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UK Considers Paying Egg and Sperm Donors

UK government officials are reconsidering a ban on paying egg and sperm donors. According to the BBC, between 2004 and 2006, the number of women who used donated eggs and sperm fell by 25% and 30%, respectively, and more couples are going abroad for fertility treatment. Professor Lisa Jardine, head of the Human Fertilsation and Embryology Authority, believes payment may encourage more donors to come forward.

Jardine commented, “I’m not saying the decision arrived at before I became chair wasn’t the right one at the time, but given the evidence that egg shortage is driving women overseas, I feel a responsibility to look at it again,” according to Reuters. Currently, egg and sperm donors can earn a maximum of 250 pounds for expenses.

In December, Jardine plans to lead an open discussion of paid donors, reports The Hindu.

Sources:

BBC 7/27/09, Reuters 7/27/09, The Hindu 7/27/09