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A law graduate has managed to purchase her dream home in just one year after she decided to donate her eggs to strangers.
Laywer Rachel, from Nebraska, has made £40k [$52K] in compensation from the surgeries, having successfully donated twice - having given a total of 36 eggs away.
She is now looking to complete her third donation later in the year - and has since used her savings to get her foot on the property ladder.
As it is illegal to sell bodily fluids or parts in America due to the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act of 1968, egg donors can instead receive compensation for their time, pain, suffering and risks.
In the UK, this is limited to £750 per donation cycle, however, over in the States, it is mostly unregulated - with egg donation now big business.
With her first donation a success, 25-year-old Rachel was able to increase her compensation rate as she could prove she could provide viable eggs.
Explaining the process, Rachel said: "The first time around the agency I was working with set the payment as I was really new to the process so I didn't really know what to expect or ask for.
"So I received £9k [$12k] in compensation for my first donation where I donated 15 eggs.
"I put this money straight into my savings as I knew I wanted to buy a house soon. I first donated in September 2019 and the couple has already had a baby, which is really successful. So, for my second donation, I increased my compensation rate to £14.5k [$20k]."
Rachel continued: "I was nervous about increasing the payment and wasn't sure if people would pay that much, but I was matched with a couple within a couple of weeks.
"After having been a donor before it makes my profile more popular and desirable. It is also less risky as I know what to expect so I am less likely to back out.
"I put this money together with my first compensation payment and I was able to use it as a down payment on my dream home for my boyfriend and me.
"For my third donation I thought about increasing the payment to £18k [$25k], but I was offered £14.5k [$20k] again which I accepted.
"I'm not sure how I am going to spend that money yet."
Rachel added she has been fascinated in seeing how much some couples are willing to spend to become parents.
"It is really crazy and interesting to see how much people want to be parents," she said. " Some people are willing to pay huge amounts of money.
"It is such a rewarding experience, and I am so grateful that it has allowed me to buy my dream home.
"It makes me feel warm inside knowing that I can help them with this.
"Even though I am unsure of whether I want a family in the future, it feels amazing that I can help other families in this way, especially as they are so set on having a family.
Rachel decided to start donating her eggs after a close friend confided that she was unsure whether she would be able to have children. While she is uncertain about whether she wants kids herself, Rachel is enjoying being able to help others who are struggling to conceive.
"I thought that if I have something that can really help make other people's lives better, especially as I am not interested in making use of my eggs for myself at the moment, then I should definitely go for it," she says.
"It is a great way to make some money on the side and boost my savings too.
"After graduating from law school, I applied to an egg donation agency and got accepted.
"It all happened really fast. Within a matter of weeks, I was matched to some intended parents who had picked my profile."
Rachel has kept in contact with the couple she donated eggs to, and while she plays no role in their child's life, she is happy to receive updates from them.
"They're such a happy family, I love hearing from them," she says.
"I am a huge advocate of known donation, which means that the baby knows you from birth.
"I think it is important for the child to know whether they came from.
"I also have a great relationship with the current family I am donating to. We text most days.
"It is great to get to know them throughout the process."
And while Rachel admits that she often struggles with the medication part of the process - with egg donors having to take birth control which makes Rachel feel "crazy", she has no plans to stop being a donor any time soon.
"I will continue to donate as long as I am feeling good and don't suffer any negative side effects as it is such a great thing to do."
For more information, visit HFEA.gov.uk
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