March 15, 2010

Human Egg To Be Raffled Off

A British fertility clinic announced Sunday that it will raffle off a human egg this week to promote its "baby profiling" service, which it maintains is legal under current UK law.

The London Bridge Fertility, Gynecology and Genetics Center said the winner can select the egg donor by education, background, and race. The treatment would take place in the United States.

Women who are interested in conceiving a child through in vitro fertilization are asked to attend a seminar on Wednesday, which is organized by the Genetics and IVF Institute of Fairfax, Virginia, a partner of the London Bridge Fertility.

One person at the seminar will win 19,750 dollars worth of free IVF treatment in Virginia.

British law bans the sale of eggs for profit, and donors must agree that they can be identified and contacted by their offspring once they reach 18 years of age. Because of this rule, donors are in short supply.

US laws allow women to sell their eggs, up to 10,000 dollars per egg, depending on the desirability of their profile. GIVF egg donors are university students between the ages of 19 and 32, and do not include overweight women and those who smoke.

"There is an increase in the number of women in Britain who are seeking alternative routes (to domestic IVF)," said Michael Summers, consultant in reproductive medicine at the Bridge Centre. "And it's much more difficult to find donors in the UK because of the policies in place," he told AFP.

The service is legal because it is the patient who chooses to participate. Summers said that the company only provides information on the services available.


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