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Archive for June, 2007

Egg Donor Compensation

June 21, 2007 | By: | Filed under: Current Affairs

Okay, so I read the article in The New York Times about egg donors and how ALL egg donors donate eggs for the money.  I wanted to puke.  I happen to know a lot of egg donors who didn’t JUST do it for the money.  Believe it or not some donors really do WANT to help people have babies.  And I also happen to know from personal experience after 6 IVF cycles that this isn’t exactly a fun, pain-free process and I think that monetary compensation or a gift (whatever you want to call it) is appropriate.  But at what point is that compensation crossing a line?  In the UK, donors cannot receive any compensation and as a result there are no egg donors.  Clearly, some financial incentive must exist for people to be able to build their families through egg donation.

However, notwithstanding whatever The New York Times may think, I have never met a donor who asked for $50,000 to donate her eggs.  I’ve heard about them from many sources, including from that famous argument on The View (and again I wanted to puke–so much judgment from people who know so little about what it’s like to be infertile).  These uber expensive donors may well exist, and they may have every right to ask for $50k (although I think the ASRM would have something to say about that), but I personally think they are urban legends.

What do you think about donor comp?  Do you think it’s fair to compensate donors?  Do they get enough money?  Too much money?  Should it be taxable income (in all states but California it is not taxable income unless and until the IRS issues an opinion)?

When responding to this blog, please refrain from flaming anyone, legitimate opinion is what we’re after here . . . lively discussion, but I will take down any comments that are offensive.



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What Do You Think People Need to Know?

June 21, 2007 | By: | Filed under: Thinking Out Loud

Our office gets lots of phone calls each day from clients and prospective clients who have questions – questions about what to do first, what to do now, what they should have done, and what their best next step would be.  A big part of our practice involves giving advice to prospective parents, egg donors and surrogates on what exactly is involved in the path to family building they are undertaking. And that doesn’t even address the thousands of questions people have about adoption!

So….we’ve decided to make some of the answers to our most frequently asked questions available in an easy to read, readily available format.  We will be making fact sheets of some of those frequently asked questions (“FAQ sheets”), and including our answers, in the hopes that we can share the knowledge and expertise that makes our office so effective in helping to build families through assisted reproduction technologies.

Here’s where you come in – what do you want to know?  What are your questions?  Are you a prospective parent wanting to know exactly what the process of an egg donation cycle entails?  Are you a donor with questions about what is expected from you by intended parents?  Are you someone interested in becoming a gestational carrier, but don’t know how to begin the process?  Are you thinking about adoption but don’t know where to start?  Are you a birth parent and don’t know what’s involved in placing a baby for adoption?

What would you like to know?  What do you think people need to know if you’ve been through the process (and learned valuable lessons that can help others)?

What aspect of assisted reproduction or adoption are you confused about, or don’t know enough about and want to learn more?  We will try to incorporate your questions into our series of FAQ sheets.

Feel free to post here anonymously, or you can email your questions (confidentially) to info@storklawyer.com

Thanks for your help!  We look forward getting your questions!



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Let me Introduce Myself

June 4, 2007 | By: | Filed under: Egg Donation

Hello everyone!  This is my first post on the blog, so let me start with a short introduction.  My name is Danielle, and I am an associate in Liz’s office.  I started working with Liz as an intern during my last year of law school at Pace University, and never left!  I really enjoy the work that we do; as an attorney, it gives me such joy that I can actually help my clients build their families.  What an amazing job!

Part of what I like so much about this job is the fact that I get to deal with clients on a daily basis.  This is such an exciting and emotional time in our clients’ lives, and I am privileged to be a small part of it.  While much of our client base is made up of intended parents, we do also represent our fair share of donors.  I really enjoy working with the donors.  I think on some level it may be because I can relate to them more – I am just out of law school, have a crushing student loan debt, and have not yet started to even think about building my own family.  I find that most of the donors we work with (of course there are exceptions), are in the same situation and same point in their life as I am.

Lately, there has been much discussion and controversy over whether donors should be compensated for their donation of eggs.  The New York Times wrote an article on it.  They talked about it on The View.  The general concern is that potential egg donors – girls in the same life and financial situation as me – can be blinded by the promise of some “fast cash” and agree to cycle after cycle of egg donation, without ever giving thought to the fact that they are helping to create human beings that are genetically related them, and without thinking about the possible consequences to their own fertility of multiple egg donation cycles.

I get a little defensive when these types of stories pop up.  Sure, there are donors who are purely doing this for the money.  And sure, if compensation for egg donors suddenly became illegal, there would probably be a much smaller pool of women willing to donate.  But, from my experiences, and from the experiences of those I’ve talked to, many of the women who have chosen to become egg donors have not taken this decision lightly.  They are intelligent, caring, thoughtful women, and they know that what they are doing is so much more than just making a quick buck.

I am always so (pleasantly) surprised after speaking with a donor.  Much of the conversations I have with them are, obviously, about their contract with the intended parents.  The donors I have been lucky enough to work with have all shown me that they are taking this process very seriously – they have well-thought-out comments and concerns about the process and the legalities.  They also genuinely care about the intended parents they are cycling with, and whether the intended parents will have a successful cycle or not.  On the whole, the donors I have worked with are wonderful people.

So…when talk on the View turns to rumors about donors demanding $60,000 for their eggs, I shake my head in disgust.  It is my hope that intended parents considering using donor eggs do not get discouraged by the “horror stories”, and realize that most donors are doing this for the right reasons – to help make their dreams of building their family a reality.

Danielle



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