There Is an International Market for Human Eggs

In the U.S., a full-service egg implantation — including a donated egg, the lab work and the IVF procedure — costs upward of $40,000.  In Cyprus, you can get the same service for $8,000.

Nearly 25,000 egg donations are performed in Europe for fertility tourists every year.  More than 50% of those surveyed traveled abroad in order to circumvent legal regulations at home.  The Cypriot government estimates that, each year, 1 in 50 women on the island between the ages of 18 and 30 sells her eggs.

“It is twice as difficult to adopt a cat as it is to procure a human egg,” says Glenn Edwards McGee, editor of The American Journal of Bioethics.

Full story here.  HT to Marginal Revolution.  Do you have a problem with any of this?  Tell us in the comments section.

Comments (7)

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  1. Joe S. says:

    Fascinating. In so many things, individual governments are becoming increasing irrelevant.

  2. Ken says:

    If they are allowed to, markets work.

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    This appears to be far less expensive an ordeal than a routine infant adoption in the United States. IN addition, you would not have to deal with all the red tape of a foreign adoption.

  4. Bruce says:

    As a libertarian, I think this is just fine.

  5. Virginia says:

    I do not see why Americans have put up with such an expensive market for what seems to me to be an elective procedure when it is available overseas for much cheaper.

  6. C Lewis says:

    Several states require that insurers provide coverage for IVF. The procedure is hardly life-threatening (ie, it is a pure consumption service rather than preventative or life-saving service). This in turn helps contribute to higher premiums for everyone in the state. What I find fascinating, is that in many cases we subsidize the choice of women to put off having children until later (when it is both more expensive and higher risk). Hence, I prefer leaving this to the free market. If you want IVF, pay for it out of pocket. The service will be cheaper and probably of higher quality.

  7. Amanda says:

    I’m currently pregnant via IVF. The procedure, done in the US, cost about $14,000…including meds and using my own egg. I don’t remember how much more a donor egg was, but it certainly wasn’t 40k. The clinic I used has one of the highest success rates in the country, according to SART. We looked into going to other countries…Czech Republic, India, Spain. But the clinics we contacted quoted a much lower chance of success for my age group than the stats of the clinic we ended up using. I’m sure that somewhere in the world there are clinics that have success rates as good as the best ones in the US, but I doubt if they’re as cheap as most reproductive tourism clinics. When we factored in the cost of 3 weeks of Paid Time Off, it was no cheaper per % of chance of success to go overseas.