Starting the journey to find an egg donor is an important and life-changing decision. Ensuring that the process runs smoothly and without difficulty starts with selecting a highly experienced and reputable egg donor agency. But with so many agencies out there, how do you know which one to select? Is one really better than another?
The answer is a resounding “yes!” Though there are many egg donor agencies that claim to know how to manage a cycle, they may not all have the knowledge and skill needed to guide everyone through the process legally and seamlessly.
This is why it is so important to do your research before signing a contract or paying the deposit to an egg donor agency. If you’re wondering how to find an egg donor agency that can help you start your family, read on for some tips!
How to find an egg donor agency
The first step to finding the best egg donor agency is to try doing a quick search online for egg donor agencies and make sure to read through their reviews. Another option is to call your IVF doctor and ask them for a referral to an agency they recommend. Referrals can also be given by local reproductive attorneys or reproductive therapists. The best egg donor agencies naturally attract leading infertility specialists and professionals who specialize in caring for people using reproductive technology.
Check out their database
A premium database offers more than 2,500 donors. It may include a blend of repeat donors, donors of varying nationalities, and college educated candidates. Some may also include donors who have graduated or are currently attending an Ivy League school.
It is also important to ask about their screening protocol. Intended parents usually prefer an agency that has a rigorous donor screening protocol before they even add potential donors to their database. This means ensuring that they meet particular requirements for height and weight, education, availability of personal pictures, and other characteristics that set her apart from other applicants. If the agency claims that they conduct certain tests on behalf of the parents, inquire as to what specific tests are run, at what point are they conducted and who is responsible for paying for the testing.
Egg donor agencies differ in how they work and recruit potential donors. With that said, it’s incredibly important to find an agency that is dedicated to offering women who want to become egg donors the very best. This type of gesture also provides intended parents “peace of mind” knowing that their potential donors are receiving exceptional care. In addition, premium donors usually prefer to work with egg donor agencies that offer this type of personalized, experienced, and knowledgeable care.
Do your research
Examples of what to look for in an agency include the following:
- Top compensation for donors beginning at $5,000 (Asian ethnicities generally receive more)
- An agency which has more than a decade in the industry with official headquarters; not a home office
- Knowledgeable, professional, and compassionate team members
- Life insurance policies for egg donors residing in the U.S.
- An agency that employs strict standards of personal privacy for clients and donors
- An agency which offers a secure database
- Partners with esteemed IVF doctors and fertility clinics
- Anonymous and known donor agreements
- Referrals and affiliations with reproductive attorneys
- In-house therapists for psychological screenings
- An agency which allows a friend or family member may accompany the donor for her procedure
Most of this information is available online (either on the Intended Parent page or the Egg Donor page). If not, you should be able to contact the agency and ask!
Questions to ask egg donor agencies
Before signing a contract or providing a deposit, make sure to meet with someone from the agency. If this can’t happen in person, they should be able to arrange a meeting through the phone or a video/online conference.
- Do they have procedures for how to find an egg donor with special characteristics?
- What is the fee schedule for reviewing and selecting an egg donor?
- What happens if the cycle does not work or she does not produce enough eggs for a transfer?
- Does the donor have access to someone during the cycle to answer questions?
- Do you have previous medical records or birth information from donors who have donated before?
- How long are donor records kept?
- Do you have references I can speak with?
Keep track of any other questions that come up during your research and ask those as well!
Deciding on an egg donor agency
Ideally, you’ll have the chance to speak or meet with a few different agencies so you can compare how you feel about each of them. In addition, you should speak with references and check out their reviews online. Another idea is to check out the Better Business Bureau and see if there are any current or outstanding complaints against any of the agencies you’re speaking with. This can provide information about ongoing issues that may be a deal breaker for you.
If you’re torn between more than one agency, check out their database! Do you see any donors that pique your interest? Finding the perfect egg donor may just be the deciding factor between two agencies.
Above all, the best egg donor agency should treat intended parents and egg donors with individual care; in other words, every person arrives there for unique reasons and their experience should mirror this. It’s all about offering supportive, client-centered care and exceeding the expectations of everyone involved in their journey towards making parenthood dreams come true.