In this article, we survey different European countries and find that they pay their egg donors anywhere from 250 to 2,000 euros for an egg donation cycle
Paid egg donation is not technically allowed in many countries. However, in the UK and Spain, egg donors can only be compensated for their time attending doctor’s appointments – but this can add up to a decent sum. This is not the case in countries such as Czechia, Bulgaria, and Finland, where donors can be compensated in addition to their medical costs.
Anonymity also plays a crucial role. In many countries, anonymity is still allowed for sperm and egg donation, but some governments now require donors to disclose their identities. We examine how the payment and identity requirements affect donor motivation in different countries.
Which countries have the highest numbers of egg donations?
According to 2017 data from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), Spain and Czechia lead the way for egg donations. Of course, everyone has their own motivations for this act. One Spanish donor, who we’ll call Ana, says she is “happy to be able to help people who cannot create a family.”
That said, many people are motivated by the payments they can receive for egg donation. For instance, 1000 euros is around the minimum monthly wage in Spain. That makes 2000 euros, the average payment for an egg donor, an attractive sum.
Other donors, on the other hand, are more motivated by financial compensation.
Egg Donor compensation in different European countries
Many countries establish upper limits for compensation to help ensure altruistic motivation, at least in part.
Spain – You cannot pay for egg donation directly, but donors can be compensated for their time, inconvenience, and travel.
Finland – Donors can be compensated €250 in addition to medical costs.
Greece – Donors can be compensated €1,200 in addition to medical costs.
Bulgaria – Donors are compensated a rate equivalent to 11 weeks of the national minimum wage.
Belgium – No set limit; every clinic sets its own compensation, often up to €2,000.
UK – According to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), clinics can compensate donors for their travel, accommodation, and childcare expenses, which can reach around €893 for each egg donation.
Eight other EU member states – Forbid clinics from paying compensation, but they do allow donors to be reimbursed for their expenses. These countries include Austria, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Poland.
Italy and Romania – Both forbid financial compensation of any kind for egg donors.
Germany – Completely forbids egg donation.
Cyprus and Estonia – The only European countries with no regulations on the matter.
Sperm donation pays less than egg donation
Of course, sperm donation pays far less than egg donation. Sperm donation is a relatively quick procedure that requires no discomfort or risks. On the other hand, egg donors must undergo invasive, uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous procedures that can last weeks or even months.
Sperm donors often donate sperm many times, and so they can earn compensation multiple times. Here are some of the rates that European countries offer sperm donors per donation.
Greece – €200
Germany – €80 – €150
Denmark – €67.20
Portugal – €45
Spain – €55
Bulgaria – €15
UK – €41
Nine EU countries, including Croatia, Hungary, Austria, and France, do not specify compensation rates, but they will reimburse for travel costs. Italy and Romania forbid payment of any kind.
Interestingly, Italy records very few sperm donations. In 2019, 90.3% of donated sperm in Italy was imported from other countries.
What role does anonymity play in the decision to donate?
In countries where the donor’s identity is kept hidden, the rates of donation are higher. For instance, Spain opposes revealing donor identity, even when the child turns 18. As a result, sperm and egg donation rates are much higher in Spain than in other countries.
However, many people are against donor anonymity, stating that any resulting children have a right to know their origins. Sweden abolished donor anonymity in 1985, and since then, many countries have followed suit. Some countries allow the donor to choose.
What do you think about donor anonymity and compensation? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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