Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Egg trafficking

OK, this one has to be read to be believed:
Dr. Harry Miron, the Israeli owner of the Sabyc Fertility Clinic in Bucharest, claimed Monday that his actions were never motivated by greed, but rather based on "personal drama," namely his wife's experience with IVF. Harry Miron, along with his son and 30 of their employees were arrested by Romanian authorities last week on suspicion of human egg and stem cell trafficking. According to reports in the Romanian media, Sabyc Clinic is said to have grossed nearly €20 million in its years of operation.

Miron's attorney told the court that his client's wife was unable to conceive a child naturally, and that their private experience prompted him to specialize in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and start the clinic. The couple eventually adopted their son Yair, who was also arrested.
So how does this line of defense work exactly? We weren't able to conceive and so we had to adopt, and we started a fertility clinic so other families wouldn't have to settle for adoption like we did? And son, why don't you go into the business with us?!

1 comment:

Sheri said...

There's so much left unsaid in this article... I don't know anything about the stem cell allegation, but, bottom line: MANY infertile couples and women desperate for a child who looks like themselves, plus the experience of being pregnant go to Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Poland, Romania and other Eastern European countries, as well as South Africa and South America, in search of physical "look alike", inexpensive egg donors and inexpensive fertility treatments. Some bring their husbands for an ICSI with their own or donor eggs.. some just bring his fresh sperm in bioboxes. (Bringing frozen sperm in cryonic cannisters is prohibited by many countries and most (all?) airlines.) Some women even use sperm donors from within the country, meaning both egg and sperm are donated.

By adjusting their menstrual cycles to that of the chosen egg donor, the IVF recipients can fly into the country, have the procedure, and fly home within five days - meaning it's easy for them never to tell family/friends they've had an IVF with donated egg(s). They just went on a mini-vacation.

Some of these fertility clinics even provide apartments, drivers, and sightseeing tours for their international clients, along the lines of the plastic-surgery-and-tour industry of Mexico and South Africa.

Check out the tagline on this site: http://www.visitandcare.com/

Back in early 2003, I was a member of an unlisted yahoo group that helped advise women using these clinics. Some of the group's members even shared "excess" embryos with each other - so there were full bio-siblings in Australia and Sweden.. and elsewhere. In 2002/2003, Russian women were typically paid $100 for hyperstimulation and egg retrieval... with a concommitant high possibility of future complications (infertility, and even cancer), as we are only now learning. By 2006, according to this blog, the donor's fee was up to $300: http://blog.kievukraine.info/2006/05/cruel-cost-of-human-egg-trade.html

I left that yahoo group because I was appalled and disgusted by the number of women pursuing this option who had no intention of ever telling their child(ren) the truth of their biological parentage.

And because, although I researched all sorts of options for becoming a Mom, I knew in my heart that my daughters were in China, and I chose to aggressively pursue a Singles quota, writing more than 150 agencies, making over 70 phone calls, until at last I found an agency that had space for me...

I'm left wondering, after reading this very incomplete article - is this what they're calling trafficking??? Paying attractive young women to donate eggs, and performing IVF procedures?? 'Cause it certainly doesn't stop here, with this one case.