Before Surrogacy: The Egg Donor Process for Recipient Parents

Before Surrogacy: The Egg Donor Process for Recipient Parents

You are about to start a surrogacy journey to learn you need an egg donor to continue on your family building journey – either as a woman who discovers her eggs aren’t viable or a gay man who needs the help of an egg donor to become a father.

Egg donation allows recipient parents to start or add to their families through in vitro fertilization (IVF). It involves using donor eggs from women who have undergone screening and treatment, whose eggs are then retrieved and fertilized with sperm from the intended father or a sperm donor. Once embryos are formed, they’re transferred to the recipient mother’s or a gestational carrier’s uterus where they grow and develop until birth.

Egg donation offers hope to many couples who may be unable to conceive naturally, or whose options for getting pregnant are limited due to various factors, such as age or infertility issues. Combined with gestational surrogacy, it can also be a wonderful option for single men or same-sex couples who wish to become parents.

Choosing an Egg Donation Agency

Choosing an egg donation agency to work with can be a stressful task. There are so many options, and you might wonder what makes one agency better than another. Before making a final decision, it’s important to schedule a consultation with potential agencies to ask questions about their screening practices, egg donor program fees, and overall success rates.

A reputable agency will have an experienced case management team that will diligently assist you from the moment that you have chosen your Egg Donor, ensuring that you and your Donor have a full understanding of the process each step of the way.

Selecting your Egg Donor

Reputable egg donation agencies and egg donation centers will maintain a high standard for each Egg Donor screening. Potential Egg Donors must undergo an intense social and psychological screening, which includes a personality and attitude assessment, along with a thorough interview by experienced staff with the agency you choose. In addition, all Egg Donors must complete an extensive application process, as well as submit an updated pap-smear and undergo a criminal background check. Donors can be found from all ethnic backgrounds, with varying physical characteristics, levels of education, and creative talents. Many Recipients choose their Egg Donor based primarily on physical attributes, or one who shares their ethnic, religious, or cultural backgrounds. Other Recipients hope to find an Egg Donor who is healthy and athletic, or perhaps has musical or artistic talent. Regardless of your method of selection, browse any Egg Donor Database to make it easy to find appropriate candidates based on your preferred criteria.

Reserving your Egg Donor

Congratulations! Once you have decided on the perfect Donor for you, please share her ID with the agency of center. Upon receiving confirmation of her availability, you should receive an Egg Donor acceptance agreement (name of document varies) and will usually be required to return within five business days, along with the agency or center fee.

Establish Escrow Account

We will refer you to an outside escrow management company. You will be required to open the account with the initial funding amount. Upon Egg Donor medical clearance, the Donor’s total compensation and estimated travel costs will be deposited into the escrow account within five business days.

Psychological and Medical Screening

Your Egg Donor will be instructed to complete her psychological screening with a clinician experienced in Donor psychological assessments, including the MMPI (personality assessment). Once the psychological screening is complete and approved, your Egg Donor will be scheduled with your fertility center to complete the initial medical screening. Depending on your fertility center, we will normally receive the status of medical clearance typically within two to three weeks.

Egg Donor Agreement (Legal Phase)

Upon medical clearance, all parties, including Egg Donor, Recipient, Donor Attorney, and Recipient Attorney to begin the drafting of the Direct Agreement; this is required to be completed prior to your Donor beginning injectable medications.

Donor Cycle (Ovarian Stimulation)

To prepare the Donor for her egg retrieval, various hormonal medications are used alone or in combination, to stimulate the development of ovarian follicles. Hormonal medications are administered for nine to twelve days; doses may be adjusted during the cycle depending upon follicle growth. The Donor will be carefully monitored via lab tests to check hormone levels, as well as transvaginal ultrasounds to observe follicle growth.

Egg Retrieval

When the follicular development has reached the stage where an optimum number of eggs will be produced without untoward effects, hCG will be administered to trigger ovulation and the egg retrieval will be scheduled within 34 to 36 hours after hCG administration. On the day Donor’s eggs are retrieved, a sperm specimen will be required to fertilize the eggs; a frozen specimen is used quite often. Depending on the cycle it may be a fresh or frozen embryo transfer; if fresh, approximately five days after egg retrieval, the embryos are transferred into the Recipient or Gestational Carriers uterus.

And New Life Begins

The Recipient Mother (or Gestational Surrogate) will take a pregnancy test approximately 8-14 days after the embryo transfer. Although your Egg Donor is officially done with her egg donation role, this is the beginning of a much-desired dream for you as the Intended Parent(s)—and the beginning of a miracle that has been created thanks to the gift of an incredibly giving woman.

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