KCBD investigates: Selling your body in a down economy

Published: Oct. 31, 2011 at 7:13 PM CDT|Updated: Dec. 15, 2014 at 1:23 AM CST
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - In these tough economic times people are looking for ways to make a little cash here and there, even if it means selling their bodies… the legal way.

We're not talking about prostitution or selling your organs on the black market – that was banned in the 1980's. We're talking about selling body parts like hair, plasma, breast milk and even sperm or eggs.

Karin Slyker, a mother of three, has been giving plasma for over a year. "I decided to go just to earn a little bit of extra money with the economy the way it is. I'm trying to get out of credit card debt, and I don't have time to work a second job but this is something I can do," said Karin Slyker.

There are three plasma donation centers in Lubbock where people can give twice a week if they're healthy and are approved after the screening process.  It usually only takes about an hour and a half to donate, and depending on weight a donor can make up to $40 each time they donate plasma.

"No kids, no stress, and I just sit there watching a movie or playing on my phone and get paid $290 a month," said Slyker. "I tend to bank it up, and I turn around and pay off debt with it. I pay an LP&L bill with it and it just really makes a difference in my household."

Another popular trend, if you're willing to grow out your luscious locks you might be able to cash in. Women auction off their hair on websites like BuyAndSellHair.com for big bucks. "Virgin hair is hair that's not chemically been touched or altered. That usually can go for more," said Aalon Salon stylist Patricia Trevino. "The color is a big issue, but it's mostly based on length. It can go from $100s to even thousands."

These next two might not be for everyone – donating sperm or eggs. Sorry guys, the closest sperm bank is in Dallas and donors must be committed to going to the sperm bank once a week for six months.

For the ladies, there is the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Lubbock. After an extensive medical, psychological, and interview process a woman can become an egg donor, but it's no simple task.

If approved the woman is put in a donor pool for families to choose from. There are no guarantees a family will choose a specific donor, and it could take months before picked. If the donor is chosen the process takes another five to six weeks to complete.

"Once we get the eggs from the donor her part is over. She is not obligated to do anything else, and she is compensated for her time," said Dr. Janelle Dorsett, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine.

While the donors get paid $3,500 each time they donate for up to five times, this isn't something women do strictly for the extra cash. "I don't really choose people if I sense that is the only reason they want to do this. I like a person to want to do this to help somebody else out," said Dorsett.

You can visit the Center for Reproductive Medicine by (clicking here).

Here are links for plasma donation in Lubbock:

Octapharma Plasma

DCI Biological Centers

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