In 2003, egg donations were legalised in Sweden. Ever since then, there's been a vast shortage of girls willing to give away their eggs to couples who have difficulty getting babies au naturel.
One of the main reasons why girls don’t want to donate eggs is because the procedure is pretty long and can have some serious side effects on the donors, especially if they want kids of their own. It’s not like you lock yourself into a room and have a look in some porn mag and cum in a cup. Egg donors have to go on a hormone overdose for months and have surgery to be able to give away an egg. Also, kids who are made with the help of egg donors have the right to look up their biological mum when they get old enough. Pretty scary if you donated a bunch of eggs to pay back your student loan and 18 years later all these people come around and want to compare their nose with you.
To boost the amount of donors in Sweden, one region in the South, Skåne, has decided to triple the compensation to donors from 3,000 SEK to 11,000 SEK. Some critics say that the pay raise is bad because donating an egg should be charity, and the money is just there to cover costs for travel and lost working hours and not to pay off student loans. We asked some Swedes on the street if their eggs are for sale and what price tag they would put on them.
VICE: How much are your eggs worth?
Johanna, 24, fashion student: Loads. They are really expensive!
That depends on who wants to buy them. I guess they would be cheaper for a friend than for a total stranger. But selling an egg seems a bit weird. I mean, helping someone getting pregnant feels like something you’d do for charity, not to earn some money.
OK. You can get around 3000 SEK if you donate an egg in Stockholm. Is that enough if the egg is for someone you know?
Yes, 3,000 would be OK if it was for a friend... it really isn’t something I’d do to get some extra cash. But I guess that if I really have to put a price on my eggs and give to someone I don’t know, I’d say 100,000!
VICE: Hey you. How much for your eggs?
Matilda, 16, student: My eggs are not for sale.
Because they are my eggs and it doesn’t feel right to give them away.
Some couples in the US look for donors online and offer loads of money. What if you got 50,000 SEK for one egg and you’d make a childless couple happier?
I don’t know... I probably wouldn’t sell them no matter how much money I’d get.
VICE: Hello! If you had some eggs to sell, what would be their price?
Joel, 26, personal assistant: That depends on if I already had kids of my own or not. I guess I’d sell them for less if I had kids because then I’ve already used some of my eggs for myself.
But right now, say that you had eggs and you don’t have kids. If you sell them in Stockholm you’ll get 3,000 SEK, but in Skåne you’ll get 11,000 SEK.
Well, it’s totally worth the trip to Skåne. However, if there’s a chance I get sterile, I probably won’t do it.
According to experts, the risk to get sterile is tiny.
Well I’ve been doing clinical trials in the past. I got 40,000 SEK from [medical manufacturer] Astra Zeneca for taking part in some nerve tests. I guess that was pretty risky. So if I were a woman, I’d probably be one of those who would give away their eggs, to the highest bidder though.
So what, you would go the US and sell your eggs for like 50 000 SEK on Craigslist?
VICE: Would you sell your eggs?
Moa, 18, student: Yes. Because I think everyone should have the chance to get kids.
How much would you sell them for?
I don’t know. It’s difficult to say. How much do you normally get?
Around 3,000 SEK in Stockholm and from June 2012 you’ll get 11,000 SEK in Skåne.
Well, then I’d say 3,000 because I’d do it as a charity thing rather than for money. But I guess I will donate eggs after I get my own kids in case the donation would have some implications on my health.
What about passing on your genes to someone you don’t know?
I don’t see what the problem is with that as long as the kids have loving parents.
VICE: Hi guys. Are your eggs for sale?
Siv, 49, teacher: Well, I’m too old to sell my eggs. But if I had given birth and had some spare eggs, I’d give them away without any doubts!
Keren, 45, prison officer: Me too. It wouldn’t hurt to get some money but I’d probably give them away for free.
So you wouldn’t put a price on your eggs?
Siv: Maybe if I was in need of money. But I could easily give them away for free.
Keren: I don’t need any money to donate an egg.
There’s a shortage on egg donors, do you think a higher compensation will get more women interested in becoming egg donors?
Keren: I think that the communication about this initially has been really bad because I’ve never heard that there’s a problem with getting egg donors. If I knew, I’d give mine away straight away. I think the raise in compensation will get more potential donors interested in getting involved.
Siv: I totally agree.
What about the potential risks?
Keren: I’d donate my eggs after getting my own kids.
Siv: Exactly my point. There are probably loads of women who are in their thirties and already have all the kids they want. Then why not help someone who wants to experience the blessing with having children but can’t on her own?
VICE: Are your eggs for sale?
Vilhelmina, age withheld, personal sales assistant: Absolutely not. My genes are something really personal and my children are all about love. Making babies is something that should come from the heart.
What about if you got loads of money for your eggs?
No money in the world could ever change my mind.
What if you already had your own children and had some spare eggs to give to a friend?
No way. Children are all about love.
Previously: Who Would Play You in a Film About Your Life?