Egg Donation Program - Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get started and gain access to the donor database?
Here is how to get started with our agency. It's as easy as three steps!
1. We encourage you to read our website to familiarize yourself with our agency and how we work. We also welcome a complimentary 30 minute consultation to discuss where you are at in your journey and what you are looking for. To see the donor database, you will need to register to get a user name and password. You can do this by clicking on the register button or we can do this during our consultation.
2. Within 48-72 hours of registering, you will be given password access to the database where you can search for your perfect match. You will log into the database using your assigned user name and password and then you will be able to freely navigate through the many donor egg candidates. If you are in a rush to get started, you may call the agency for immediate access.
3. If you see a donor that you love, you will need to contact our office to check on her availability. If for some reason you cannot find a suitable match, we encourage you to contact us either by email or phone to let us know what you are looking for so that we can create a custom search just for you. Please be aware that donors often get matched very quickly so if you are interested in a specific candidate, we recommend that you contact us immediately.
How do I reserve an egg donor?
1. Contact the Agency Right Away.
In order to reserve a donor, you need to contact the agency to let us know which donor you are interested in, what your timeframe is, if travel is requested or not, and what compensation you are offering to the egg donor. With this information, we will contact the donor to check on her availability and interest in participation, based on the information you provided. While we do make all efforts to update our database regularly, sometimes a donor's personal situation or desires may change and they may no longer be interested in cycling or available. For this reason, we will always contact and confirm a donor's availability and interest upon receiving your inquiry.
2. Put the Donor on Hold While Your Doctor Reviews Her Previous Records.
Once we have confirmed that your donor is interested and agreeable to your cycle requests, we will contact you to see if you would like to move forward. If you wish to proceed, we will send you a hold agreement and ask you to pay a hold deposit of $500. We will then send the donors profile and any previous donor records to the physician that you plan to work with for his or her review and final approval. We also allow our Intended Parents to have an AMH test and/or an STD, drug screen, CBC, and CMP done locally for an additional charge, if desired before fully commiting.
3. Sign the Agency Retainer and Proceed Forward with the Match and Cycle.
When your donor is put on hold we will also provide you with the full length estimate and agency agreement for your review so that you can review these documents while the donor is being reviewed by your physician. Please be advised that the fully executed agency agreement as well as a deposit are required in order to officially reserve any donor. If we do not receive your agency agreement and deposit by the deadlines provided, the donor may be released to another Intended Parent.
What's the difference between a local and long distance egg donation cycle?
In a local donation, the selected egg donor and the Intended Parent(s) are both located in the same town as the treating fertility clinic. Many Intended Parent's choose this type of arrangement to help minimize costs. If you cannot find a donor near your center, we can also refer you to a physician near the donor's home or we can advertise in your local area to try and find you a local match.
Over 50% of our matches are long distance arrangements. In this type of an arrangement, the egg donor does not live near the Intended Parent's fertility clinic and will need to travel for the initial screening appointment and again for the egg retrieval procedure. Typically clinics require a one-day initial screening visit and then a 7-10 day visit for the retrieval procedure and post-recovery. Our agency will make all travel arrangements for your donor and make sure that she is comfortable and well cared for. All donors must have a companion with them on the day of egg retrieval. If the donor cannot provide a companion, our agency will make arrangements for either a nurse or one of our agency team to be with her. In addition to travel arrangements, most clinics will ask that our agency locate a local monitoring center where the donor can be seen prior to med start and for 1-3 additional monitoring visits. This clinic is located within close proximity to the donor's home and they perform testing as ordered by the treating IVF physician. Our agency will locate a good clinic for this and make sure everything is in place for each monitoring visit.
Our agency works with Intended Parents from over 56 countries worldwide and are experts in the management of these type of arrangements. Last year, over 60% of our Intended Parents were international. We will do everything to make sure that you have a smooth and positive experience. We can refer you to a top IVF physician familar with international arrangements and can either find a physician who speaks your language or we can coordinate translation services. We can also help with travel arrangements and we provide travel concierge services for those wishing to have door-to-door arrangements upon arriving to the United States. We will also refer you to a top reproductive attorney who can make sure that you have the proper contracts in place and to advise you of the steps you will need to take legally. We can also refer you to a top genetic counselor who can review your donor's genetic testing results and your own to make sure you are making a suitable match. We also have international concierge partners in several countries who can travel with you and manage all of the details locally in your home country as well. Contact us directly if you have additional questions or want more details.
Can I work with a surrogate as well as an egg donor?
Absolutely! Many of our clients need the assistance of both an egg donor and a surrogate in order to build their family and we are very familiar with coordinating these type of cycles. You can work with one of our donors and an outside surrogacy agency or we can also try to find you a good surrogate match with the Blissful Surrogacy program. For more information on surrogacy or for referrals to additional attorney's or agencies that offer surrogate matching services, please contact our agency.
Can I work with an egg donor and a sperm donor?
Absolutely! Many of our clients need the assistance of both an egg donor and a sperm donor in order to build their family and we are very familiar with coordinating these type of cycles. We have several cryobank programs that we often refer to and we are always happy to review different profiles with you to help you to narrow your search. For a list of sperm banks that we recommend, please contact the agency.
Do you offer anonymous and open donation arrangements?
It is our goal that you have the type of communication that you desire with your donor. For this reason, we offer several different communication arrangements, so that you can find the one that fits you best. Please be advised that your chosen egg donor must also agree with your desires. Here are a few arrangements available:
Fully Anonymous Arrangements
About 80% of our arrangements are anonymous donation arrangements. In an anonymous donation, the Intended Parent(s) and chosen egg donor never meet, speak, or exchange identifying information. The donor is assigned a code which will serve as her name and the Intended Parents will call the donor by this. Intended Parents may offer a brief information page to the donor so that she feels comfortable with the couple that she is donating to but this is up to the Intended Parents if they elect to do this and it is not required. There will be no contact between the Intended Parents and the Donor in this type of arrangement before or after her donation unless there is a medical emergency that requires contact.
In a semi-anonymous donation, the Intended Parent(s) and chosen Egg Donor may be given each others first names only, if desired. Last names will be kept fully anonymous. If both the Intended Parents and donor desire a phone conversation, this may be set up and coordinated by the agency so that neither party’s phone number will be disclosed to the other party. We can also forward messages back and forth on your behalf so that all email addresses can remain anonymous. In some cases, we can also have the donor make a video for you to review should you not wish to speak with her directly. Please be advised that this is not always a possibility, as it depends on the donors location, consent, and her having access to proper technology.
In an open donation, the Intended Parent(s) and Egg Donor’s identity will be revealed to one another and if desired and both parties agree, communication can continue after retrieval. In this type of arrangement, you may also request to meet the donor in person, however for security reasons, our agency representative must be present for all meetings.
If you have additional questions about the types of donations that we coordinate, or if you have additional desires not listed above, please feel free to contact our office to further discuss.
What happens if the cycle is cancelled or the donor fails screening?
At any point, prior to egg retrieval, you may decide to not proceed with your egg donor and request a replacement donor. This includes, but is not limited to, circumstances such as the donor not passing her initial screening, the donor not responding well to the medications, or cancellations for personal or medical reasons.
Under these circumstances, you may choose a new donor without losing anything you have already paid toward the agency fee. We will simply transfer over any portion of the agency payment toward a replacement donor and you will only be responsible for the remaining balance. You pay only one agency fee for our services, regardless of how many changes you make, until you have completed a retrieval with a donor.
Please be advised that you may incur additional costs associated with insurance, legal representation, and additional medical and expenses for the new donor. Also the new donor may have a different compensation request or may require travel, which could increase costs. A new estimate will be given to you should you need to change donors. Please call the office with any questions regarding our policies.
How do you find and screen your donors?
Donors come to us in a variety of different ways. The majority of our donors come to us from referral, either from other egg donors or from a physician or another program.
In addition to this, we also send team members out to different events and college events to educate women about fertility options and care, which many times leads to additional donor applicants. We also have several advertising campaigns that we use to reach donors and we have relationships with several talent and modeling agencies, as well as photographers, who regularly refer us candidates. We are also actively involved in online groups supporting fertility.
We review and personally interview every donor applicant before putting them into our donor database. We go over their motives, review their health and mental history, discuss any concerns, and we go over the process with them in detail, including everything that will be required of them to ensure that they are fully informed and can commit to being a donor. We also request copies of their previous egg donation records, their drivers license, and sometimes request academic transcripts.
While there is never any way to be certain of the accuracy or honesty of a donor's statements by any program, we do all that we can to screen the donor candidates to give you the best possible donor options. If you want us to verify anything in particular on a donor you are interested in, simply contact our agency so that we can attempt to make accommodations to your request.
Which fertility clinics and doctors do you work with?
It is important to our agency that you have the best possible chance for success and that our donors get the best medical care possible and can be medically insured for complications. For this reason, we mostly work with the top fertility programs in the US as we find this gives you the best chance. We do have a list of recommended clinics that we have established relationships with that we can provide to you. If you want to know if we will work with your particular fertility center, please contact our office.
Will the donor's health insurance cover complications and screenings?
Donor's screening costs are the sole responsibility of the Intended Parents and her personal insurance will not be used for these screenings or for any cycle related charges. Most insurance plans have exclusions for fertility care and egg donation related expenses. As a result, since we want to make sure that there is an insurance product available should your donor have a complication from her participation such as OHSS, we require every Intended Parent working with our agency to purchase an accidental insurance policy on behalf of their egg donor. This coverage is offered by Lloyds of London through a company called New Life Agency and our agency will help you to get this put in place at the appropriate time after medical clearance. This coverage cannot be used for monitoring or for any medical expenses that are not related to a cycle related complication. Insurance information and insurance product details are available on New Life's website at www.newlifeagency.com. You can request a detailed explanation of this insurance policy from them directly, as well as any limitations and exclusions in coverage. We advise all of our clients to be sure to obtain a copy of this policy so that they can be fully informed as to any limits in coverage and any possible exclusions.
What compensation do donors receive and when are they paid?
We allow our egg donors to set their own compensation request, however we encourage donors to set reasonable requests within ASRM industry standards, which recommends that no donor request over $10000.
Prior to the donor beginning medication, we require that the full balance of the donors compensation be put into a licensed escrow account for security. After the donor has been medically and legally cleared, the egg donor willl be given an initial payment of $1000 on the first day of injectible medication start. After the donor successfully completes the egg donation retrieval, she will be given her remaining compensation.
Should the donor cycle be cancelled after starting injectible medications but prior to retrieval, at no fault of the donor, the donor would get to keep her $1000 initial deposit plus a small additional balance depending on how long she has been taking medications. In this case, the unused compensation and any other funds in the escrow account would be either kept in escrow for you to use with an alternate donor or refunded promptly to you.
Can we ask that our donor only donate to us and no one else?
Yes, this is an arrangement that can be made if your donor agrees to this. In these cases, you would compensate the donor for a total of six cycles up-front and would be asked to pay a larger agency fee. In exchange for this, the donor would agree to not donate with any other couple and would be willing to donate with you for up to a maximum of three donation cycles until you have fully completed your family, provided she is medically able.
Can we put a donor on hold while we decide?
Yes you can! For $500, we allow Intended Parents to hold a donor for up to 7 business days. If you elect to move forward with the donor, that $500 will go toward your agency fee. If you elect not to, you will forfeit the $500 but will have no further liability.
Can we check the donors AMH or do any screening tests before we commit?
During the one week hold for $500, we offer the option to have some pre-screening lab work done. We offer AMH testing for $100 or AMH, STD, Drug Screening, CBC, and CMP bloodwork for an $500. These can be done before you have to fully reserve the donor and results can be provided to your IVF physician before proceeding forward.
Do you work with same sex clients or single Intended Parents without a partner?
Our resolute efforts to defend reproductive rights for all people regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or marital status has been the backbone of this agency since it's inception. In fact, our director has met with legislators and policymakers at the highest levels to discuss the importance of reproductive equality and family building support for all.
We are honored to help same-sex clients or single IPs to grow their families. We welcome you to schedule a phone consultation with our agency director to discuss special considerations you may want to think about for your unique situation. We can also refer you to top reproductive attorney's who are experienced in working with both single Intended Parents and same-sex clients both domestically and internationally and can make sure you have everything you will need in place.