Melinda Beck’s piece in today’s Wall Street Journal was overall accurate. It even acknowledged the cost for the recipient side.
It also acknowledges the ASRM’s limit on compensation and mentions one donor agency that ignores it, since “the offer brings in donors who might not otherwise be interested.” But that is just the point of the limit; a compensation of $50,000 can be unduly coercive. Furthermore, since any legitimate clinic is a member of the ASRM and therefore pledges to abide by its guidelines, what clinic would agree to work with these donors? These exorbitant fees depend on ethical breaches by more than just the agency, but the doctor as well.
The ASRM’s compensation limit was set in 2000, and reiterated in 2007 but not updated. I think the changing times require an update to $12,000 or more. But until it is official, in our egg donation program we will keep our compensation at $10,000. It is worth it to keep our ethical standards.