Not sure where to start? Here are eight questions to ask when scouting out potential egg donation agencies.
1. How long has the company been in business? An egg donation agency’s history is one of the more important factors to consider. It can be a good indicator of a company’s reputation. That’s not to say that a newer company can’t offer you what you need. However, established companies know the lay of the land. You may also want to inquire about the company’s track record of successful egg donations as well as any reviews, or complaints.
2. What is the screening process like? Since your egg donor is providing half of your child’s genetic makeup, you’ll want to know about any medical issues. You’ll want to work with an agency that runs background checks, reviews personal and family medical histories, and holds interviews with social workers. Keep in mind, a reputable agency will not accept donors who have certain medical conditions that could potentially be passed on to the baby.
3. Is there a legal team on staff? Along with knowledgeable staff members, you’ll need legal representation. Making a proper match requires a thorough understanding of intersecting laws and policies. Make sure that your agency has a legal team on staff that can guide you appropriately through the legal process.
4. Does the agency provide a matching service? When working with an agency, you don’t have to go through the matching process alone. Typically, intended parents search for an egg donor through the agency’s online egg donor database. Most searches can be filtered by age, eye color, race, academic achievements, etc. Once the intended parents show interest in a donor, one of the company’s coordinators sends them the egg donor’s redacted profile. If things go well, the egg donor is notified and receives the intended parents’ profile. The agency is responsible for handling the exchange of profiles, ensuring that a potential match is legally and socially a good fit.
5. Is known donation an option? This method of egg donation is becoming more common. It allows communication between intended parents and egg donors. They carry on the relationship to the agreed upon level of comfort. In many cases, the greater level of contact between intended parents and egg donors makes for a smoother process. And this allows you to keep track of your donor’s medical background as the years go by. If something is to change in terms of her health, she can contact you and share that information.
6. Is the company compliant with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Ethics Committee Guidelines? It’s best to work with an agency that adheres to ASRM’s guidelines. This includes payment to the egg donor. According to the ASRM, it’s inappropriate to pay an egg donor more than $10,000 per donation.
7. Does the company work with reputable fertility centers? If you’re not already working with an IVF clinic, you’ll want to choose an egg donation agency that has established relationships with multiple fertility centers. The agency should be able to refer you to an IVF clinic that best suits your situation.
8. Is the staff easily reachable? Sometimes things don’t go according to plan: an egg donor misses her flight, the egg retrieval has been pushed back, or the egg donor’s medical screening requires that she undergo more testing. That’s why it’s important for an agency to have an emergency contact line or a coordinator who is easily reachable. Continuous communication is vital for a positive and successful experience.
Read more on Circle Egg Donation’s blog at blog.circleeggdonation.com.
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