Having a child can be especially challenging for single parent and LGBT families. Using an egg donor and gestational carrier can sometimes be the only option. There are many young women willing to participate in LGBT egg donation or to be a gestational carrier for such families and, while it can be quite costly, it can be a very rewarding process for all involved.
What Is an Egg Donor?
An egg donor is a woman willing to go through an extensive process in order to help others start a family. The process isn’t as simple as filling out an egg donor application and donating a few eggs one afternoon.
Once a potential egg donor applies, the egg donation process lasts several weeks and can include:
- An extensive medical screening, genetic, and psychological screening
- Medications to stop ovulation temporarily along with medications to stimulate egg production in the ovaries
- A minor surgical procedure to retrieve the eggs
- Donor eggs and sperm being joined in a laboratory and incubated for 5-6 days
- A transfer of one or two of the resulting embryos into the uterus of the waiting gestational carrier
Choosing an egg donor through social media or Craigslist can be filled with disappointment, especially if the potential egg donor does not complete the full clinic application process or fails a part of the screening. By using a specialized egg donor agency to help vet the egg donor, you eliminate a lot of risk and heartache.
Egg Donation Requirements
Requirements to become and egg donor are varied and based on the program. Age, height, weight, family health history, and education are just a few of the factors considered when an agency recruits an egg donor to its program. The egg donor must pass the psychological testing, genetic testing and the medical requirements before even beginning the procedure. Every egg donor is afforded an attorney to represent her in her agreement with the agency and the intended parents. Egg donors relinquish their legal rights to all of the eggs and embryos created through their donation and are compensated for their time and effort involved in the process, not for the eggs that are retrieved. While the egg donor is the genetic contributor to the resulting child, in heterosexual couples the delivering mother is the legal, social and biological parent. In egg donation for same-sex couples, many states now allow the name of both men on the birth certificate with the mother’s information left blank.
Some donors and intended parents decide to become “identity release” and the resulting child from the donation would have the ability to get in contact with the egg donor when they reach the age of 18. Other egg donors and intended parents create a known relationship from the beginning of their journey and still others decide to remain totally anonymous.
How to Find an Egg Donor
Finding the right egg donor takes time and effort and a lot of searching through databases of young women willing to donate. Unless an Intended Parent has a sister, cousin or friend that would like to donate for them, most Intended Parents are relying on their clinic or an Egg Donor Agency to assist them in the search.
This is where agencies such as The Donor Solution come in. In partnership with our sister company, company 3 Sisters Surrogacy, we offer consultation and guidance on choosing an egg donor. We do the leg work to make sure your egg donor is qualified and responsible by running background checks, transcript and diploma reviews as well as medical record review and personal interviews before a donor even reaches our database. Many potential egg donors also have AMH testing for fertility potential. Recommendations for fertility clinics and attorneys are also provided.
Fresh donor eggs:
Selected through your agency, an egg donor goes through an in-depth medical screening at your clinic and a psychological screen and genetic testing is also performed. Your egg donor agency will coordinate appointments and travel for your egg donor. Using fresh donor eggs can take some of the burden of locating and coordinating locations with your donor.
Frozen donor eggs:
Already retrieved from screened donors, these are available at an IVF clinic or through a commercial egg bank, so there’s no waiting for a donor to be screened or concern over schedule or travel expenses. While this process may appear to be quicker and more efficient, the number of eggs available for a cycle is limited to 6-8 per “batch” The overall cost of a donor egg cycle with frozen eggs is about 1/3 less than fresh cycles.
For LGBT couples interested in a genetic child from one of the partners, a fresh cycle is the better choice as the ability to split the number of eggs retrieved in a cycle is higher and extra embryos are generally available.
Egg donation and surrogacy are great options for those interested in becoming single and LGBT parents. For more information, contact The Donor Solution at (713) 827-0301 or leave us a message.Tags: Choosing a surrogate, Egg donation process