Ethnic Economics Of Egg Donation
May 04, 2012, 02:41 PM
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From the L.A. Times:
Asian women command premium prices for egg donation in U.S. 

The high prices reflect growing demand and a shortage of willing donors. Asian women can get about $10,000 to $20,000 for their eggs, while women of other ethnic groups typically get about $6,000. 

... Fertility industry experts say there are several reasons Asian eggs are in demand, including a cultural aversion to adoption. If a woman is infertile, they say, many Asian couples would prefer to use the husband's sperm with a donor's egg to conceive a child that carries at least half of the couple's genetic identity than to adopt a baby from other parents. 

Demand is also high among Jewish couples, many of whom put off having kids to pursue higher education or careers, clinic operators say. According to a report from the United Jewish Communities, half of Jewish American women have college degrees and 21% have graduate degrees. They tend to marry later, the survey says, and have lower fertility rates. 

Clinic operators say there has been a shortage of Asian eggs for several years but that the deficit has been exacerbated by two factors: rising Chinese wealth, which has given more couples the means to come to the U.S. for surrogate parent programs, and this year a surge in Chinese couples interested in having babies in the Year of the Dragon, considered the luckiest year in the 12-year zodiac calendar. 

One reason for the lack of supply is that Asian women are less likely to go through the discomfort of egg donations out of financial need. On average, Asian women earn higher salaries and are more likely to be college-educated than their counterparts in other racial groups, according to Labor Department statistics. Asian females out-earn white women by 13%, black women by 31% and Latinas by 52%, the agency said. 

"A lot of young women who elect to be egg donors do so for financial reasons," Vorzimer said. "But many Asian and Jewish donors who are in such high demand are young ladies who do not need that financial compensation. They are financially secure, so they don't need to donate their eggs to fund a college education or a down payment on a first home."