HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Selling Eggs

The Times UK discusses the new book by Debora Spar called, "The Baby Business," and examines the unregulated market for eggs from young, smart women in the United States.   The article reports, 

“We are selling components of children,” Professor Spar said yesterday. “My whole argument is I would much rather we ’fess up to what we are doing and regulate it than push it under the carpet, as we have been doing with egg donation.”

As other countries tighten their rules, America’s loosely regulated market is becoming the world centre for egg donation. The Government’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has tracked a 40 per cent surge in the use of donor eggs, from 10,389 in 2000 to 14,323 in 2003, the latest year for which figures are available. Stem-cell research, still in its infancy, could add to demand for donor eggs.

Selling organs is illegal in America. But human eggs, like sperm, are not covered by the law. Nevertheless, fertility clinics insist that payments to donors are intended to compensate their time and effort rather than purchase the egg.

Thanks to the Huffington Post for this cite. [bm]

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