Egg donation is most-often presented as a harmless solution for men and women alike who are not able to have a biological child of their own. An article published at Everyday Feminism by a gay man treats both surrogacy and egg donation unquestioningly, “educating” women on the supposed reality of egg donation without even considering the impact on the women he and his partner have employed to fulfil their desire for a child. The author concludes his article by saying:
“If you’re interested in helping infertile couples and non-traditional families like mine, egg donation is a wonderful gift you can give someone.
You’ll need to be interested in more than just making money, though.
The cash you do make, you really have to earn. It won’t be enough to change your life, because part of the reward is knowing how much you’ve changed someone else’s.”
Like surrogacy, egg donation is commonly presented as simply a generous gift offered to needy parents (though of course, in the US it is not so much a “gift” as a financial decision, as donors are paid thousands of dollars for their so-called “donation.”)
But a combination of capitalism, a lack of information, a view of women’s bodies as commodifiable resources, and this idea that we are somehow entitled to a baby of “our own” has resulted in serious consequences for women.
A new documentary called Eggsploitation delves in to the largely hidden, potentially dangerous side of becoming an egg donor.
In this episode, I speak with Jennifer Lahl, executive producer of the film and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network about the booming egg donation industry and its impact on women.