The founder of California-based Lane Fertility Clinic, Danielle Lane, makes TikTok videos in an attempt to recruit more egg donors. Meanwhile, a previous donor is also using the app to call out the clinic for allegedly failing to pay her and several other egg donors for their services.
@alltooari #duet with @Dr. Danielle Lane #fyp I refuse to let them get away with this! Lane Fertility has failed to pay many other donors on time. Hopefully I can be their last! Share, comment, like to boost! #eggdonationprocess #fertilityclinicredflags #fertilityclinicfail #eggdonationcompensation ♬ original sound – Dr. Danielle Lane
TikToker Ari Gene (@alltooari), whose content is otherwise mostly about her life as a stay-at-home mother and gentle parent, recounts the time, money, and labor involved in the egg donation process. First, she, her baby son, and her partner, who had to take time off work in order to support her through the process, traveled to California for a week so that she could undergo the necessary procedures for donation back in December. While there, she says she underwent rounds of blood work, transvaginal ultrasounds, and other uncomfortable and invasive procedures, some of which are actively dangerous and can land a patient in the ER if things go wrong, in order to donate the total of 16 eggs the clinic was able to collect from her.
Lane Fertility Clinic apparently promised her $10,000 for all this, to be paid out no later than 90 days after the final procedure, but more than twice that amount of time has gone by now, and Ari Gene says she still hasn’t been paid—and that she’s not the only one, with several other donors reporting the same thing.
Lane Fertility Clinic has not publicly addressed the allegations—but Lane has turned the comments off on her videos, and Ari Gene reports that she has blocked her account and asked her to take her videos down.
This isn’t the first allegation made against the clinic, either. In 2020, Vice released an article detailing some of the clinic’s alleged misconduct, which ranges from double billing to coercion and emotional abuse of patients, and at least one case of outright medical misconduct which put surrogates’ lives at risk and led to long-term medical issues. Lane Fertility Clinic has also faced multiple lawsuits from former patients over a number of issues.
According to TikToker Laura High, a donor-conceived person who campaigns for tighter regulations on the fertility industry, this kind of misconduct isn’t actually unusual in the American fertility industry. Largely unregulated, the fertility industry is rife with abuse of both patients and donors. Many states don’t even have a law against fertility fraud, allowing doctors to switch out the donated genetic material at a whim without informing the recipient’s parents, facing little to no consequences if they’re found out. And, according to High, the sort of clinics that engage in these kinds of predatory recruitment tactics are the least likely to be trustworthy and ethical in their dealings with donors and recipient patients alike.
“Embarking on egg donation was an exciting opportunity for me to help a family have a child,” Ari Gene tells the Daily Dot. “The process was long and hard, with lots of injections, blood work, and invasive procedures that made me bloated and uncomfortable. However, I was aware of the risks before I started. What I was not prepared for was the fertility clinic that I donated with (Lane Fertility) not compensating me for my hard work, my time, and my body. I successfully donated 16 eggs and have not been paid after 5 months.”
Gene says that she now recognizes some “warning signs” about the process. Her cycle date was pushed back multiple times, and there were overall communication issues with the staff at Lane Fertility. Now, Gene says she wants the clinic to “take accountability for not paying their egg donors.”
“We deserved full transparency and respect, especially for such an intimate procedure,” she adds.
She advises others who are considering egg donation to “thoroughly research and carefully evaluate your options” and consider donating to a local facility.
The Daily Dot has contacted Lane Fertility Clinic and will update this article if the company responds.