Egg Donor Agency
We are more than just your typical typical egg donation agency. We provide couples and women considering our program with five different options. Those options include:
- artificial insemination
- in vitro fertilization/embryo transfer
- in vitro with egg donor
- artificial insemination by donor
- egg donor
Success rates vary, but typically with Surrogate Mothers Inc., 85% of our participants end up with a child.
What follows is a simple overview of the process. The specific procedures to be used may vary from clinic to clinic, and certainly will depend on your cycle.
You can use this guide as a general summary of what is involved. If you have any questions about the procedures, please contact us or the clinic with which you are working.
How to become an Egg Donor:
Egg Donation allows a donor to assist our client who is unable to have a child on their own.
This may mean that:
- the person has no uterus or is not ovulating for some other reason
- a single man without a partner (or a gay couple) has chosen a donor to assist him in creating a family
Whoever the donor is working with, there may also be a surrogate who actually carries and delivers the child or, if our client can carry the child but isn’t ovulating, then the donor provides eggs just to her and she carries the child.
Please note: it is not possible to fertilize an egg in a woman’s body, and then retrieve the embryo and transfer it to another person.
Egg donation involves a donor providing eggs, which are then combined in vitro, or in a “test tube,” with sperm from our client, and the embryo(s) is then transferred through a non-surgical procedure to a surrogate (or to the wife of the couple).
Our donors are:
- between the ages of 18-30
- usually college students or college graduates
- healthy, intelligent, mature, and attractive
An application is sent to the donor and once we receive it back, we call the donor and interview her. We then make a profile sheet that summarizes the things our clients would want to know about the donor.
After our clients have reviewed the profile sheets, they choose a donor, and the donor is then contacted and given the same information about our client.
The donor then decides if the person sounds acceptable. The donor can choose to meet our client and/or the surrogate; however, a meeting is not required and often is unnecessary. This is the donor’s decision.
After the donor is selected and agrees to work with the person who selected her, contracts are signed. If a surrogate is involved, she will be screened psychologically prior to her acceptance into the program. The donor is not screened psychologically.
Everyone — our client, the donor, and the surrogate — will be screened medically for a variety of sexually transmitted diseases.
Contracts are then signed.
If the donor wishes to have an attorney, our client will pay up to $300 for this, although that is usually not necessary.
After the contracts are signed, the medical procedures begin.
The key to this working is coordinating the donor’s cycle with the surrogate’s (or the wife’s) so that when the donor is ovulating, so is the person who carries the child.
This may involve the use of certain medications, birth control pills, etc.
Some medication (commonly “Lupron”) may stop the recipient’s or the donor’s cycle altogether for a brief period of time to allow one or the other to “catch up.”
Some medication may speed up one or both cycles. The donor is then given another hormone (commonly “Pergonal”), which is a drug that increases the number of eggs produced. This drug is usually given by an intra-muscular injection.
A young, healthy donor may produce upwards of 20 eggs at a time. This is a fairly powerful drug and will be monitored closely by the donor’s physician.
The donor also will be monitored to make sure that her follicles are developing normally and at the pace necessary to see that this succeeds.
Donors oftentimes are given daily blood tests to make sure that the cycle is proceeding correctly. There are some risks to using these drugs or any other drug, and the clinic will explain those to you.
Generally, the risks are minimal, but be certain you understand the effects of the medication before taking it.
When everyone is “ready,” the donor will travel to the clinic, and the eggs will be retrieved transvaginally with the help of an ultrasound. This is a painless procedure that usually is performed under mild sedation.
It takes about 30 minutes, and the recovery period is about 2-3 hours.
After the retrieval, doctors will combine the eggs with our client’s sperm. Some clinics then wait about 2 days, and then transfer up to four embryos to the recipient. Other clinics may do the transfer earlier.
If there are extra embryos, they are frozen, and can be used for subsequent embryo transfers, if necessary.
The donors in our program typically receive $3,500- $5,000 for their services.
This fee is about half of what most other agencies allow their donors to charge.
The contract the donor signs is a one-time agreement.
If she wishes to do this again for the same person, or for someone else, that is fine. Each time the donor undergoes the retrieval she is paid a separate fee.
The contract provides that the donor waives any rights she might have to the eggs, the embryos, and of course, to the child/children that may be born.
The donor has no right to decide how many embryos are transferred, or what happens if there are extra embryos. Management of the pregnancy is the surrogate’s decision (or our client’s, if no surrogate is involved).
For couples seeking to choose an egg donor:
Once you choose a donor, SMI’s fee for arranging the contract between our client and the donor is $2,500.
There is an initial $500 non-refundable application fee that allows you access to SMI’s donor database.
Once a donor is selected, our client must send in the donor’s fee (typically $3,500), SMI’s fee, and $2,000 for the donor’s travel (which includes $100/day for each day she is away from home), for a total of around $8,000.
The contract provides, among other things, that the donor agrees:
- to undergo the procedure
- to waive any rights she might have to the egg(s), the embryo(s), the fetus(es) and, of course, the child(ren).
The medical costs, which are not paid to SMI but rather are between our client and whatever medical facility they choose, average around $$25,000-$40,000/cycle with fresh embryos.
Some clinics offer a “guaranteed success” program. Ask us about this!
Frozen embryos can be used for future transfers if the first is unsuccessful, and the costs are reduced significantly if frozen embryos are used (as is the success rate).
Any surplus money is refunded to you once the donor process is complete.
If you have any questions about any of these procedures please contact us. Thank you for your interest and we look forward to working with you.