If your doctor has told you that you need an egg donor, it can be a lot to take in. Choosing someone to be genetically related to your child is a big decision. At the same time, donating eggs is such a new system, that many women don’t even know the first step in finding the right donor before they start their IVF meds. Here are the basics to help you get started.
What Kind of Donor?
There are three main categories of egg donors: anonymous donors, semi-known donors and known donors. An anonymous donor is someone you will never meet.Their identity and yours will be protected by a third party so you can’t contact each other. The only information you will receive about them is from the screening process (more on that below). A semi-known donor is someone that you build a communication with. You may agree to share information and photos via email or telephone, but no identifiable information. A known donor is usually someone you select yourself. They can be a friend or family member, and they will have as much involvement in the child’s life as you permit.
Egg donor agencies can set you up with an unknown or semi-known donor depending on their policies. You can find these agencies online, in the white pages, or on donor agency listings. Some IVF clinics also have their own group of donors that you can choose from. If you plan on getting a known donor, you will have to find the person yourself, either through friends and family, or by advertising.
The Screening Process
Because donating eggs is such a new process, there are no set regulations on how it should be done. Each clinic or egg donor agency has their own policy, so you should carefully review their criteria.
Most donors are between the ages 21 and 30. They will likely be screened in a variety of ways, including for medical, financial, psychological and genetic factors. After the initial screening, you can request additional information about the donor that might be important to you. Some parents want donors with a similar ethnicity or religious beliefs. Take time to consider what factors are the most important to you.
Your agency or clinic will have you enter into a legal contract with your egg donor with stipulations for donor compensation. Fee structures may vary. According to IHR.com, donor compensation can run between $5000-$10,000. This does not include other incidentals such as administration fees, additional testing, IVF meds and legal counsel fees.
While many of the egg donor fees are unavoidable, there are things you can do to cut costs in the IVF process. Finding low cost fertility drugs online is a great money-saving option. IVFPrescriptions.com has some of the best online IVF medications, and is known for having cheap IVF meds. Check out the IVF medication price list to see and compare low cost fertility drugs.