Limitations on the compensation of gamete donors: a public opinion survey

A national survey found that although a narrow majority of people oppose a mandated ceiling on sperm and oocyte donor payment, few believe that compensation should exceed $10,000.

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Volume 107, Issue 6, Pages 1355–1363.e4


Malinda S. Lee, M.D., M.B.A., Leslie Farland, Sc.D., Stacey Missmer, Sc.D., Elizabeth S. Ginsburg, M.D.



To determine public opinion on gamete donor compensation.


Cross-sectional web-based survey.


Not applicable.


A nationally representative sample of 1,427 people in the United States.


Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measures

Support for the compensation of gamete donors.


Of 1,427 respondents, 51 (4%) disagreed with use of IVF for any indication, and 232 (16%) believed that oocyte and/or sperm donation to be always unacceptable. Of the remaining 1,185 respondents, 953 (80%) supported and 41 (4%) opposed paying sperm donors; 1,063 (90%) supported and 24 (2%) opposed paying oocyte donors. Of respondents, 90% believed that appropriate compensation for one cycle of oocyte donation should be less than $10,000. A total of 559 (47%) supported a limit on sperm donor compensation and 544 (46%) supported a limit on oocyte donor compensation. Individuals who had personal knowledge of someone with infertility or who used assisted reproductive technology (ART), and Republicans compared with Democrats, were more likely to support limits on both oocyte and sperm donor compensation. Divorced compared with married respondents were less likely to support limits on gamete donor compensation. Men were less likely to support limits on sperm donor compensation.


Most respondents in a nationally representative cohort support compensating gamete donors. Although most do not support limits on gamete donor compensation, most agree the appropriate payment for one cycle of oocyte donation is in line with former American Society for Reproductive Medicine guidelines.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.