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To: All Directors of Centres

Dear Director

Payment of Donors - Intermed

I am writing to remind all centres licensed by the Authority about the Directions on payment of donors which were issued in July 1991. I attach a copy for ease of reference.

Section 12(e) of the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act 1990 makes it a condition of every licence that no money shall be paid in respect of any supply of gametes unless authorised by HFEA Directions. The HFEA Directions make it clear that donors can be paid money, but that the sum paid in money or money's worth must not exceed £15 plus reasonable expenses. Reasonable expenses in this context means exactly that, and would cover out-of-pocket items such as travel. Centres supplying gametes or embryos to one another may reimburse each other but only with the reasonable expenses incurred including costs.

There is no provision allowing licensed centres to pay anyone other than an individual donor or another licensed establishment.

There is no provision allowing licensed centres to pay unlicensed intermediaries to supply donors.

The reason for this reminder is that it has recently come to the attention of the Authority that an organisation called 'Intermed' run by Margot Fox in London has been in contact with a licensed centre, offering to supply egg donors at a cost of £1,500 per donor. This amount was described by Ms Fox as a 'finding fee'. The Authority wishes to make it clear that centres should not enter into arrangements with 'Intermed' or any other intermediaries or agents to pay sums of this kind. The Authority would review the licence of any centre which entered into a transaction intended to avoid the provisions of the Act or a licence condition.
You may recall that, when the Directions on payment of donors were first issued, the Authority gave notice of its intention to review its policy within two or three years. The review is underway and will be completed before the end of this year. In the meantime, the attached 1991 Directions remain in force.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with Jennifer Woodside if you need further clarification.

Yours faithfully

Flora Goldhill
Chief Executive

Page last updated: 24 August 2012