Developing

Cambridge Students Asked To Be Egg Donors

Female students at Cambridge University say they have been offered hundreds of pounds to become egg donors for a couple unable to have children.

Students claim flyers created by donor company Altrui - which markets itself as a "truly personal egg donation service" - were put in pigeon holes at some of the colleges.

The flyers were distributed at the start of the university term two weeks ago and were created by a firm offering donors up to £750 in compensation, according to the Daily Mail.

They said: "If you are compassionate, kind, healthy and between 18 and 35 years old, could you help us? We can imagine no greater gift than the chance to love a child."

The couple hunting for a donor are Cambridge graduates and blamed a "rare genetic disorder that causes repeated miscarriages" for their problems in having a baby of their own.

The leaflets were produced by an egg broking company called Altrui , which is based in Hawes, north Yorkshire.

It makes clear on its website that egg donation is "purely voluntary and altruistic" and that it is illegal to accept any payment for donation in the UK.

However, it points out that compensation is allowed to cover travel expenses, loss of earnings and other costs.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority recently increased the maximum amount of compensation to £750.

Altrui's founder Alison Bagshawe told the Mail that the couple had asked to distribute the leaflets and that they had received permission from the students' union and all but one college.

She revealed two women have so far come forward following the campaign and insisted it was not about making money.

The company insists it has done nothing illegal and has pointed out that there was no mention of money on the leaflets.

But Professor Adam Balen, from the British Fertility Society, told the paper it was "inappropriate to target women in this way".

"Egg donation should only be offered by appropriately recognised clinics with full counselling. Women should come forward voluntarily," he said.