Female students at Cambridge University have been targeted as potential egg donors after leaflets urging women to help an infertile couple were discovered on campus.
The leaflets, written on behalf of a couple believed to be graduates of the University, read:
“We are looking for a real-life angel to be our egg donor.
“If you are compassionate, kind, healthy and between 18 and 35 years old, could you help us? We can imagine no greater gift than the chance to love a child.”
Changes in legislation, which came into effect in April, allows donors to receive financial compensation (though not direct payment), with a limit of £750.
However the tactic of leaving flyers has raised concerns that students, some who many not be aware of the potential risks of the procedure, may be enticed into donating out of financial hardship.
The flyers, which were created by Altrui, a Yorkshire company specialising in altruistic egg donation, said that the couple suffered from “genetic disorder” that causes “repeated miscarriages”.
The company charges £1,300 to source eggs for infertile couples.
Altrui’s owner, Alison Bagshawe, told the Daily Mail:
“There are couples who are desperate to have someone find them a donor and I can’t afford to do it for nothing. I have to pay a mortgage and eat.
“I find the donors and support them going through treatment, then send them to licensed centres who take over at that point.
“It really isn’t about money – £750 for what these donors have to go through doesn’t begin to do it.”
Cambridge University has yet to comment.