Want to become an egg donor? You might think that you know quite a bit when it comes to the topic of egg donation. Maybe you have spent a good amount of time researching or you’ve simply seen articles about the topic in your favorite magazines. However, there may be some things of which you’re unaware when it comes to egg donation.
Here are seven things you may not know about donating eggs.
1. You can choose the level of relationship you’d like to have with the intended parents
Circle offers four types of egg donation relationships: known egg donation, semi-known egg donation, ID release and anonymous egg donation. Believe it or not, more of Circle’s parents choose known donation over any other option. Here is a brief overview of what each entails.
- Known: In this arrangement, you and your surrogate egg donor will learn each other’s names and have the opportunity to get to know each other and meet in person if both parties choose! You can learn more about the benefits of known egg donation in our related blog post.
- Semi-Known: The amount of information that is shared is limited. For example, intended parents and egg donors may decide that they do not want to exchange contact information but may want to meet in person at our office or at the IVF clinic.
- ID Release: Similar to an anonymous donation, the egg donor and intended parents will have no contact, however with ID Release identifying information will be released if a donor-conceived child at legal age requests details.
- Anonymous: There is no open contact or communication between the intended parents and the egg donor. The contracts use only first names and all information is exchanged through our agency. We ask that anonymous egg donors keep us informed of all changes in their health history and keep their contact information.
2. The egg donor doesn’t have the rights to the child.
Egg donation agencies and egg banks use contracts to ensure that everyone is on the same page and to prevent surprises from arising. The egg donor agreement gives intended parents control of all eggs retrieved from the donor as well as any resulting embryos. Intended parents can use them as they wish, including IVF to produce children of their own, donation to a third-party, or medical research.
3. More egg donors donate their eggs for altruistic reasons than financial reasons.
A common misconception is that women become egg donors for the paycheck. However, egg donors are mostly motivated by the urge to help others. For many egg donors, the money is one of the many perks of becoming a donor, but it’s not the entire motive. Many egg donors in the Circle program have personal connections to infertility whether it be a parent, a sibling, or a friend. This drives them to want to help others who may be struggling to grow their family.
4. Egg donors go through extensive screening.
The egg donation process is very in-depth. In addition to the medical screening, an egg donor must complete a psychosocial evaluation. For egg donation agencies, the screening process commences when an egg donor is matched with the intended parents. Once she passes the psychological screening, she moves forward with the medical screening at the IVF clinic (usually a one- to two-day appointment). The medical screening typically includes blood work, a urine sample, and an ultrasound (among other things). If a woman chooses to donate with an egg bank, all of her screening will be done before her donation.
5. Not just anyone can donate their eggs.
While it would be wonderful to accept all women who want to help a family grow, agencies and IVF clinics are bound by strict requirements for egg donors to ensure it is healthy for all parties involved. In order to retrieve the highest quality of eggs for the recipients, the egg donor must meet specific requirements. Here’s an overview of our agency’s egg donor requirements:
- Between 20-29 years of age (up to 31 for experienced donors)
- Body Mass Index (BMI) lower than 29
- Be a U.S. or Canadian citizen
- No more than one occurrence of the same cancer in family history (except non-genetic cancers, such as leukemia and lung)
- No serious heart disease or heart attacks under age 55
- No psychiatric hospitalizations
- Some education after high school i.e. enrolled in college, college classes, certification programs, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, Ph.D., etc.
- Applicants of all ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to apply
- Must be comfortable with giving yourself daily injections with small needles, like those used for insulin
6. Donor eggs will create embryos that will be carried by the intended mother OR a gestational surrogate.
Once an egg donor donates her eggs, and embryos are created, either the intended mother will carry the baby or a gestational carrier. In gestational surrogacy, a surrogate carries a baby for intended parents. The surrogate has no genetic tie to the baby (the embryo is created with the donor eggs and the sperm of an intended father or sperm donor). This path to parenthood is chosen over adoption due to the genetic link to the child. However, both options are incredible family-building options.
7. You can increase your compensation with multiple donations or when you refer a friend!
As a first time egg donor, many women can earn about $9,000. However, compensation increases each time a woman does a donation. Multiple donations = more pay!
Also, Egg donors in the Circle Surrogacy program are eligible for a referral bonus when they refer friends to become an egg donor with us! Our egg donors are incredibly and wonderful women, who surround themselves with women who are just as amazing as they are. Because of this, we love getting egg donor referrals from our current and past donors. After all, no one knows better than you how truly rewarding it is to be an egg donor! Donors receive a $500 referral bonus once their referral is matched and both medically and legally cleared!
We’re always accepting new and experienced egg donors and we’d love to meet you! If you’re interested in learning more about the process, you can check out the egg donor section of our website! If you’re feeling ready, you can also fill out our application today!