It's science that turns into human life -- and it's also putting money in peoples' pockets. Donating eggs and sperm can earn men around $100 and women up to $6,500, an expert says.
Men can make hundreds and women can earn thousands. In the end, they are helping complete strangers do something they are not able to do on their own: become parents.
We're talking about men and women selling their sperm and eggs, and right now, it is more common than ever. It's science that turns into human life, and it's also putting money in people's pockets. Those people donated eggs and sperm.
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is when egg cells are fertilized by sperm outside of the body.
Dr. Maria Bustillo at the South Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine said more patients are in need of egg and sperm donors because more women are choosing to have children later in life. That makes conceiving more difficult, but luckily, more people are willing to donate.
"I think most people wouldn't do it unless you paid them, but a lot of donors know someone who has been infertile," Bustillo said. "Yes, you get paid, but you have to go through a significant amount till you get to the point where you are donating your eggs."
"I believe the hardest part is the injection process," an anonymous donor named Anabelle said.
The 26-year-old single mother, who goes by Anabelle, has donated her eggs twice. After six weeks of screening and health tests, she went through six more weeks of preparations - making sure she is producing enough, healthy eggs for the procedure to change someones life.
"I just heard about it and thought it was a great opportunity for parents who couldn't have kids, give them the chance to be able to have a child," Anabelle said.
But let's not forget, this is a business. For patients, the IVF price tag is in the thousands, but donors cash in, most wanting to remain anonymous.
"I don't know what men get paid these days, but I'm sure it's less than $100 an ejaculate," Bustillo said. "Our egg donors, it depends on what part of the country you live in, but the lowest is around $3,000 and in South Florida, it's in the $6,000 to $6,500 range."
Women are paid more because retrieving their eggs is more invasive, and after 30 years old, they're more limited.
When asked if it bothered Anabelle when she thinks of having children she doesn't know about, she said: "It did, but I try not to think about that because who would want to donate if you know you're going to have kids out there?"
The mother of one, who plans on having more children in the future, is happy knowing she's helped a stranger give the gift of life. She says getting paid is just a bonus.