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.

Image source: Shutterstock


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  • yeah you would want to know where the eggs came from etc. it is not like buying a random milk from the shop where any will do!


  • I wonder if truly informed consent occurs for the young women – there can be long term consequences of being an egg donor.


  • Mmmm, opens up a big can of worms doesn’t it!!!


  • It is incredible how many options there are now to help couples fulfill their dreams of having children. I do hope these egg donors are not being exploited.


  • If it makes people who are desperate to have a family, dreams come true, then I see nothing wrong with it. So long as the woman aren’t being exploited.


  • I’ve used IVF, and I’ve gladly supported friends who have used a surrogate. But I really think we need to do some serious public policy work around this, to protect the kids who are emerging from these (often wonderful) situations.

    • I absolutely agree – there needs to be policy work to protect both, women and children.


  • Women in some countries can sometimes be exploited and I hope checks and balances are in place to make sure women are not being exploited.


  • I think it’s fantastic that there are women willing to become egg donors. In my idea egg donation should be legalized. I passed through different cycles of IVF myself and I know how painful it is when you want to become a parent and nothing is functioning.


  • It shouldn’t be illegal here so people dnt take desperate and sometimes unsafe measures to get donor eggs from overseas.


  • How do they screen the donor to ensure they aren’t carrying any diseases or risk of hereditary condtions?


  • I have an issue with this stuff – it seems long gone are the days of being happy with your family situations whether that was none, one or many. There is something that I simply don’t agree with about starting a family this way. So much suffering in the world already – lets support those that already need support.

    • Disagree completely; let people decide what makes them happy; regardless of how they do it.


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