The current shortage of egg donors in Australia has led to a very special group of tourists planning a visit to our shores this month.
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, a group of South African women are due to arrive in Australia this month for the express purpose of donating their eggs to Australian families, unable to fulfill their hopes of having children because of fertility issues.
The South African donor agency called Known Egg Donors will apparently fly the first group of four white South African women to Brisbane later this month.
The report claims the agency takes $3800, while the donors will receive up to $2500 to cover their living costs while here.
Under Australian law it is unlawful to pay for eggs, but a donor can be compensated for costs.
Known Egg Donors has apparently so far matched 14 local IVF patients with donors signed up to the agency.
A second group of South African women is scheduled to arrive in April.
Australian clients have received a choice of donor profiles, including photos and biographical details.
Once in Australia, the donor women will undergo counselling with the recipients. The donors, aged 21-30 years old, will then undergo day surgery to collect their eggs, which will then be fertilised and transferred to the Australian recipients.
Under South African law, egg donations in South Africa must be anonymous if done through an agency. That is contrary to Australian laws that state that donors must be known and made available to offspring.