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Using an Egg Donor in Chicago
There were 205 fresh egg donor cycles in Chicago in 2007, resulting in 98 live births according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An additional 110 frozen egg donor cycles in Chicago resulted in 38 live births. In other parts of Illinois, there were 390 fresh donor egg cycles and 196 frozen donor egg cycles. For a breakdown by Illinois fertility clinic, follow this link.
Known and Anonymous Egg Donors
There are two categories of egg donors. A known egg donor is a family member, friend, or woman you know who is affiliated with a donor program. An anonymous donor donates her eggs but wants to keep her identity private. Regardless of the donor you choose, she should have comprehensive medical screenings (including genetic and sexually transmitted diseases), psychological screening, and review of medical substance abuse history.
Agency vs. Clinic
How do you choose your donor? Illinois has no formal licensing for egg donor agencies, meaning there are currently no legal state standards governing the licensing of egg donor programs in the state. Agencies recruit egg donor candidates nationally. They have different requirements regarding the type of candidates they choose. Chicago has three established egg donor programs that have been open for several years. They are:
The advantage of using a donor agency is that they act as a mediator between the donor, the donor recipient, and the clinic. Inquire about how long the clinic or agency you select has been open, and ask about what Chicago fertility clinics they work with and how they are selected.
Using a donor who is working directly with a fertility clinic is another option. These programs offer comprehensive fertility treatment, donor screening, treatment, fertility testing and monitoring in one place. You may feel more comfortable working with one team of practitioners affiliated with one program.
Carefully review the practices and policies of any clinic or program you are considering working with, including the donor admission criteria and screening. Select the option that feels right for you.