Egg Donation Program - Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get started and gain access to the donor database?
How do I reserve an egg donor?
What's the difference between a local and long distance egg donation cycle?
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?
What happens if the cycle is cancelled or the donor fails screening?
How do you find and screen your donors?
Which fertility clinics and doctors do you work with?
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?
Can we ask that our donor only donate to us and no one else?
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?
Frequently asked questions - Surrogacy
When did Blissful Fertility start and is it a trustworthy agency?
We started Blissful Fertility in 2002, formerly named the Egg Donation & Surrogacy Center, with the goal of offering honest, ethical, and caring support to those trying hard to start a family. We are one of the most respected, highest ranked, and most referred egg donation and surrogacy agencies in the US and we have been featured in Oprah Magazine, Business Weekly, and our director has been a global voice for our industry for the last 17 years. We now serve 56 countries worldwide and take pride in serving our diverse clientele with utmost care and dedication.
What is gestational surrogacy?
A gestational surrogate is a woman who is willing and able to carry a baby or babies for another person or family. The gestational surrogate is not biologically related to the embryos or the resulting offspring. Rather, the embryos are created via in vitro fertilization (IVF), using either the eggs and sperm of the Intended Parents or donors they selected and then transferred into the uterus of the gestational surrogate.
Who are gestational surrogates and where do you find them?
Gestational Surrogates are very special women between the ages of 21-40 years of age who have completed their own families without any major pregnancy complications and who are willing and able to help someone else to grow their family. They must be healthy and have an acceptable BMI height to weight ratio, have no major psychological or health concerns and they must agree to go through a criminal background search, psychological evaluation, previous pregnancy record review, drug screening, STD test, and they will need to obtain medical clearances from their own OB/GYN as well as the chosen fertility physician in order to proceed.
How long does the surrogacy process take?
Who can use a surrogate with your program?
We are huge advocates for reproductive equality and proudly serve clientele from all walks of life as they embark on this beautiful road toward parenthood regardless of age, gender identification, sexual orientation, religion, or marital status. We simply require that the psychological professional and fertility doctor have approved you to proceed with this treatment.
How do I begin?
To get started, you will need to complete a complimentary consultation with one of our team members and complete our parent welcome packet. During this free consultation, we will answer any questions you may have and create a unique treatment plan just for you. In this meeting you'll have an opportunity to share your story with us and why you've chosen surrogacy to grow your family, and we'll tell you a bit more about the Blissful Fertility agency and our process and answer any questions you have.
Can I use a gestational surrogate with your program if I am HIV positive?
There have been some major medical advancements in fertility care options for HIV positive men who want to grow their family with the assistance of a surrogate. We work with several doctors who offer a special sperm washing technique known as SPAR in order to reduce the risks to both offspring and the carrier. The program is based on research that shows that not all sperm samples from men infected with HIV will be positive for the virus and by only using sperm that is not effected, you essentially remove the major risks.
How does the matching process work with finding a surrogate?
Because we are so hands on, we know what our parents are looking for and what kind of matches our available surrogates desire. If we think we have a possible good match, we will send your redacted parent profile (with your identifying information removed) to the surrogate and if she is interested, we will forward her profile on to you as well.
Once the surrogate and the prospective parents express a mutual interest, we will have the surrogate gather all of her records for review by your physician and also review her insurance benefits. If these are approved, we will then arrange a meeting by telephone, Skype or email so that you can begin to get to know each other and make sure it is a good match. On this call, our agency will end by going over all of the terms and create a pre-match agreement which outlines the terms you are both agreaable to with regards to compensation, termination, number of embryos to be transferred, etc.
After communicating with each other and signing your pre-match agreement, assuming everyone feels good about moving forward, we will arrange for the surrogate to begin the pre-screening labs, criminal background search, and the psychological screening. The results will be sent to the IVF physician for approval. After these tests are approved, the IVF physician will meet with the surrogate and perform all medically screening tests to get them medically cleared. If these are cleared, then the surrogate and her spouse and any of her children and the prospective parents will have an in-person meeting either at our office, at the surrogate’s home, the intended parents’ home, or some place in between. Some parents prefer the in-person meeting sooner, and we can arrange for this, if preferred.
How often will I have contact with my surrogate?
Every surrogacy relationship is unique and each surrogate and parent have different preferences when it comes to communication. At our agency we do not facilitate fully anonymous surrogacy relationships. We feel that good communication and openness are extremely important when contemplating a process this emotional and lifechanging. Most of our surrogates build meaningful relationships which continue throughout the life of the child or children. We ask that all parents meet their surrogate at least once prior to transfer. We also prefer that you communicate at least once a month though many text or email far more often. We also encourage you to attend big appointments like the 20 weeks ultrasound as these are special moments that you will likely cherish for a lifetime. We encourage all of our parents to try and make arrangements to be there for delivery day though since we know this may not always be possible, we will help create a custom birth plan just in case.
Where will my surrogate give birth?
We will assist your surrogate in finding a hospital near their home that everyone is comfortable with. Many surrogates go to the same OB/GYN and delivery hospital that they used for their own children or for previous surrogacy arrangements. The decision about where to deliver is typically made at the recommendation of the treating OB/GYN and considering which hospitals are in-network with the surrogate's insurance provider and based on recommendations and preferences of all involved. Occasionally the legal team may recommend that a delivery take place in a specific hospital.
Which fertility clinics do you work with?
Blissful Fertility has an established list of top fertility doctors in the US that we strongly recommend that you work with based on their success rates and reputation as providers. That being said, if you wish to work with someone else, we will happily consider your request.
What happens to the leftover embryos post-transfer?
Your clinic will allow you to pay a yearly storage fee to keep your embryos stored there for as long as you desire. You can use these to attempt future transfers or surrogacy journeys. When you are done with creating your family, you can decide if you want to donate your embryos to another couple, donate them to research, or ask that they be destroyed. You may be limited in your options if you used an egg donor as the contract may place restrictions on what can be done with these so you should review your agreement. We can help you navigate this as well, if desired.
I don't live in the US. Can I still work with you and how many trips will I need to make?
We do a LOT of international arrangments and have relationships with attorneys across the world that specialize in fertility. We will verify with a reproductive attorney here in the US what the plan will be with your specific country.
How will my child get a passport if I don't live in the US?
We never give legal advice related to immigration and always recommend you speak to a licensed reproductive and immigration attorney both in your home country and in the US prior to commencing on a journey so that there is clear path and answer to this question.
What are the requirements to be approved as a surrogate?
A surrogate candidate must have successfully delivered a child of her own, and be currently parenting at least one child. She must be between 21-40 years of age, a US citizen, legal resident or legal immigrant of the United States, who is not currently participating in certain government aid programs. She must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of no higher than 33 and have residence in a surrogacy-friendly state in the United States.
We ask that she have a good support system in place of family and friends, refrain from all use of illegal drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol use, and not currently use any kind of anti-depressants, ADD, ADHD, OCD, or anxiety medications. All surrogates are asked to maintain a stable and responsible lifestyle. In addition a surrogate must pass all of the following screenings:
What does it cost to be a surrogate?
We have included a link under the parents tab of our website that gives a full financial calculator and budget for you to review. We are also happy to set up a consultation to discuss your exact situation and give you a more accurate idea of costs.