Danish women offered holidays in the sun to become egg donors

A company is trying to circumvent the law in Denmark which forbids the sale of eggs

Ben Tufft
Sunday 10 May 2015 17:11
A Danish sperm bank wants to encourage more female egg donors (PA)
A Danish sperm bank wants to encourage more female egg donors (PA)

The world’s largest sperm bank is offering holidays to egg donors in Denmark to evade the country’s law banning the sale of eggs.

Copenhagen-based Cryos International Sperm Bank will pay for foreign trips, to supplement the minimal compensation that is permitted to egg donors under Danish law.

Women will be able to donate their eggs anonymously or to a specific person in return for the trip.

In an apparent discrepancy in the law, male sperm donors can be paid directly in Denmark, but female egg donors cannot.

Women are entitled to a maximum of 2,400 kroner (£233) as financial compensation for their time, however. But this is much less than in other countries across the EU - in Sweden women can receive up to 9,000 kroner (£704).

To encourage more women to come forward Cryos will pay for what they term “wellness holidays” to Spain and Greece.

Donors will also be offered the opportunity to store their eggs at foreign clinics for 10 to 15 years, should they want to use them in the future.

The head of the sperm bank, Ole Schou, does not see anything wrong with offering extra incentives to encourage women to become donors.

““I don’t see anything unethical in it,” he told the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten. “The Danish rules are absurd and detrimental and on top of that it is discriminatory that here you can sell sperm but not eggs.”

Despite lobbying the government for years, Cryos has been unable to persuade the government to change the law and was forced to open a foreign subsidiary.

“We want to help the childless, but we are also a private company and therefore we need to sell eggs in order to make money. And if we can’t do it in Denmark, they we have to do it somewhere else,” Mr Schou added.

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