Considering Egg Donation?

Considering Egg Donation?

When a prospective parent contacts me for egg donor related discussion, typically, the three things I am most often asked about is how long, how much and how successful. Whether the client has had a long and exhausting fertility journey or is just embarking on family building, folks want to get pregnant, they want to get pregnant now and they want to do so while feeling that costs can be controlled.

With respect to time management, the variable in third-party reproduction is the length of time it takes for donor selection. I have worked with hundreds of recipient parents, some pick donors in a matter of weeks, others a couple of months and then there are the clients who elongate their donor search for years (yes, years!!) while they pursue the “perfect” donor. I have seen it all, from recipient parents who do not want to see photos of donor applicants to recipient parents who want to personally interview candidates before a selection is made (this is not something I have ever agreed to, by the way). Donor selection is complex, it is emotional, and it is so very personal. It can and will be as significant a factor in the timing of your cycle as you require. Once a donor is selected, if she is available to start a cycle immediately, the general timing then, from match to retrieval, is approximately 4 months. This is good news!

The costs related to collaborative reproduction can, understandably seem overwhelming. But there is more good news: the costs can be managed. If you are able, do proceed to donor selection through your clinic. Many clinics offer donor selection from a pool of pre-screened candidates, if you can find a donor who meets your preferences from within your clinical program, go for it….it is a best strategy!!! If you choose to work with an agency, be a savvy consumer, compare fees and fee structures and if possible, choose a local donor. There are certain costs related to an egg donation cycle that are a given, the IVF cost, the meds, fees related to other clinical services, these are expenses related to your physician’s protocol and are likely firm costs. And then there are expenses that can be minimized if not avoided. Be smart about your donor plan and let the professionals with whom you are working know that cost is a factor in whether or not you will be able to proceed.

Donor compensation is a matter of particular concern for recipient parents. While the American Society of Reproductive Medicine has guidelines indicating that donors should be compensated between $5,000 and $10,000, regional and other factors will influence the compensation you will pay to a donor for undergoing the in-vitro fertilization process on your behalf. It is important that recipients not to view the compensation as payment for eggs. Not only is this not legally appropriate but it truly devalues the donor-parent relationship. Donors will endure much on behalf of the recipient parent, blood-draws, ultra-sounds, perhaps lost wages and maybe child-care costs. She will be evaluated by your physician, nurses, mental health professionals. She will put in much time, deal with inconveniences, alter her lifestyle and manage medications all to ensure a best possible chance for a successful outcome. I encourage my clients to view donor compensation as payment for all that the donor will do so that you can, if all goes well, achieve your family building goal.

And this brings us to the matter of success. While no program can guarantee the outcome you so desperately want, I say to my clients: be hopeful! Remember, when working with a donor, the objective is to take infertility out of the equation. If you compare the success rates of standard IVF with that of collaborative reproduction, reason for hope is not only implied it is obvious. Have confidence in the team you have selected to guide you through this process. You have selected your clinic for reasons that are both personal and well thought out, you donor selection will be driven by whatever it is that you feel is important and if you proceed carefully and thoughtfully you will have maximized your chances for the best possible outcome: the family you are so looking forward to celebrating! Good luck to each and every hopeful prospective parent!

Originally prepared by Amy Demma, Esq for The Fertility Daily

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