Money for Eggs is Not Legal, But Donation, Compensation and Care Is
Understanding what is legal and what is not legal when it comes to egg donation will go a long way to protect your safety if you are considering donating eggs.
In this article, we look at what is allowed by law and how to ensure you donate only at a legally compliant clinic to ensure your safety.
What is not legal?
International law prohibits payment for any live human matter, including human eggs and sperm. Here in South Africa, our local law similarly prohibits the payment, offer of payment, or advertising of payment for eggs, sperm, embryos or surrogacy services within South Africa.
What is legal?
So, while no money can be paid for eggs, eggs can be donated, just like sperm or blood is donated by many people every day.
Egg donation is legal and widely practiced in South Africa. It is governed by strict national laws and international best practice. The legal and ethical requirements for egg donation are set out by both the Department of Health and South African Society of Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG). The laws of South Africa on egg donation are detailed in the National Health Act of 2004 – in particular, Chapter 8 on Artificial Fertilization govern the activities of egg donation agencies.
In fact, South Africa has amongst the best egg donation laws in the world, created to protect both you as the donor, as well as the recipient of the egg donation. Knowing what is legal and what is not will help you to make smart choices when deciding to donate.
Why is egg donation legal?
It is important to understand that there is a legitimate need for donor eggs. There are many couples desperately waiting for donated eggs to have their own child. These women may simply not have enough eggs, or have eggs of poor quality, or their eggs may carry a certain genetic disorder. Donations of healthy eggs completely changes the lives of these couples and brings endless joy. For this reason, egg donation is legal in many countries, such as South Africa.
What is also legal is the reimbursement or compensation of egg donors for their time, effort and expenses. The maximum compensation payable to egg donors is governed by law, and that the payment is made not by the egg donor agency, but rather by the relevant fertility clinic.
Why is compensation legal for egg donation?
If there is no compensation for donating blood or donating clothes, why is there compensation for egg donors? Well, simply because donating blood or donating clothes do not require much time or effort.
The compensation paid to egg donors are not payment for eggs, just like you don’t get paid for donating blood or donating clothes to a charity. It is compensation for the donor’s input of time and effort, which is quite a bit more than the time and effort required for donating in other ways. In addition, this same compensation is paid to all donors, regardless and irrespective of how many eggs are donated. This is because the payment is not for the eggs, but compensation for the donor’s input of time and effort.
So how much is the compensation? The maximum permissible compensation allowable in South Africa under the National Guidelines from the South African Society for Reproductive Medicine (SASREG), is currently R8000 per donation cycle.
At Cape Fertility, the maximum compensation is paid by us, directly to you, on the day of and after your egg donation. Should you decide to donate again, this compensation is paid to you for every egg donation cycle.
Which clinics are legal?
As egg donation is legal in South Africa, there are many egg donation agencies to choose from.
It is crucial that you choose an egg donation agency that complies with the relevant laws, operates in line with the highest ethical standards and makes your medical safety a priority.
The best way to protect yourself is to ensure you donate at a reputable, certified and registered fertility clinic with an excellent track record.
Visit the South African Society of Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG) at sasreg.co.za for a list of accredited clinics. SASREG guidelines detail how egg donation agencies can operate legally and ethically, to protect the health and well-being of both the egg donors and the egg donation recipients.
At Cape Fertility, we only work with egg donation agencies that follow the SASREG ethical guidelines. Cape Fertility is not only registered and accredited with SASREG, we are also a driving force for ethical fertility treatment in South Africa. We are very proud that our chairman, Dr Sulaiman Heylen, serves as the President of SASREG.
As one of the largest and most reputable fertility clinics in South Africa, we also have our own egg donation program with the option of both fresh or frozen eggs. By joining the Cape Fertility Egg Donor Program, you join our fertility clinic directly without going through an egg donor agency.
At Cape Fertility, we have been leaders in egg donation for 25 years and have assisted in thousands of egg donations. During every step of your egg donation journey at Cape Fertility, you are supported by our medical team of highly-qualified fertility specialists, experienced nursing sisters, our resident psychologist and a dedicated egg donor team.
Dawn Blank is responsible for Cape Fertility’s Egg Donation Program as General Manager Egg Donor Program & Intended Parents Support. She works closely with Linda Krebser – better known as our Egg Donor Fairy God Mother. Linda has many years of experience supporting egg donors and a wealth of information to share, and will answer your questions and guide you every step of the way. She is supported by Zaahira Modack who specialises in Egg Donor Support.
What this caring team means is that at Cape Fertility you can expect dedicated one-on-one attention – including face-to-face consultations with our experienced medical specialists.
At Cape Fertility, we value each individual patient and pride ourselves on providing truly individualised and personalised care. Our team has been caring for egg donors’ emotional and medical needs for many years, and are dedicated solely to taking the best care possible of our egg donors, before and after their egg donation. At Cape Fertility, we also ensure you receive the maximum permissible compensation allowable, currently R8000 per donation cycle, on the day of and after your egg donation.
To find out more, simply fill in your contact details here, or contact our Egg Donor Fairy God Mother, Linda, on 066 22 55 003 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your information is 100% confidential and will under no circumstances be made available to anybody else.
We look forward to welcoming you to our friendly, professional and leading Egg Donor Program!