Eggsploitation – new film on the human egg industry

Elizabeth Marquardt, researcher on donor-conceived children
Image by Edith OSB via Flickr

I’ve seen a lot written lately about children conceived through various reproductive technologies – most recently Elizabeth Marquardt‘s excellent study “My Daddy’s Name is Donor” (executive summary and full study available online).  Seven or eight children of one father found each other; children searching out their biological parents for health histories or because they simply feel  a need to know the person(s) who share their genes – what feels like a part of themselves.

There has been less written about the donors and the system of donation. This is partly because donation, unlike adoption, has very little regulation. Only 12 states have any law at all about harvesting eggs, and the laws vary a great deal from each other.  The drugs and procedures used to “harvest” the eggs were, for the most part, developed for other purposes.  A new film highlights the vulnerable young women – often straddled with college debt – who sell their eggs. They undergo medical procedures with some immediate risk – and unknown future risk.

I’m not sure if this film will be screened anywhere in Duluth, but I suspect it will be of interest in my Family and Society course this year.

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