I was pretty shocked to read about Surrogenesis and the disappearance of monies owed to donors and surrogates, and this, of course, has sparked a new round of debate about regulation of surrogacy and donor agencies. It is a pretty complex issue and I do worry about more regulation into egg donation and infertility in general.
Think about the FDA regulations? Yes, the communicable disease testing in the 30 days window is obviously a great idea, as are the “check-lists”, but not allowing donation by young women who lived in Northern Europe in the early 90’s, due to possible exposure to “Mad Cow Disease”??? WHAT??? I had to turn down a young women born in England in the late 80’s, who lived on a Air Force base and who grew up in a “vegan” family….WHY…. cause she could have been exposed to “Mad Cow Disease” from tainted organ meat in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Not withstanding that this variant of the disese that everyone is freaked out about shows up within 1-2 years, this was 20 years ago. But I digress….
With regulation comes more “rules”. Right now it appears that no one pays attention to the ASRM/SART guidelines for egg donation. Many agencies that do not adhere to the guidelines, in such areas as compensation, still appear on the list of agencies vetted by ASRM/SART. I am listed on the ASRM/SART guidelines and we adhere to the compensation guidelines 100%, but many of my peers are listed and still advertise $10,000 compensation. So, in this case, voluntary adherence to guidelines does not always work.
As with the rest of the world, not just fertility, it appears that greed got the better of the people running Surrogenesis. It is a sad and appalling fact that a former surrogate has disappeared with 60+ families money, essentially denying them the dream of a family to feed her greed. Not much different than Lehman Brothers, Bernie Madoff, AIG, the list is endless. Now we can add Surrogenesis to this greedy group.