A renewed debate has been sparked about the ethics of recruiting young women from overseas to donate their eggs to Australian women.
ABC News reports that South African fertility company called ‘Known Egg Donors’ who promotes itself in Australia is due to send at least one South African woman to Brisbane this month to donate her eggs for a planned IVF treatment.
Under Australian law, paying for egg donation is illegal and only reasonable expenses can be reimbursed to the egg donor.
The company website states, “Known Egg Donors is committed to helping source suitable international egg donors while following the Australian egg donor regulations.”
The website also states its egg donors “are not paid for their eggs”, but they are “reimbursed for all fair and reasonable expenses incurred during their stay while abroad”.
A woman receiving eggs from a South African donor in Brisbane this month will have the treatment at the Queensland Fertility Group.
Dr David Molloy, Medical director for the centre, told the ABC, that donating eggs is a difficult process.
“To be an egg donor you’ve got to go through a full version of the IVF cycle – 10 days of injections, an operation under an anaesthetic to retrieve the eggs, and that requires complexity, risk and discomfort.”
Dr David Molloy said it was extremely common in his experience for patients to bring in relatives from overseas for matched egg donation.
“These are privately recruited donors and match recipients, who’ve been matched up and, you know, I’m not privy to all the details of how the matching and introduction has occurred.”
Dr Malloy said his organisation’s primary concern is the health and safety of the patients.
“We don’t need to know all of the details about how patients meet each other, whether they do it over the net or whether they do it over coffee, but what we need to be involved in very much is making sure that the standards of care are absolutely impeccable.”
Dr Malloy said his clinic strictly adheres to Queensland’s IVF laws.
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