July 7, 2009

Recession prompts sperm, egg donors

The recession has prompted a surge in people seeking payment for donating their sperm or eggs, health officials say.

Sperm banks have reported a sharp increase in the number of would-be donors. But they add many of them are dissuaded when they realize there's an exhaustive process of screening that must be completed, USA Today reported Tuesday.

Kim Springfield of Health News, an Irvine, Calif., company that operates a national referral service for donors, told the newspaper that inquiries from donors have shot up 40 percent in the last five months. But, she adds, the necessary medical and psychological screening can take months to complete.

Our calls have just about doubled, said Robin von Halle, president of Alternative Reproductive Resources in Chicago. But, she warned, It's not a quick buck.

If they are approved, sperm donors can expect to receive $100 per collection, which they can add to twice a week, while women who undergo an extraction procedure can receive up to $5,000, officials from an Oregon laboratory told USA Today.