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egg donation, gamete donation, oocyte donation, Sherman Act, antitrust, price fixing, monopsony, egg market, oocyte market, gamete market, donor compensation caps, Kamakachi v. ASRM


In April 2011, Lindsay Kamakahi caused an international stir by suing the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), SART-member fertility clinics, and a number of egg donor agencies on behalf of herself and other oocyte donors. The suit challenged the ASRM-SART oocyte donor compensation guidelines, which limit payments to egg donors to $5,000 ($10,000 under special circumstances), as an illegal price-fixing agreement in violation of United States antitrust laws.

Ensuing discussion of the case has touched on familiar debates surrounding coercion, commodification, and exploitation. It has also revealed many misconceptions about oocyte donation, the allegations in the case, and antitrust law’s application to the ASRM-SART oocyte donor compensation guidelines. Regardless of outcome, the suit is an important one that could signal a change in public attitudes about the propriety of mixing money with motherhood. It should — and will — be closely watched.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Kamakachi v. American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Sherman Act, Monopsonies, Price fixing, Donation of organs, tissues, etc.--Law and legislation, Donation of organs tissues etc., Antitrust law, Human reproductive technology--Law and legislation, United States