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Australians to Import Donor Eggs from United States
March 14, 2013
Reports out of Australia say couples will soon have greater reproductive options due to a new agreement that allows Aussie women to import donor eggs from the United States. Until now, couples who were looking into donor egg in vitro fertilization (IVF) found themselves in competition with one another due to the shortage of donor egg supply.
For women struggling with Premature Ovarian Failure (POF), Advanced Maternal Age (AMA), recurrent miscarriage, or several failed IVF cycles using their own eggs, egg donation had proven a difficult option to pursue.
A contract between Monash IVF clinic and World Egg Bank located in the US will allow fertility patients to peruse the donor database and have donor eggs shipped to Monash. This agreement will make donor eggs a stronger option for couples who have previously resorted to advertising for donors, partaking in reproductive tourism (traveling to other countries to undergo donor egg IVF), or even acquiring eggs from unapproved sources. It has been reported that some Australian women have paid as much as $100,000 for donor eggs in other countries despite having no legal protection. Fortunately, these women can now obtain donor eggs safely, and legally.
It is not uncommon for Australian fertility clinics to contract with international sperm banks, but this will be the first time a clinic partners with an international egg bank.
Per Australian law, donors cannot be compensated for their eggs, but can be reimbursed for medical costs up to $5,000. Australian donors must reveal their identity so that children born of donor eggs can contact their donor (if they so desire) after the age of eighteen. Donors are limited to the number of times they can donate eggs, and their eggs can only be distributed amongst 10 families. After this point, they are prohibited from donating eggs, which has contributed to the shortage.
The cost for Australian women to import donor eggs will average $19,000. An additional $3,500 after Medicare rebates will be incurred to cover the costs of fertilization and transfer.