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Egg Donation FAQs
Written in partnership with Reproductive Fertility Center
February 13, 2014
You’re going to use an egg donor to have a baby. Most likely it wasn’t an easy decision, and now you’re anxious to get started. The team at Reproductive Fertility Center in Southern California has more than 18 years of experience working with intended parents through its extensive anonymous egg donation program. Dr. James Lin, the founder of Reproductive Fertility Center, offers information on choosing a fertility clinic for egg donation.
Q: As a patient using donor eggs, what should I look for in a fertility clinic?
A: You should feel comfortable communicating with the doctor and staff of the fertility clinic. Egg donation is a complicated process, and you want to work with a team that will address your concerns or issues, including any feelings you may be experiencing.
One important consideration is whether the clinic is willing to screen your potential donor before you start the cycle. For example, once a patient has chosen a donor, our affiliated egg donor agency sends the donors to us to be screened. The affiliated agency is willing to send the donor to be evaluated without charging the patient the agency fee.
Also, I would also look at how many egg donor cycles the fertility clinic does a year, what the pregnancy rates are, and whether or not they offer a refund plan option if no pregnancy is achieved. Lastly, don’t hesitate to find out if the clinic has the capability to freeze the embryos or eggs for future use.
Q: What are the benefits of using a fertility clinic that has its own donor agency?
A: Not all clinics will evaluate the donor before you are matched. It is so much more reassuring if the clinic is already familiar with the egg donor or has already approved the donor based on her assessment and medical history.
Another benefit to using a fertility clinic with a donor agency, is what's mentioned in the previous question: our affiliated agency sends the potential donor to the clinic for evaluation, without the recipient having to pay the full agency fee. The recipient only has to pay the medical cost and any travel costs. Only once the donor has been approved, will the recipient pay the agency fee to confirm the match. Having a dedicated team for your case is also important. Egg donation is a complicated process, and involves a lot of communication between patient, clinic, agency, donor, and other professionals such as a psychologist and attorneys. If the agency and the clinic has been working closely, it can provide the intended parents a smoother and easier experience.
Q: Why do patients travel from out of state or out of country to use donor eggs?
A: From what patients had shared with us, it is often more important to them to find the right egg donor and clinic, than it is for the donor to be geographically convenient for them. It's also often more important to find a clinic that is the right fit for them, than it is to use a clinic closer to their home, because all the recipient needs to do is to be ready for embryo transfer. Once the egg donation process is complete, the impact is the rest of your life; it makes sense for patients to choose the right egg donor and the right clinic, above other considerations.
Q: Can I find a donor of specific Asian ethnicity? How do I get started?
A: Yes, absolutely, but Asian donors can be hard to find unfortunately due to many reasons, including cultural. However, at Reproductive Fertility Center, we have been working with an exclusive Asian egg donor pool for 10 years. Our donors are of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, Indian, and Taiwanese ethnicity. Within those 10 years, we have had built many relationships and gotten many word of mouth referrals, and we find that those are the best donors.
It also helps that Dr. Lin, a Southern California native, speaks fluent Mandarin.