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Egg Donor Location, Does it Matter?
A blog by Stephanie Levich, Family Match Consulting, July 24, 2015
Finding an egg donor that has all the characteristics you hope to find can be a challenge. Finding an egg donor that has all the characteristics you hope to find AND who happens to live down the street from your fertility doctor's office, can be nearly impossible! Will egg donors travel? Should I wait to find someone who is local? Should I just choose a doctor located near the donor? How much does travel even cost? All very good questions to think about before embarking on your search for an egg donor.
For recipient parents that live in major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Houston, and Chicago, finding a local donor is very possible. There are many egg donor agencies that actively recruit donors in those areas so depending on your search criteria, you should be able to find an excellent local donor quite easily.
For clients who live in more remote areas, it may be necessary to find an egg donor who would be willing to travel to your physician's office for the necessary appointments. Some egg donors are very willing to travel, while others are unable to. Most agencies will note a donor's travel restrictions on her profile, but it is always a good idea to confirm a donor's travel availability with the agency. When an egg donor is required to travel for a cycle she will typically make 2 trips. The first trip is a quick visit to meet with your doctor where he or she will perform the necessary medical screening to evaluate the donor and make sure she is a suitable candidate. Once you begin the cycle the egg donor will typically be monitored by a fertility center that is local to the donor. About a week or so before the egg retrieval, the egg donor will travel to your fertility doctor again so she can be monitored by your physician very closely leading up to the retrieval. The egg retrieval would be performed by your physician and then the egg donor will generally travel home 1-2 days following the procedure.
There are additional fees to anticipate if your egg donor will be traveling. Some examples of fees to expect are mileage reimbursements, flights, hotel, meal allowances, parking fees at the airport, baggage fees, rental car or cab fees, among others expenses. Donors are typically required to travel with a companion for the retrieval trip so she has someone there to assist her after the procedure and the recipient is generally responsible for those travel fees as well. The total cost for travel typically ranges anywhere from $1,000-$6,000 depending on how far the donor is traveling, where she is traveling to, and what the agency's policies are.
For recipients who are not aligned with a fertility center, or there isn't a reputable facility near them, or for international recipients traveling to the United States for the IVF process, they could consider selecting an egg donor first, and then choosing a fertility doctor that is located near their chosen donor. I always advise clients to try avoiding the cost of both parties (recipient and egg donor) traveling whenever possible.
An egg donor's location is just one thing to consider when choosing an egg donor.