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Can you do a swapsies?
Donor eggs and surrogacy

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#1 PooksLikeChristmas

Posted 28 August 2012 - 02:37 PM

I know donor eggs and surrogacy are meant to be 'altruistic' only, but can you do a swapsies- can you donate eggs in exchange for surrogacy services? I don't know how mental this sounds, but I'm just really wondering if that's possible, or more, if that's legal.

#2 Lokum

Posted 28 August 2012 - 09:58 PM

Interesting idea.

I think the laws are against taking money (or something of commercial value), so they wouldn't specifically reclude a swapsie. You still have to go through all the counselling hoops, and I think the treating hospital/clinic's board of ethics.

Assuming one woman had eggs but no uterus, and the other had the uterus but no eggs.... and you're trying to create one baby for each family.

The complication is that the uterus woman has to go through two whole pregnancies. Which baby would she gestate first? What if there were complications, and after the first baby SHE had to have a hysterectomy, or was advised another pregnancy would be unsafe for her?

How would you divide the egg harvest? Do you do one stim and split the eggs? Or one stim per family? I know that in the US they have deals where a family requiring donor eggs can pay for the cycle of a poorer woman doing IVF for some other reason (eg male factor infertility), and they agree to split the resulting eggs from the cycle ... but this seems revolting to me. And in effect, it's still selling eggs.

If you decide that Family A's baby will be gestated first, how many embryo transfers do you all do in trying to get her PG, before you switch and start trying to get her pregnant with Family B's embryos? Or do you alternate transfers between the families until she gets pregnant?

What if the egg donor never got her baby, but the uterus woman did... and so the egg donor knew she had a genetic baby, but no baby of her own?

I think this is why they usually prefer egg donors and surrogates in Australia to have finished their families before being altruistic.

There are a couple of decent books out there on the ethical considerations of IVF, though mostly they seem to come down in favour of everything goes - the technology's there, people will do it somewhere in the world, it's inevitable, so why not? One called 'The Baby Trade' was particularly alarming to me... and another by a famous UK IVF pioneer I read recently.

Haven't heard of this in Australia or elsewhere though.

#3 PooksLikeChristmas

Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:28 PM

Thank you, that has certainly given me a lot to think about.

Perhaps in theory it could work, but practically, there are a lot of complications and hurdles to overcome.

I've always intended to donate eggs once my family was complete. I know someone who needs donated eggs. As we would ideally like another baby, but for a range of reasons don't feel I can go through another pregnancy, we have been spin-balling all sorts of ideas including surrogacy and other options, it's all in very early days. I have also been wondering whether any of those ideas are do-able and whether I just need to accept that our family is complete. I think the point you made about donors and surrogates needing to have finished their families is the crux of the problem. Thank you for squashing what I suspected was a silly proposition with your logical response.

#4 Lokum

Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:56 PM

Sorry, I didn't think you were asking for yourself. I thought it was a bit of a hypothetical.

I was just sort of throwing ideas back - don't let the idea be squashed simply by my musings. We got lucky (twice!) with straight forward, non-donor IVF. There are people who've confronted and dealt with much more complicated situations than us.  

I've done a fair bit of reading... but it's different to actually living it.  

I would (personally) be much more able to conscionably consider a swapsie with another woman in Australia than using a surrogate from a developing country (or a commercial surrogate even form the US.)

Even with all the apparent complications to be worked through... I would feel more comfortable explaining that conception to my child, than that I paid a disadvantaged woman in a far away place to risk life and health (in effect, I bought you!)

Anyway, your baby is still quite young, so don't rule out that your feelings or ability to cope with another PG could change over time. Otherwise, you could just separate your willingness to donate eggs, from the question of how to expand your family without another pregnancy and see what life offers up (depending on age, of course!).

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