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Friday, December 8

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The Editors / October 14, 2004 11:41 PM

(Please note Shylo's Public Notice column on the subject.)

Steve / October 15, 2004 7:31 AM

Sell it? I've been giving it away for 20 years....

Seriously, for a guy -- why not? We're always making more. Women, I think, have a far tougher call on this issue.

Michael / October 15, 2004 8:14 AM

Where do I sign up?

jennifer / October 15, 2004 8:30 AM

I would never sell them, but I'd donate to a family member.

jennifer / October 15, 2004 8:31 AM

if that's even possible, i guess.

eep / October 15, 2004 9:16 AM

I think I'm with Jennifer. Unless it was someone I knew and cared about, I can't imagine doing it. I know that sounds selfish, but I don't think I could know there's a half-me child out there somewhere whose life I couldn't be a part of. That's just ... weird to me.

Mike / October 15, 2004 9:25 AM

I kind of agree with eep, but I'm more afraid of having someone that looks exactly like me running around out there. They'd dress like me, talk like me, and they'd walk like me, but then they'd have a sinister-looking mustache and they'd rob banks.
The police would arrest me and then hilarious comedy would ensure when I try to clear my name.
In the end, we'd both end up fighting on the roof of some building, and my girlfriend wouldn't know which one of us to shoot.
So to make a long answer short: No I would not sell or donate it.

robin.. / October 15, 2004 9:33 AM

okay, gamete donation for chicks is very, very invasive, both surgically and in terms of an intrusion and imposition on one's natural hormonal cycles. the money they offer at this time, i think, is not quite worth the sacrifice. yet. if they get better at it, or start ponying up more fairly, it would be something i'd be more likely to consider. one the one hand, i've got great genes and i'm really healthy and i've got wide hips and great mammaries; from a purely biological standpoint, i was made to make babies. lots of them. why shouldn't someone, who is ready for and really desires a child, benefit from that which i am likely to never use (being personally anti-baby, and let me stress--because i know that there are a few parents on this board--that i don't really care if you choose to have kids at a reasonable age because that's your choice)? on the other hand, i'm very aware of issues of class and economics in the treatment of infertility; why should i undo the work i can do towards more sustainable (or, if we all do our parts, zero or even the storied NEGATIVE) population growth--work in which i strongly believe--so certain people (those with the money and the access) can reproduce?

okay, that's a little heavy for the morning. but i was very unemployed for a long time and i looked at those ads with vague want for many weeks...

Brenda / October 15, 2004 9:37 AM

If I wasn't required to take fertility drugs... I'd do it. Or would have, when I was still in that desirable age range ;) Although I think I'd still need a little more $$$ to make the pain and discomfort worthwhile. The only women I know who have done this for altruistic reasons are women donating to family members. Otherwise... there's not just enough motivation to donate eggs to strangers.

brian / October 15, 2004 9:58 AM

Is donating sperm or eggs that different than donating blood? You give biological material to someone else. After it's left your body, is it still yours? I don't think so.

steven / October 15, 2004 11:04 AM

if i was desperate for money, i'd probably donate sperm. however, at this time it wouldn't help anyone, having undergone the "snip" a year ago. for women it's a much more difficult decision, given the risk of the procedure. but it's also a lot more money than the $50/wad we guys get, if that's still the going rate.

and i don't think you can compare giving blood to giving eggs/sperm. one will help sustain life, the other produces an entirely new life. and if i'm not mistaken, the body continually produces new blood, so if anyone received my blood 2 years ago, it's no longer a part of them. but if they received my sperm, i'm with them, i'm a part of them, forever.

emily / October 15, 2004 11:09 AM

I used to think about it, but now that I'm married and plan to have a family with my husband, I probably wouldn't. I think I am too much of a control freak to have a child of mine running around without being able to be a parent to him/her.

But if a family member or good friend asked...I might consider.

Andrew / October 15, 2004 11:23 AM

I don't really have any strong convictions one way or the other. Assuming the little guys can swim, I suppose I'd be willing.

Follow-up question: Would you ever use donated sperm or eggs?

margot / October 15, 2004 11:50 AM

For only 5k? Not bloody likely. If the going rate were to inch up to $15-20k, then maybe it would offset the invasive surgery and emotional issues and I'd consider it.

However, I would freeze eggs to make sure I could have kids post-35....has anyone here, or anyone you know, done this?

Michael / October 15, 2004 11:50 AM

And how often can one donate sperm? Is it like blood, where you can only do it every few months or so? Or can you donate daily? Seven days x $50 = a fun part-time job.

diane / October 15, 2004 12:07 PM

Donations help those who are unable
due to cancer, etc. I think it's a generous
and compassionate act. I looked into it
way too late. Now I'm too old. My sisters
are donating, however.

Ruthie / October 15, 2004 1:02 PM

I've seen rates as high as $30k for Ivy grads and people with astronomical SAT scores.

I still don't think I'd do it, though.

There was a great New Yorker article on the topic several years ago that described the process of putting the woman through a false menopause, then pumping her full of hormones in order to ripen hundreds of eggs at once. When her ovaries had swelled to roughly the size of small oranges, the doctors dig in through her belly button and Harvest! Harvest! Harvest!

TK / October 15, 2004 1:22 PM

Sadly, I think of this daily. Seriously. I have so much credit card debt. It makes me sick and it is my own fault. But the kicker of a mini me around and not knowing...and have them look me up later or something.....or admit this to someone...FOILED AGAIN! If i was a guy I think I would do it daily though...

TK / October 15, 2004 1:24 PM

Sadly, I think of this daily. Seriously. I have so much credit card debt. It makes me sick and it is my own fault. But the kicker of a mini me around and not knowing...and have them look me up later or something.....or admit this to someone...FOILED AGAIN! If i was a guy I think I would do it daily though...

Heather S. / October 15, 2004 2:00 PM

Nope. It would kill me that someone there is half my child. I don't even think I could sell my sperm if I were a guy...

Lucy / October 15, 2004 2:37 PM

I had my daughter when I was 24. Shortly after my Dr. approached me about donating eggs to a couple in her practice. She said I was the perfect candidate with one healthy child, a grad degree, no drug history, etc. They were offering upwards of $20,000. I wanted to be able to afford to stay home with my daughter for a bit and the moeny would have helped. I met with them and even considered it for some time. I questioned why they didn't want to adopt and help some kid that really needed a good home. The woman really wanted to go through the birth process and admitted she was nervous about the adoption process. At that time I decided I didn't want to do it. I felt like if she couldn't love an adopted child or a child she felt hadn't come partially from her then I wasn't comfortable with it. There were too many unanswered questions as many have raised in the above posts at that time.

Recently, I ran into them on the street with my daughter (now age 4) in tow. They still did not have a child. I looked at the way she looked at myself and my daughter. i noticed the "track" marks in her arms from trying various therapies to get pregnant on her own. There was such pain in her eyes and she tried to not to cry. My feelings shifted slightly. I realized that no matter how wealthy or happy they were that part of her still felt so empty. Somehow now looking back at being pregnant I understand somewhat the longing in her for that experience. She asked me if I would reconsider, but I am still not ready to do it for many reasons. Part of me really wishes I could get over my issues and help them. I feel much more empathy for people in that situation now.

Roni / October 15, 2004 3:06 PM

I use to ponder it when I was in college. But my SATs weren't tops, I didn't go to Harvard, and I wasn't aware of a big market for Latina eggs. *shrug* But now I have Ella as proof of how cute my eggs are! ha!

Seriously, I couldn't do it. Esp after having Ella. I could not stand to think that her sibling was out there without me.

Thurston / October 15, 2004 3:58 PM

I think a lot of the comments on here speak to the power of the maternal instinct. A lot of the females seem to be unsettled by the possibility of not knowing if their genes are out there or not. I wouldn't donate my sperm because there are already enough people in this world without parents for there to be a reasonable compromise for those unable to produce children but who want them nonetheless. However, if I did not feel that way, I really wouldn't care what happened to my sperm donation, and, as harsh as it is, I wouldn't want to have any contact with any children who had resulted from it. In fact, concealing my identity for perpetuity would be a condition of my donation. I think a lot of guys would share that sentiment with me.

Aroy / October 15, 2004 5:59 PM

I guess I'm a little surprised to be the first one to chime in on this - I've done it. Donated, not sold, for my sister who went through (extremely) early menopause.

To Mike, I did have a dream once about the baby being born (literally emerging) as an 18-inch version of me - fully clothed, adult, etc, but tiny... Shockingly, it was nothing like that when my neice was born!

Except for the belly button part, that New Yorker article was pretty accurate, and all told, there's no amount of money that would make me want to go through that again. Don't get me wrong - I'm thrilled that I did it, and delighted that my sister and her husband, who are fantastic parents, have the family they dreamed about, and, it takes a lot of the pressure off me (don't intend to have kids), since my mother can see what her grandkids might have looked like, BUT it was definitely not a "natural" process, and it took several years for my body to get back to some sembalence of normal (it's still different).

In the final analysis, I guess I think it's a great gift, but you've really, REALLY got to understand, consider, and accept all of the ramifications.

So there!

Aroy / October 15, 2004 6:26 PM

P.S. I'm really sorry, but I did put in a false e-mail link above (why is this required?) - I guess, this being a volatile issue for some, I didn't really want to be contactable. Again, sorry for "cheating".

Ron / October 15, 2004 11:41 PM

I'd sell some sperm but sections of the Patriot Act now make it illegal for me to breed.

Damned Republicans

Kris / October 16, 2004 1:01 AM

I don't think I could donate sperm to a stranger. If a friend or relative were to ask, I'd consider it—after all, I'm not using them (for the intended purpose, that is), and it's easy enough, physiologically, for us guys. But not to a stranger; I feel like I'd never stop thinking about that hypothetical kid.

As for using donated goodies, as a gay guy it's something I have to think about if I want kids; using a surrogate or adopting are my only choices. It's still off in the future and quite abstract, but I think I lean toward adopting over a surrogate, even if it were someone I knew. As long as I'm being a Selfish Hedonist, I might as well help a kid that's already in the world rather than create new life, right?

Sharon / October 16, 2004 1:59 AM

Hell yes I would sell my eggs. $5000 is serious business. I'd do it every month if I could. Im actually in the process of filling out a questionaire for one of the agencies. Sadly, I don't think my eggs are in that high demand. I always thought my parents were full of it when they told me getting a good SAT score would pay off. Now I curse myself for doing drugs instead of studying, I deal with this self-resentment by doing more drugs-- of course, the egg agency mustn't know about this. I just hope the little mes running around in 20 years don't have the same problem. Or, if they do, I hope they lie on their questionaires when they go to sell their eggs. My bosom will swell with pride.

Chris / October 16, 2004 1:47 PM

Cool, tell me where I can sell them. I need the cash. I don't care if there are mutant copies of me runing around. The more of me the merrier I say!

Sami / October 16, 2004 10:27 PM

I guess being a spiritual person I would have to say no. I don't think I could ever handle the idea of knowing that there is some kid our there wandering around who is my son/daughter and has no clue who the hell I am....

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