher degrees, etc., didn't see the money. So I did find it a great psychological relief when I cycled in the Czech Republic that the donor coordinators chose my donor based on a small wish list of characteristics and photos of my husband and me. I do worry about the psychological impact for my boys later on of not having more information about their genetic parents, but I'll have to deal with that later. Maggie (in VA)
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Anonymous
Anonymous

September 1st, 2010, 3:02 pm #5

morally uncomfortable and the whole process just too strange. Does anyone else feel like this?

I have heard of agencies charging more for good looking university educated donors and less for less good looking/ less educated donors. The donor herself does not receive the extra fee but the agency does.

And the agencies logic?

It makes choosing a less attractive less educated donor more affordable for people with less money. Therefore if you have less money you should have a less 'desirable' donor...I find this nauseating. It makes me think that Spain's system of the doctors choosing the donor for you is so much better...

Am I being overly sensitive? This just makes me feel really sad that having a child has to bring factors like this into the equation...

Anonforthis
I see what you are saying about higher compensation based upon looks/degree etc. I personally loved finding an agency donor that I felt that I had a connection with. I also liked her personality, sense of humor and that she was open to meet our children when they turned 18. I was happy to pay extra for this, and don't know if a clinic would have made the same choice as myself. I think its great that people who want an anonymous donor can find one through a clinic, while those who want more information or specific attributes can do so with an agency at a higher cost.
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anonforthis
anonforthis

September 1st, 2010, 4:27 pm #6

and did choose my donor for those reasons - however I think the administrative fee of the agency should reflect what they do in recruitment and management - not that they profit from a donor's looks/intelligence - this IS what really gets me - it ISN'T the donor who gets the money...
Also although this donor is right for me, it doesn't mean she is for someone else...and I would awful if I selected a donor and they said oh well shes not very pretty, bright and a bit old so she's cheap. Yuck.....
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anonforthis
anonforthis

September 1st, 2010, 4:29 pm #7

I found the whole donor selection process when I started at a U.S. clinic icky feeling. I never realized that the "premium" donors, the ones with higher degrees, etc., didn't see the money. So I did find it a great psychological relief when I cycled in the Czech Republic that the donor coordinators chose my donor based on a small wish list of characteristics and photos of my husband and me. I do worry about the psychological impact for my boys later on of not having more information about their genetic parents, but I'll have to deal with that later. Maggie (in VA)
and I really didn't want this process to make me feel like that - I went for more info. because I felt a strong responsibility to be able to tell the child about their genetic origins in depth with the choice to meet later..
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Joined: November 20th, 2006, 6:03 pm

September 1st, 2010, 5:09 pm #8

morally uncomfortable and the whole process just too strange. Does anyone else feel like this?

I have heard of agencies charging more for good looking university educated donors and less for less good looking/ less educated donors. The donor herself does not receive the extra fee but the agency does.

And the agencies logic?

It makes choosing a less attractive less educated donor more affordable for people with less money. Therefore if you have less money you should have a less 'desirable' donor...I find this nauseating. It makes me think that Spain's system of the doctors choosing the donor for you is so much better...

Am I being overly sensitive? This just makes me feel really sad that having a child has to bring factors like this into the equation...

Anonforthis
for the reasons you noted. For this reason we cycled first in South Africa where donors are paid next to nothing, truly do it out of compassion, and then after that used clinic donors (and one agency donor who agreed to cycle for far less than any other I've seen - maybe less than half of what another agency donor would charge). Most recently, due to my many mcs, we used a 5x proven clinic donor - at a new clinic that allows donors input into their fee - and for that we paid through the nose. I will never feel good about that, honestly, and even my RE felt terrible and said she had gotten "really greedy" at the end. However the cycle worked and the pg seems to be sticking for a change (knock wood), and I've decided to try not to think about how all of that came about. Certainly makes me feel less warm and fuzzy about the donor, but regardless, I will be forever grateful for what she have given us. I really can't make myself call it a "gift" as she really, really got us good financially, but still I'm extremely grateful and that's no lie.

So, no, I don't think you're being overly sensitive. It is what it is, and for those of us who find ourselves beholden to donors, agencies and clinics to have our children, overall I have to just say we are very, very lucky to even have this option. We have DE twins and another on the way (knock wood) and I would not change a thing (except I wish they would have come sooner of course). Gratitude, I suspect, will be your overarching emotion too, when you have a successful cycle. Try to make peace with the process if you can, and just move forward. I found working with clinic donors far more palatable, and FWIW, if I were to try to find "me," I couldn't afford her (Ivy educated, national merit scholar, etc). So I found someone who was healthy, nice, bright (per clinic staff), and available - and I could not be any happier with the choices I've made. Best wishes,
Kenny
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Joined: July 23rd, 2008, 6:49 am

September 1st, 2010, 5:20 pm #9

morally uncomfortable and the whole process just too strange. Does anyone else feel like this?

I have heard of agencies charging more for good looking university educated donors and less for less good looking/ less educated donors. The donor herself does not receive the extra fee but the agency does.

And the agencies logic?

It makes choosing a less attractive less educated donor more affordable for people with less money. Therefore if you have less money you should have a less 'desirable' donor...I find this nauseating. It makes me think that Spain's system of the doctors choosing the donor for you is so much better...

Am I being overly sensitive? This just makes me feel really sad that having a child has to bring factors like this into the equation...

Anonforthis
I have always felt that one of the great things about a forum like this is that rats get exposed when we help each other by giving feedback on clinics and agencies.

I know of one agency that takes an additional 10% of the donor's stipend to add to her already exorbitant agency fee. It is easy to see why she might decide to inflate all her donors' going rates! It is truly mind boggling that these people get away with that.

I also have a problem with agencies that list "exceptional donors." I thought we were paying for PAIN AND SUFFERING, not SAT scores, GPA, career aspirations, musical or athletic prowess, or gorgeous looks. Do pretty girls getting their MBA at Harvard suffer more than high school graduates who work as waitresses?

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anonfornow
anonfornow

September 1st, 2010, 5:37 pm #10

with them and have expressed my concerns....I really just don't feel comfortable right now saying who the agency is.
To the credit of the person I am dealing with at the agency they also have expressed discomfort at this situation and mentioned they were going to attempt to address the issue...I will however follow what is happening and update the board.
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