According to a lawsuit filed today in a Lake County, Ill court, an infertile couple claims an unregistered surrogacy agency, Angels in Waiting Surrogacy Center, was in cahoots with a woman who used an alias to donate her eggs more than a dozen times, in violation of industry guidelines.
Although the infertility industry remains self-regulated, there are specific standards that all reputable agencies adhere to in order to protect egg donors and intended parents. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine Guidelines, published in June 2009, states, "the maximum number of stimulated oocyte donations from a single donor is six."
The couple says they were falsely assured by the agency that they would obtain the donor's medical, psychological, pregnancy and egg donation history to ensure she was a viable candidate. When they demanded their money back from the surrogacy center, its owner closed the company down and reopened under another name.
It's unfortunate that we are seeing another case of potential fraud being brought to light; this time in Illinois. Given the time, effort, inconvenience and invasive nature of egg donation, it's hard to imagine a woman going through the process just for the compensation.
As quoted in the Courthouse News Service today, Chicago's ". . . ConceiveAbilities, says compensation may be based upon the donors "location, number of previous donations and ethnic diversity." But the company "strongly advises any egg donor not to apply if compensation is the sole motivation."
I think this case serves as another reminder of the importance for potential intended parents and donors alike to do their homework to ensure they are partnering with an established, reputable agency.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.