How to Become an
Egg Donor

 

Before exploring the steps to becoming an egg donor, there is a more fundamental question to ask than “how to”—namely, why consider egg donation? You will be making a significant life choice that deserves deep consideration if you decide to move forward. Your first steps should include consulting with those you trust most—advisors, loved ones, close friends, and your doctor. You should carefully screen and evaluate the agency you choose.

Women have multiple reasons for wanting to donate. Perhaps you long to give another family the chance to raise a child in a loving environment. You may be attracted to the financial rewards, as well. these motivators are part of the mix when a young woman decides to become an egg donor.

Are You Qualified to Be an Egg Donor?

You must meet certain requirements in order to be accepted as an egg donor. Most agencies select women who are between 20 and 29 years of age, are in good health, are non-smokers, and who don’t use drugs. They will choose women that help them build a geographically diverse mix of donors.

How Does the Process Work?

Once you’ve made the choice to move forward, you will want to identify the right agency—one with a spotless reputation for care. An agency like Family Creations will help you through each step in the donation process. First, your online application gets screened and, if approved, your profile, including photos of you as an adult and as a child, appears on a donor database where a couple or individual may select you. Your identity is protected throughout.

Once you are selected as a candidate, there will be a series of phone interviews, leading up to talks with a family counselor to learn more about your lifestyle, your relationships, and your family medical and ethnic background. After you pass this stage of screening, you will be scheduled to meet with the recipient's  doctor and begin the medical process.

The Medical Side

Now you will get to meet the recipient's fertility doctor, which may require an all-expenses paid, quick trip to another state where the family resides. You’ll get a full physical and be screened for drugs or infectious diseases. After that, you’re ready for the egg donation preparation stage.

Your local clinic helps and coaches you in self-administering a hormone for about three weeks, along with regular check-ups with the doctor. Next, when the time is right, you will have a trip back to the recipient’s doctor (with your companion, needed to help you back to your hotel from the clinic), where your eggs are retrieved from the ovaries. This visit will last several days, with all hotel accommodations arranged and paid for, and a daily stipend for food and miscellaneous expenses. You can enjoy it as a free vacation and see the sights in between doctor appointments. If the recipient’s doctor is in your general area, you will not need to travel to another location. The procedure is performed while you are under a light sedative, so you may be sleepy afterward. Many women describe the after-effects as PMS-like symptoms, such as bloating and mild menstrual-like cramps, lasting up to several days.

The Legal Implications

It is vital to have a contract governing your obligations and rights as an egg donor. It should clearly define what is expected of you, along with specifics of the process you will undergo, what compensation you will receive, and your rights, as well as those of the intended recipient and family. It should also specify how your health is protected in the event of a rare complication, and what kind of insurance coverage is required or offered. Most experts recommend that you have your own health insurance or require that the recipient family pay for coverage.1 Given the sensitive nature of any process related to third party reproduction, it is advisable to have input from an attorney with expertise in this field. An agency like Family Creations will refer you to a qualified attorney.

Compensation to Donors

Rates paid for egg donation vary among states and agencies, but at Los Angeles egg donor agencies, a first donation is paid at a typical rate between $5,000 to $7,000. If you are comfortable with the process and choose to donate additional eggs, the rate of compensation will go up by $500 each time, up to a limit of six egg donations.

The Intended Parents

If you have decided on In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) as a way to grow your own family and are ready to work with the egg donor process, you will first register with your chosen agency. Now you’ll have access to the extensive database of donors who have been carefully screened Donors also provide a detailed family and medical history. After registration, you can access photos and profiles of the donors that fit your requirements. When you make a selection, you begin the process of building a new future family.

IVF Success Rates

Success rates in measuring the effectiveness of in vitro fertilization, the primary method used for assisted reproductive technology (ART), are especially important for prospective parents, but egg donors have an interest in them as well. The end result of the process to which you make such a special contribution is revealed in survey numbers that examine outcomes for various procedures at multiple clinics across the U.S. The survey includes statistics on IVF success rates for 2013. Based on a report published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), these are some of the most significant results:

Sources:
1. https://web.stanford.edu/class/siw198q/websites/eggdonor/compensation.html
2.  http://fertilitysuccessrates.com/
3.  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr073.pdf