By Robin von Halle

Our phones have been ringing off the hook lately. And it’s not just surrogates and egg donors who are calling (although they’re calling too), but reporters. In the last two weeks alone, we’ve been interviewed by the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, ABC News and CNN.

It all started with the Sun-Times, which ran an article suggesting that the slumping economy is actually good for the fertility business. Ours was among the agencies contacted, and, in fact, we have seen the number of calls from potential egg donors and surrogates increase over the last few months.

It doesn’t really surprise me.

For some women, donating eggs is a way to supplement their income, pay off debt or even splurge on a high-priced item. We know that money is a motivating factor, and if it’s the main reason a woman calls us, then that’s okay by us. It only benefits our intended parents.

That being said, egg donation isn’t for everyone. The idea of donating a handful of eggs in order to collect a handful of cash is incredibly simplistic and, in fact, belies the time, effort and, for some, discomfort of the egg collection process. That’s why we thoroughly screen all our donor applicants and have each woman go through psychological counseling. We weed out candidates who wouldn’t be able to handle the emotional aspects of donating or simply aren’t a good fit.

Whatever your reasons for donating in whatever economic environment, the need for them continues unabated. And recipients are extremely thankful.

In the end, that’s the ultimate reward.