Copyright (c) 2002 Law and Society Association, University of Massachusetts
Law and Society Review
PAPERS OF GENERAL INTEREST: Collaboration and Commodification in Assisted Procreation: Reflections on an Open Market and Anonymous Donation in Human Sperm and Eggs
36 Law & Soc'y Rev. 257
Mary Lyndon Shanley
During the academic year 1999-2000 an ad appeared for a few weeks in the newspaper of the college where I teach: "Special Egg Donor Needed - $ 25000," said the headline (Miscellany News [newspaper of Vassar College], 3 Dec. 1999, p. 22). The text continued, "We are a loving, infertile couple hoping to find a compassionate woman to help us have a baby. We're looking for a healthy, intelligent college student or college graduate, age 21-33, with blue eyes and blonde or light brown hair. Compensation $ 25,000 plus expenses. Your gift of life would bring great joy. Please contact us through our representative" (an 800 phone number followed). 1 An ad placed in some other college newspapers offered $ 50,000 for the eggs of an athletic, 5-foot-10-inch woman, who had scored at least 1,400 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (New York Times [Metropolitan Edition], 3 Mar. 1999, p. A10). Another ad, placed by an agency, that ran almost every week in my campus newspaper stated, "Being an Egg Donor Is an Awesome Gift" and offered $ 5,000 plus expenses to any donor who was "healthy, age 21-30, a non-smoker, and average weight" (Micellany News, 24 Mar. 2000, p. 5). Such offers are attractive to some of my students, both those who want altruistically to help others, and those who are concerned about the financial debt they have incurred from student loans. More than personal considerations, however, should arise in thinking about whether or how to respond to ...
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