Are you thinking of becoming an egg donor?
Well firstly, congratulations on considering such a wonderful gesture. Egg donation can give the gift of parenthood to a family who needs assistance with their fertility.
Whether they are families who have struggled to conceive and gone through all the emotional turmoil it involves, or LGBT families who were always going to need a donor. Your becoming a donor will transform lives and bring joy to so many families.
But there are some practical steps you need to think about before you become a donor. All egg donations have to go through an egg donation agency. But how do you know which one to choose? When it comes to consumer resources, knowledge is power.
Once you start looking at egg donor agencies, the choice may seem overwhelming. There has been an explosion in the numbers of egg donation agencies in the last 10 years and any web search will bring up dozens of agencies.
But there steps you can take to make sure you find the right agency for you. When it comes to consumer resources, knowledge is power.
Read on to find out how to find the right egg donation agency as a prospective donor.
Check Their Credentials
Having access to the best consumer advice as well as directories of reputable service providers in all areas of business and consumer needs will help you make better decisions in all aspects of life.
So, the first thing any prospective egg donor should do when considering an agency is to check their credentials. It is incredibly important that you use a reputable egg donation agency, and you conduct your own due diligence to find out how reputable they are.
Their website should have details of their credentials and should reference that they are compliant with all state and federal law. It is also important the agency has a physical headquarters and is not just based online or from a domestic residence.
Always make human contact by calling and asking questions about their credentials. Any reputable agency will be more than happy to talk to you.
Some of the things you should ask about the reputation of any prospective egg donation agency are:
- History of lawsuits
- Compliance with FDA regulations
- How long they have been in business
- Online feedback and reviews
- Which fertility clinics they have affiliations with
You can always do some internet searches to see if the agency has appeared in any news articles, and of course, you can check out their Better Business Bureau listing.
If you want to check out an example of a reputable egg donation agency that has their credentials clearly displayed, there is more info here.
The Egg Donation Agency Database
If you are considering an egg donor agency, you should spend some time finding out about their egg donor database.
The main things to consider are:
- The size of the database
- The database screening protocol
- The diversity of the database
You should also ask the agency about the data protection and confidentiality protocols the agency employs on their database. If you become an egg donor, your personal data will be in their hands and you should have some reassurances about its security.
What Is their Screening Protocol?
All egg donation agencies will have a screening protocol.
Some agencies are more rigorous than others when screening potential egg donors. In-depth screening is nothing to be nervous of. If anything, it demonstrates a thorough approach and a reputable agency.
But, you should be aware of what they are screening for and whether it will affect your chances of becoming an egg donor.
For example, some agencies will be looking for particular age groups, and some may want evidence of educational attainment. Others may rule out smokers or certain health conditions.
You should also be prepared for an agency asking for a psychological screening or some kind of personality test. If this is not something you would be prepared to undertake then it is always worth finding out beforehand.
The screening process is for the benefit of both the egg donor and the recipient. You should have a full health screening before donation for your own safety.
Ask About Their Success Rate
One way to measure the reputation of an egg donation agency is to look at their success rate.
The number of successful matches will indicate how good the agency is at pairing donors and clients. It will also give you some idea of how trustworthy and reputable the agency is.
What Compensation is Offered?
The fees paid to egg donors vary according to the agency and the client. It may seem like an awkward thing to ask about in your initial conversations with any potential egg donor agency, but it is something you need to know.
Once you have spoken to a few agencies and asked about the compensation, you can begin to get an idea of what you should expect given your demographic and statistics. Then you may be able to shop around for the best rates, but you will certainly get an idea of what you’re entitled to.
The location of the affiliated fertility clinic will have an impact on the amount of traveling you would do as a donor.
Some agencies look for local donors as a priority, because it reduces the amount of traveling and any associated costs. Others are less concerned with the donor location.
Travel costs are usually paid by the prospective parent, but you should find out exactly what is covered such as airfares and hotel costs.
Even if travel costs are fully taken care of, you should still consider the location of whichever clinic you would be using when making your decision. Travel time may require extended leave from work or college and should be factored in.
You should also investigate whether any companion who accompanies you to the donation would also be paid for. It could be a tiring and lengthy journey, and it is perfectly reasonable to have a friend or family member travel with you.
Check the Legal Contracts
When you commit to becoming an egg donor you will be asked to sign a legal contract. This is perfectly normal and should be designed to protect the rights of the donor and the recipient.
You can ask about the nature of this contract before you sign anything, so you can help make up your mind about agencies.
The contract should protect you as a donor from any legal obligation to support any child born from your eggs. It should also protect the recipient from any legal claims you would try and make on that child.
It’s really important that you are fully briefed on your legal rights before you commit to donation. All good, reputable agencies will be happy to talk you through the legalities, and you should feel completely comfortable with any contract before you sign it.
Who Would Be Handling Your Case?
Once you have satisfied yourself about the logistics of egg donation, you should think about the actual donation experience. You should find an agency which prioritizes the health and welfare of the egg donor and will give you all the care you need.
Find out who would be handling your case, should you choose to become a donor. Will you have a specific case manager who will be your point of contact, or will there be a team?
Egg donation, while a perfectly safe and routine procedure, may have some physical or psychological impact on you as a donor. You should be satisfied that whichever agency you choose will offer you the support you need and any aftercare required.
It is rare, but occasionally there are some long-term health problems from egg donation. Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) affects a small minority of egg donors but can have long-term health effects.
You should ask any agency what the contingency plan would be for you contracting OHSS and whether future medical bills would be covered.
Trust Your Instincts
Egg donation is a wonderful thing to do, but it is also a serious commitment requiring a lot of thought and research.
Once you have made up your mind that you’d like to become an egg donor, you can start researching egg donation agencies. Ask some of the questions above, and you will soon start to get a feel for the type of agency which is right for you.
Bear in mind, the egg donation agency should consider your needs equally with those of the recipient. Once you start talking to them you should get an instinct for whether they sound like the sort of people you will feel comfortable with.
Consumer Resources At Your Fingertips
So those are some tips on finding the right egg donation agency for you. It may seem daunting, but asking the right questions and doing some research will stand you in good stead.
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