This morning on the Today show, viewers met Robin Young, a pretty, athletic, 28-year-old woman who has donated eggs three times and is getting ready for a fourth procedure. Robin, a dancer who reads Back Stage, was recruited for egg donation via a very specific ad in the magazine.
According to NBC's Katy Tur, Robin replied to an ad seeking a "green-eyed Italian beauty." Sounds like a casting call. And in a way, it was: After going through a background check and a health evaluation, Robin was interviewed by the couple hoping to use her DNA. She told Today: "I was so nervous, I kept smiling. But I wanted them to feel and know who I was."
Of course, Robin didn't just donate her eggs purely out of the goodness of her heart. She earned between $8,000 and $10,000 each time.
I remember seeing these ads when I was younger and thinking I would never do that, my eggs are mine, I would feel weird about someone related to me wandering around out there in the world, etc. Now that I'm older and my eggs are near their expiration date and completely undesirable, I wish I had $40,000. And, of course, I think about how it helps the people who want a child so badly but face obstacles. As far as looking for a "green-eyed beauty" goes: On the one hand it feels like creepy genetic engineering from a sci-fi movie, a world in which beautiful women beget beautiful women and everyone is just as hot as possible. On the other hand: if a couple is trying to insure that their offspring look a certain way — like themselves — well, that's understandable and fairly common. My friends will talk about guys and say "He'd make pretty babies."
We'd love to hear your story if you've ever been an egg donor. Want to tell it anonymously? just email email@example.com.