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The baby-making boom and bust
How the economic downturn is causing a bubble in egg and sperm donations
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haritable donations may be down these days, but one type of donation is booming: egg and sperm, said Bella English in The Boston Globe. Fertility clinics are reporting anywhere from 20 to 100 percent jumps in donor applications versus a year ago. “But there’s a paradox”: The same factor that is pushing up interest in cashing in on our sperm and eggs—the economic downturn—is crimping the demand for costly assisted fertility procedures.

Egg and sperm donations can be pretty rewarding, said Lynne Terry in the Portland Oregonian, with eggs fetching $5,000 a “donation” (women get paid for their time, not their eggs) and sperm deposits (up to twice a week) going for $100 a sample. But donors can’t just “saunter” in—they undergo a rigorous screening, and most are rejected.

I guess “desperate times call for desperate measures,” said Kerry Skemp in Bostonist. Still, it’s “troubling that tough times may force people to give up a part of themselves out of desperation rather than desire, and give rise to biological children they may never connect with.” Let’s hope the economy recovers before we see people “cutting out their organs in the bathtub for a buck.”

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