I am a 21 year old woman from NSW, Australia, and I am looking to become an egg donor. I contacted a woman seeking a donor via a popular website for ART on Sunday afternoon and she responded almost immediately. She is very keen to get this show on the road.
I was drawn to her ad because she and her husband were seeking a Jewish donor and I am Ashkenazi by matrilineal descent, which she is very happy about. However, I have become steadily less happy after she has started revealing more details about her situation. There were a couple of small things here and there that I felt should have been listed in her ad but weren't, but the real kicker came yesterday when she told me that despite listing her location as Sydney (which is where I'm from), she actually lives in Argentina. She is from Australia and wants to have the procedure here, but would go back to Argentina after conception. She comes to Australia approximately once a year to see her family, who still live in Sydney.
So this has thrown up two major concerns for me. Firstly, I feel weak for admitting this, but I don't know if I can handle an international donation. For some reason I was fine with the idea of donating to a recipient in this country, even if I didn't have contact with the child, but the idea of donating to a recipient halfway across the world is really bothering me. I think it might be because her coming to Australia to have the procedure done and then leaving again seems to put a real time limit on everything ... makes it feel almost perfunctory or something?
On a more practical note, I am not thrilled about the idea of them coming to Australia solely to have the procedure done because it puts a lot of pressure on me to not back out at any stage. In Australia there are also a lot of rules about pre-donation counselling and of course a whole array of genetic and health tests, not to mention fertility checks obviously. These tests are only undertaken once the donation process has begun. I've never had any of these tests done before and don't know what my results will be like, so the chance of them coming all the way to Australia only to discover that I'm not an appropriate candidate for donation is not at all appealing to me.
I am really confused about feeling this way and annoyed with myself that the idea of egg donation itself is not problematic for me, but international donation is. Does anyone have any advice on this? Anyone been a donor or recipient in a similar situation?
Secondly, I am concerned about the application of law to this scenario. For non Australians out there, Australia's donation law is quite different from that of the USA and, from what I've been reading since yesterday, also Argentina. Donors in Australia can't be paid (I don't want to be paid anyway so that's not a problem), and we can't remain totally anonymous because our names and contact details go onto a register that the children can access when they turn 18. I think this is different from Argentina, which seems to mandate totally anonymous donation, but I'm not entirely sure.
Does anyone know what country's law applies here? I am thinking it is New South Wales law, but I think it could be quite hard to enforce if necessary if the family is in Argentina. I also don't know if there are any Argentinian laws which could apply to this scenario even though the procedure would be taking place in Sydney.
The recipient says she will discuss the issue with her lawyer and is now talking about the potential to draw up a contract governing the donation. I have a partial legal education only, but enough to realise that a contract like this could get messy very fast. I don't even know if one would be enforceable in NSW. Has anyone had any experience with drawing up contracts for egg donation? If yes, did you use a lawyer or write one yourself? Is this a thing people normally tend to do? I had heard about it in theory, but never read any accounts of anyone actually doing it before. I am not feeling at all comfortable with the idea of signing a contract drafted by her lawyer and me, a student, but I do not have the money to instruct a solicitor of my own for something like this and there's no way I'm asking for informal advice from any of the solicitors at my workplace.
When I write it all out like this, the total weight of these events seems to fall in favour of letting her down and saying that with the changed circumstances, I'm not the donor she's after. I guess I'm looking for any advice that might sway me otherwise or let me know that I'm overthinking things and the situation is not as complicated as I'm currently thinking it is. Please, anything anyone can offer would be really, really appreciated here.