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Getting Started with Egg Donation
If you’ve decided on using an egg donor, your first step is to choose between an anonymous or known egg donor. Your options:
- An anonymous egg donor. You and your child will never know the donor’s identity (unless the laws change) beyond her basic medical and personal background provided in the egg donor agency’s profile.
- A semi-anonymous donor. The donor agrees to reveal her identity to and meet with your child, usually at age 18.
- A known donor — a friend, relative or a donor you recruit independently. Many women ask a sister or trusted friend. The benefits: you’ll know the donor and your child can maintain a connection with her. If she’s a biological relative, your child will have a genetic connection to you.
Egg donor sources:
- Many fertility/IVF clinics have donor programs that recruit healthy women (usually age 21 to 30) who provide their eggs for a fee (may range from $5,000 to $10,000+).
- A private donor broker or agency. Hundreds of brokers and agencies advertise on the Internet. Or, ask your fertility clinic staff for referrals to reputable egg donor agencies.
- You can advertise for an egg donor with specific characteristics you desire via websites and campus newspapers.
- Some fertility clinics have “egg sharing” programs where a patient with healthy eggs shares hers for a fee, usually a portion of treatment costs. Most IVF patients produce more eggs than they need during a hormone-stimulated "superovulation." This arrangement helps patients secure eggs and helps the donors cover treatment costs.
You can select traits such as race, ethnicity, educational level, eye color, etc. in these options. Each option has advantages and disadvantages. Do thorough research. Also, retain an attorney experienced in donor gametes to insure your and your child’s rights. Don’t rely on the agency, broker, or clinic legal documents.