The first transfer of a fertilized egg from one human to another resulting in pregnancy was reported in July 1983 and subsequently led to the announcement of the first egg-donation-produced human birth on February 3, 1984. This procedure was performed at the Harbor UCLA Medical Center and the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine.
This scientific breakthrough established standards and changed the outlook for those who were unable to have children due to infertility or were at high risk for passing on genetic disorders. Donor oocytes and embryo transfer has given women a mechanism to become pregnant and give birth to a child that will be their biological child, but not their genetic child. Oocyte and embryo donation as practiced today now accounts for approximately 5% of in vitro fertilization recorded births.
Prior to this, thousands of women who were infertile had adoption as the only path to parenthood. This set the stage to allow open and candid discussion of oocyte and embryo donation as a common practice. This breakthrough has given way to the donation of human oocytes and embryos as a common practice similar to other donations such as blood and major organ donations. Back in 1984, with the birth of the first egg-donation-produced child, the event was captured by major news carriers and fueled healthy debate and discussion on this practice which impacted the future of reproductive medicine by creating a platform for further advancements in women’s health.
This work established the technical foundation and legal/ethical framework surrounding the clinical use of human oocyte and embryo donation, a mainstream clinical practice, which has evolved over the past 26 years. Building upon this groundbreaking research and since the initial birth announcement in 1984, well over 47,000 live births resulting from donor oocyte embryo transfer have been and continue to be recorded by the Centers for Disease Control(CDC) in the United States to infertile women, who otherwise would not have had children by any other existing method.