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Cross Border Gamete Donation

Petra Thorn, Geman family counselor, presented interesting dynamics on this topic at the SASREG 2015 conference.

South Africa is one of the sought after destinations for egg donation.  We have an attractive offering of professional fertility treatment, established and reputable egg donation services, donor/ gamete anonymity as well as ultruistic motivations for donations - keeping the fees at bay.  The situation is quite different in other parts of the world.

Cross border donation is an option for recipients where their home country restricts gamete donation.  Challenges include:

It is key to establish accurate information around the country to ensure a professional outcome and quality service.

Alarmingly, the rate of multiple pregnancies following egg donation is much higher than it should be.  In South Africa, fertility specialists ae moving towards single embryo transfer following improvements in freezing technology and with the inight of always putting the patient first.  Unethical practices may consider increased numbers of embryos to be transferred, increasing pregnancy rates.  Unfortunately this may not always be in the best interests of embryos/ babies and mothers.  Multiple pregnancies may impose a higher risk.

In Germany, Switzerland and Norway, egg donation is prohibited.  These citizens look to Spain, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Finland and South Africa for egg donation treatments.

Italy's ban on egg donation was lifted in 2014 and Austria's ban on egg donation lifted in 2015.

Cross border donations impacts on many spheres:

  • Geographical  - physically crossing borders, obtaining appropriate travel documentation, we recommend Travel IQ to assist in this regard.
  • Political - the unique political climiate of the country being considered for treatment, egg donation treatments in South Africa are undertaken in key established economic cities in South Africa.
  • Legislative - understanding the legal parameters of such a country, all required legal information about third party reproduction in South Africa can be found here.
  • Moral - South African fertility bodies are constantly addressing best behaviour and best practices, the SASREG 2015 conference considered many discussion points to ensure all practices are always in bonos mores - in good morals.  Egg donors receive a fixed donation of R7,000 - an amount established by the Department of Health for their efforts. No higher amounts may be paid, with the exception of for costs associated with availing themselves to donate, e.g. travel and transport.  South African fertility clinics do not work with egg donation agencies who encourage South African egg donors to travel abroad.  baby2mom has signed an affidavit verifying its devotion and committment to only having interests within South African borders.
  • Time - time is required to plan and facilitate cycles, to travel, etc.  South African fertility clinics are experienced to provide a detailed plan to recipients weeks in advance of their trip to faciliate optimal planning.
  • Unknown - whilst unknown factors will come into play in any situation, with such an established process and protocol for egg donation in South Africa of years of experience and thousands of egg donation cycles, recipients are welcomed in South Africa for this treatment.  baby2mom has been involved in egg donation facilitation since 2007, with experience in over 1,300 cyles as at the end of 2015, also the first egg donation agency worldwide to launch an egg donation app.  

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