If the thought of helping somebody start a family fills you with joy, egg donation could be for you! Donating your eggs is a beautiful gift! If you have a generous heart and a willingness to commit, you could help someone else start the family they’ve dreamed of.
And, as third-party reproduction becomes more popular, the egg donation process is much more straightforward than it used to be.
But there’s still a lot a prospective egg donor needs to know! After all, it’s a lengthy process that requires significant commitment on your part, along with several medical appointments.
Here’s how to find an egg donation agency that aligns with your values and looks after you throughout the donation process.
Egg donor requirements
First, you should determine what the qualifications for joining the agency’s egg donor program are. At Family Source, you’ll need to be between the ages of 20 and 30 and have a healthy BMI. Education-wise, you’ll need to at least have your GED, though higher qualifications will improve your chances! It’s also important that you know at least half of your family tree.
Then there’s the health stuff. You need to be okay with injections – and be willing to inject yourself with medications throughout your egg donor cycle. You’ll also need to have had normal pap smear results within the previous two years and not be using birth control, drugs, or nicotine.
There are a few practical matters, too. You must be able to dedicate the time and energy to being an egg donor. Getting to and from appointments will take up much of your day (and your patience!). You’ll also need reliable transportation, which may mean you’ll have to think about whether location matters.
Flexibility is a big thing, too. Will you be okay with whether the Intended Parents want an open, semi-open, or closed agreement?
Are you patient? You may not be chosen right away. And when you are, will you follow through and be dependable?
Most of all, you must be 100% genuine about wanting to help people start a family (i.e. – not just in it for the money!)
Questions to ask potential agencies
Once you’ve decided that you qualify, you’ll need to know what to look for in an agency. Every agency is different, and you should interview them just as they would interview you.
Some good questions to ask might be:
What payment should I expect to receive and when?
Donating your eggs takes a lot of time and commitment, and an agency should reimburse you fairly. Donors can be paid anything from $5000 to $10,000 per cycle – which is quite a significant range! Find out exactly how much you’ll be paid.
At Family Source Consultants, eligible candidates will receive $8,000-$10,000 per egg donation cycle. This amount will vary based on prior experience. Donors who are 100% Chinese or Taiwanese receive $10,000 for their first donation.
Also, ask WHEN you’ll be paid. Most agencies pay their donors in stages. For example, the first payment may be made when you start your fertility treatment, and the rest will follow after you have completed your egg retrieval.
In most cases, agencies will hold the money in escrow and pay it to you in set portions throughout the donation process. This should all be confirmed in a legal document before the donation process begins.
Am I guaranteed to make $8,000 or more as an egg donor?
Some agencies offer a specific monetary package. You’ll need to ask exactly how much you’ll be paid per cycle.
Remember, egg donation doesn’t have to be a one-off. The amazing thing about women’s bodies is that our ovarian reserve won’t get “used up.” That said, donations are limited to six cycles in order to protect your health.
Are all my expenses reimbursed?
Donors receive reimbursement for other expenses incurred during the donation process, such as travel (including ground transportation and airfares), hotel accommodation, meals, medical fees, and any other related costs. This is all paid for by the Intended Parents but handled by the agency.
If you have a support person accompanying you, their expenses may be covered, too.
What type of screening will I have to go through?
Every donor must undergo a series of tests to check that she is in good physical and mental health. The physical exam will assess your heart, lungs, abdominal area, and pelvis. Then, FDA tests will check for certain diseases and your medical history. Your reproductive health will also be examined via ultrasound of your uterus and ovaries. An antral follicle count will assess your egg reserve and rule out any problems like cysts or masses
What type of medications will I have to take?
Donors are required to take a range of fertility medications that help your body to mature more eggs at once. These medications also help to synchronize your cycle with the recipient.
Be sure to ask about the medications you’ll be taking and when. An agency should advise you of the exact schedule you’ll have to follow and any side effects you may experience.
Will my identity and privacy be protected and how?
After I donate my eggs, what happens next?
Your agency should be able to advise you on how to look after yourself following the retrieval process, any special precautions you may have to take, and any legal matters.
Tips for after you sign with an egg donor agency
Being part of a high-quality egg donor database will increase your chances of being matched with the right recipients. The more information an agency requires from you, the more accurate their matching process will be.
You may be asked to submit photos from different stages of your life so that the IPs know what their future offspring will look like as they grow. Other information you should expect to share includes your level of education, occupation, hobbies, skills, religious beliefs, and cultural heritage.
All of these details build your donor profile and help you stand out and increase your chances of being chosen.
Stay in touch
Regular contact with your agency is a must – and it goes both ways. The agency should keep you informed of what to expect and when, just as you should keep them updated on any changes to your own life. If your address or any other contact details change, let them know. The agency needs to be able to contact you at any time, both during the donation process and afterward.
Keep updating your photos
Photos representing your physical appearance should be as accurate as possible. Put yourself in the Intended Parents’ shoes: they want to know what their future offspring may look like!
Learn more about Egg Donation with Family Source Consultants
Still have questions? Get in touch with the amazing team at Family Source Consultants. We know the egg donation process inside out – and we’d love to hear from you!