Reader question: “I’m in a desperate situation. Money is tight for bills and the mortgage. What can I donate for money?”
The body regenerates and renews many fluids, from plasma to bone marrow, from breast milk to hair. And there seems to be a market for these replaceable and renewable bodily resources.
I’ll list a few different ways to get paid to donate. There are ethical controversies surrounding some of these ideas, along with legal obstacles. But you are the best judge of what you can comfortably give; here is our list. No guarantees.
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Plasma is the yellowish liquid that needs to be strained and separated from human blood and is much more precious than blood itself; it can cure rare and recurring diseases or disorders.
Plasma can be donated through the Red Cross (redcrossblood.org) for free, but some civic or private organizations accept plasma donation for a certain fee – around $300 a month.
Regular donors who had been immunized for hepatitis B may earn as high $60 per week. You can visit the sites of Donating Plasma (donatingplasma.org) or CSL Plasma (cslplasma.com) for more information. Different organizations and clinics have different policies.
You will find that some of these plasma-donating centers will not pay for the plasma itself but will pay for your time and your transportation expense. Donating is also limited to twice a week.
2. Donating bone marrow for money
Paying for donated bone marrow through a medical process called apheresis is allowed in the nine states covered by the 9th Circuit Court.
People who donate bone marrow may be paid up to $3,000. Organizations such as More Marrow Donors (moremarrowdonors.org) pay in various forms of compensation, such as home payment, charity gift, or scholarships.
3. Milk ’em for $$$
You may actually profit from selling breast milk – usually at $2 per ounce – if you are a mother who yields more milk than what your infant demands.
You can inquire through online sites, such as onlythebreast.com, and some women have even profited as much as $20,000 annually just offering breast milk.
Stricter regulation is being implemented, though, as studies have revealed that nearly 75% of those breast milk purchased online have been contaminated with bacteria; necessitating urgent calls from concerned sectors for the appropriate regulation of this proliferating industry.
4. Sell your locks for extra money
With a price tag of $100 to over $4,000, it’s no wonder that the demand for hair has skyrocketed through the years.
Hair that has not been dyed or treated are highly priced. The longer your hair the better because you can offer inches for sale.
You can sell your hair online, at your local salon if they buy, or if you’re one of those kind-hearted and caring people, you may donate some extras to agencies or charitable institutions that extend assistance to sick and disadvantaged children.
Hairwork.com or hairtrader.com can be good places to start for advertising your hair to interested buyers. The price for hair goes with its length.
Human placenta is typically prepared and used as elixir drugs, with supposed restorative effect to cure various disorders and age-delaying component. Thus, it is at present high on the wanted list of body parts in the market.
6. For the girls: Donate eggs
Donating eggs can be quite a tedious process: firstly, you have to be younger than 32; you must be healthy and disease free; you have to endure a number of weeks of medical visits and supervision to ensure production of healthy eggs; and have daily ingestion of hormone stimulants.
With all the hassle entailed by the procedure, scores of donors continue to donate their eggs up to six times during their existence. One organization that accepts egg donations is the Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York (rmany.com).
Each donation is priced at a whopping $8,000. One of the downsides for such a huge income would be: the IRS watchdog is sure to be at your heels to levy the corresponding tax on your earnings from egg donation. Another would be: donating fertile eggs can also be taxing on your body, literally.
7. Bank on your sperm, boys
For $100 per donation multiplied by three times you can donate per week, you may earn up to $1,200 a month just by donating your sperm. But don’t think it comes easy.
Screening policies are strict, with rigorous background checks and medical procedures.
You may contact the fertility clinic in your locality for your potential as a sperm donor. Be informed also that most states will tax you for the income you derive from donating sperm.
8. Rent your womb: Be a surrogate mother
If you have run out of ideas of body fluids and parts to sell, there is also a way to “rent” out a body part.
Surrogacy, or bearing a baby for someone, can fetch a woman as much as $45,000. It is like renting out your healthy womb to enable a family or an individual to have a baby.
It is, however, often a physically and emotionally exhausting way to make money, that its financial worth is questionable.
Women who resort to this means might have more compelling reasons other than the financial reward. Surrogacy is also not legally sanctioned in many states. Some courts may even not honour surrogacy contracts entered into by parties. Those who do so will proceed at their own risk because the law will not protect their interests should the other party flee from his or her responsibilities at any point during the 9 months that the baby develops or after delivery.
9 . Become a human guinea pig.
There are medical researches that will require the human body for experiments and studies. Not all experiments are scary. In fact, most studies actually involve simple human participation for study of diets, foods eaten, and other activities normally done by the regular human.
You can inquire from universities in your area for research being conducted or visit the website http://www.gpgp.net for a list of such studies.
10. Blood: Not for sale
Do you get paid for donating blood? No. While the FDA deems it illegal to donate blood for money, various incentives or rewards are being offered, such as gift cards, CDs, T-shirts and the like.
These gifts could greatly enhance the chances of safer blood donations rather than financial considerations. But you won’t get any cash.
There are many issues involved in selling body parts and body fluids. Some of these are economic, ethical, medical, physical, and emotional issues.
Government policies and regulations, or their absence, certainly affect the decision to sell or not to sell. Make sure that you know everything there is to know about the agreement. Verify websites, read reviews, and read the fine print before you consent to any donation agreement.
I hope this gives you a few ideas about what you can donate for money.