A young woman in China was reportedly paid 250,000 yuan (around $41,000) in exchange for 20 of her eggs, a local TV investigative report revealed.
In the exposé, which aired earlier this week, a Shanghai Television reporter posed as an egg donor herself and arranged to meet a black market broker last month, SCMP reports.
While undercover, the reporter used a hidden camera to record some footage as she waited for her turn to be interviewed along with a couple of other women in an office lobby.
During the interview, she was asked a variety of questions, ranging from her extended family members’ medical history to her academic scores per subject. She later found out from the other girls that some donors were able to negotiate the highest possible offer for their eggs, using their appearance, health, and education.
One of the girls the reporter met was a university student from Shanghai who was able to sell her 20 eggs for 250,000 yuan. The woman claimed she used some of the money to buy an iPhone Plus 7.
“I don’t think there is any risk to this,” the woman would later tell the journalist. “Another girl who I came here with is doing it for the second time.”
The report further stated that most of the donors were in their 20s, while the intended recipients were in their 40s. Donors were not allowed to be in direct contact with the recipients.
According to the broker, the medical personnel who worked on the procedures were working surgeons from top-tier hospitals on the mainland. However, instead of a hospital, the egg-harvesting procedure was conducted in an office building.
“The process is safe, with no risk and is quick,” the broker was quoted as saying. “In return, you receive a large sum of money. The baseline pay … is at least 10,000 yuan. There are cases where some donors are paid more than 100,000 yuan. We pay you as soon as we get your eggs.”
Despite the company’s claims of safety, a medical health expert was quoted by the program as saying that undergoing harvesting in unregulated conditions places donors at risk of a life-threatening condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.