Payment for Egg Donation
Many people are shocked when they hear that women get paid for a donation of some of their eggs – and rightly so, because payment for live human matter is illegal – locally and internationally, for obvious reasons.
In this article, we discover that while payment for eggs is not legal, egg donation is legal in South Africa and it is also legal – and fair – for egg donors to be compensated for their time and effort.
Payment for eggs is not legal
The truth is that international law prohibits payment for any live human matter, including human eggs and sperm. Similarly, here in South Africa, the law prohibits the payment, offer of payment, or advertising of payment for eggs, sperm, embryos, or surrogacy services within South Africa.
So, while no money may be paid for eggs, eggs can still be donated – like sperm or blood is donated by many people every day.
Egg donation is legal in South Africa
Egg donation is legal and widely practiced in South Africa, governed by strict national laws and international best practice.
It is good to know that South Africa has amongst the best egg donation laws in the world, which protect both you as the donor, as well as the recipient of the egg donation.
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.
Compensation for egg donors is legal
In the case of egg donation, it is also legal in South Africa for egg donors to be reimbursed or compensated for their time and effort.
Understandably, this compensation is sometimes perceived as a “payment” for eggs, but it is not a payment for a donation, just like you don’t get paid for donating blood or donating clothes to a charity.
There is no compensation for donating blood or donating clothes, because these donations do not require much time or effort. The selfless act of donating eggs, however, involves significantly more time, effort, involvement and expenses than say, donating blood, or donating sperm, or donating an hour of your time to a charity.
In fact, a quick overview of the process will illustrate. Donating eggs starts with completing medical questionnaires and compiling an Egg Donor Profile (which is anonymous and confidential). Once you are selected by a couple requiring an egg donation, you will need to attend a 2-hour appointment to see one of our fertility specialists and our psychologist, and have a detailed medical examination, including routine investigations and a psychological assessment. The actual egg donation cycle starts with 10-12 days of fertility injections, as well as about four doctor’s appointments over this two-week period for regular ultrasounds to check the development of the eggs and to ensure that the medication you are taking is responding well with your body. Egg donors are also required to take a full day off work or daily activities on egg retrieval day for the 30-minutes procedure and recovery at home.
From this, it is clear that egg donation requires quite a bit more time and effort than donating in other ways. For this reason, egg donors may legally be compensated for the significantly more time, effort, involvement and expenses required when donating eggs.
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.
The compensation paid recognises that egg donors – the selfless women who are willing to donate their eggs to help another woman become a mother – go above and beyond what the average person is willing to give. The compensation ensures that the process of donating does not cost more than you are already giving.
How much is the compensation
So, by law, egg donors in South Africa can be compensated for reasonable expenses – such as travel expenses for getting to and from the clinic for the various appointments, medications, consultations, examinations, blood tests and for the procedure on egg donation day, all of which require time, effort and commitment from the donor.
Currently, the maximum permissible compensation allowable in South Africa under the National Guidelines from the South African Society for Reproductive Medicine (SASREG), is R7000 per donation cycle.
You can donate more than once, but the regulations also limit the number of donations that can be made by a single donor to six live born children from their donated eggs.
No cost to you
At Cape Fertility, we believe it is fair that donors are compensated for their considerable time and effort, and to cover any expenses they may incur in making this substantial donation that can help another experience the joy of their own baby. If you are already giving so generously, it is right that there should by no cost to you!
At Cape Fertility, we make sure your donation does not involve any costs to you and that you receive the maximum permissible compensation allowable in South Africa under the National Guidelines from the South African Society for Reproductive Medicine (SASREG), which is currently R7000 per donation cycle.
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.
And even if you do not live in Cape Town, don’t worry… when you are selected to donate, we will arrange for you to travel to Cape Town, at no charge to yourself!
Of course, there are also egg donation scams, and the best way to protect yourself against this 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 https://sasreg.co.za/ for a list of accredited clinics.
Your medical safety during the egg donation procedure should be a primary concern.
During every step of your egg donation at Cape Fertility, one of the largest and most reputable fertility clinics in South Africa, you are supported by our medical team of fertility specialists, qualified nursing sisters, our resident psychologist and our dedicated egg donor co-ordinator (also known as our Egg Donor Fairy God Mother) Linda. This team has been caring for egg donors’ emotional and medical needs for many years, have safely completed thousands of treatments and are dedicated solely to taking the best care possible of our egg donors, before and after their 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!