You Can’t Put the Genie Back in the Bottle: Rights and Liabilities of Egg Donors in the Cyberprocreation Era

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Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology


Business and Leadership


The earth is, possibly, more than four billion years old; but a great deal can happen in ten. In 1999, a married couple advertised in Harvard and Princeton campus newspapers offering $50,000 for the eggs of an Ivy League egg donor who was 5’10" or taller and scored over 1400 on her S.A.T.s. They wanted a donor with those characteristics and campus newspapers probably seemed the most logical way to find one. At that time, only 40% of the American population sixteen years and older accessed the Internet; today over 73% do. An October 14, 2009 Google search generated about 326,000 hits in response to "egg donor wanted" in 0.13 seconds and there is little doubt that donees will find donors online in the future. This article contends that while the Internet increased the availability of, and the market for, donor eggs to a larger audience than ever envisioned, it also created significant and unimagined legal concerns for egg donors. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle.