Ready to Find Egg Donor Candidates?
It's important to be prepared when choosing in vitro fertilization with egg donation. Finding an egg donor can be overwhelming but also a very exciting and rewarding experience.
Choosing a known donor
You may already know your potential donor. Perhaps you have a relative or a close personal friend that you would like to ask to be your donor. Just know that when choosing family or friends as an egg donor, potential egg donors must be screened for medical issues and any genetic diseases. In fact, most fertility clinics will not proceed with an egg donation without a full screening.
While being an egg donor is a wonderful gift that someone can give you, you must consider all the feelings that may arise with using a known donor over time. Will it be difficult to accept that your child is genetically related to your known donor? Will the donor find it difficult to know that your are raising her biological child? As you investigate egg donor possibilities, all of these thoughts should be considered.
Due to the emotions involved, both you and your partner and the potential egg donor (and her partner) may want to meet with a counselor to ensure that all parties recognize the risks, procedures and emotions involved with egg donation.
Seeking an anonymous donor
If you would prefer to find an egg donor that is anonymous (unknown) to you, check with your local fertility clinic. Fertility clinics have lists of potential egg donors that have already been screened. If you choose this route, don't delay; sometimes there are long waiting lists of recipients waiting for these egg donors.
An alternative is to find an egg donor on your own. If you go this route, exercise extreme caution when doing so. There are many agencies and registries that you can contact to find egg donor prospects. Some women place ads in magazines, newspapers or online offering to donate their eggs.
When you find egg donor candidates on your own, the donor process may move a lot faster than having to wait your turn on a waiting list. However, when you find egg donor candidates on your own, potential donors may not have been professionally screened. All egg donors should be screened for medical and genetic issues. You do not want to risk having an unhealthy child just for the sake of a faster process.
How to choose an egg donor
As you consider your choices, keep in mind that the type of relationship you choose to have with the donor is entirely up to you and should be decided based on your level of comfort.
Most egg donors are anonymous donors who wish to keep their identity confidential. However, some donors may wish to meet you. Others may even wish to be contacted by your child when she/he is of a certain age. You may wish to keep an ongoing relationship with the donor and send occasional cards and photos or even set up meetings through the years. Of course, this is all up to you but should be decided on beforehand.
Factors to consider
Once you find egg donor candidates and have narrowed your prospects down to one woman, it is important to protect yourself and your future child with legal counsel. Your attorney will draw up a contract and strictly define the terms of the egg donation. The contract should clearly state the following:
- The egg donor waives all parental rights to the child born through the egg donation process
- The recipients (you and your partner) will be the legal parents to the child
- The type of relationship the egg donor is allowed with the child in the future, if any
- Financial aspects involved, such as the donor’s compensation fee and what it includes as well as the terms by which the donor will be paid (such as one lump sum or partial payments throughout the stages of egg retrieval)
The cost of IVF with an egg donor
It is important to prepare for the costs of IVF with an egg donor. You will be responsible for all the costs of the egg donation including the donor’s expenses and your procedure, as well as costs incurred with any complications that may arise.
Egg donors are also typically compensated for their time and the process. The compensation fee is usually about $4,000 to $5,000. Generally, the entire cost of egg donation with IVF is about $15,000 to $20,000. Some insurance companies offer coverage of egg donation or some aspects of it. So as you find egg donor information, it’s worth your while to talk to your insurance company about your benefits.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing an egg donor. That said, there are plenty of resources available to help you with your decision. Most couples that go through the egg donation process find it to be an incredibly satisfying experience…especially when the outcome includes giving birth to your own baby.Sources
- American Pregnancy Association: Donor Eggs.
- New York State Department of Health: Becoming an Egg Donor
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine: Third Party Reproduction (Sperm, Egg, and embryo donation and surrogacy): A Guide for Patients.
- RESOLVE: The Medical Aspects of Egg Donation.
- American Pregnancy Association: Donor Eggs.