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Growing your family through egg donation is an exciting journey to parenthood. At Circle Egg Donation, we partner with intended parents at every step, from finding an egg donor to matching and contracts, until the big day: your egg retrieval. The egg donation timeline below will help you understand what to expect during the egg donation process.
The egg donation process can seem a bit overwhelming at first, however looking at the individual steps that make up your journey is a good way to understand how it all works. Here's a step-by-step guide to the egg donation process, and a timeline to help you see how long it takes to receive your donor eggs so you can create your embryos.
We've put the egg donation process into 8 easy-to-follow steps to help all intended parents as they begin their monumental journey towards parenthood.
1. Establish Yourself with a Clinic
2. Find an Egg Donor and Speak with Circle
3. Sign on with Circle Egg Donation
4. Match with your Donor
5. Psychosocial Evaluations
6. Medical Screening and Contracts
7. Retrieval Calendar and Medications
8. Egg Retrieval
Intended Parents (IPs) should identify a clinic with which they feel comfortable and confident in their care. If IPs have received IVF care at a clinic previously, they do not need to work with the same clinic for egg donation. In fact, IPs should confirm that their clinic has a third-party coordinator who will work with an egg donation agency. If you would like assistance in finding a clinic, Circle Egg Donation can help; we have decades-long partnerships with respectable clinics across the United States.
Intended Parents can create an account on Circle’s egg donor database and begin reviewing egg donor’s full profiles. Intended Parents can search by certain criteria (physical traits, education, etc) and begin to compare donors, review photos and watch donor videos. When IPs find an egg donor they are interested in, the next step is to reach out to Circle Egg Donation to let the team know that they've found a donor in which they are interested in matching.
The first step in connecting with Circle Egg Donation is to fill out the parent form on the website. Once completed, our Egg Donor Intake Coordinator will reach out to the Intended Parents. At this time, IPs can schedule a consultation, which typically takes about 30 minutes, to share their story, discuss egg donors and learn more about our Egg Donation Process.
Welcome to the Circle Family! As Circle is a full-service agency, intended parents will have an attorney, coordination team, and trust accountant assigned to them when they sign on with us. Once matched with a donor, the attorney will represent the Intended Parent(s) in negotiations with the donor to finalize a legal contract between the parties. The coordination team will work with the Intended Parent(s), donor, and fertility clinic to organize and coordinate all logistical aspects of the donor’s cycle (including travel, local monitoring and ensuring complications insurance is in place for the donation cycle).
Approx 4 weeks
During this step of the process, Intended Parents will create a matching profile, sharing information about themselves (to the degree they are comfortable sharing) which will be shared with the donor during the matching process. Circle facilitates mutual matches, which means that the donor must agree to accept the match request presented to her. 90% of egg donor matches completed at Circle are known to some degree, however we also facilitate anonymous matches, too.
When beginning the matching process, the IPs will decide what type of matching arrangement they feel best meets their needs. Donors will also indicate the type of match arrangement they feel suits them. Aligning on this is an essential part of the matching process. If all parties are comfortable doing so, we encourage a virtual meeting between Intended Parents and donors prior to confirming the match. When all parties agree that they wish to proceed, psychosocial screenings for the donor begin.
Once Intended Parents and a donor agree to work together, the donor will need to complete psychosocial evaluations. The donor will meet with a social worker who will complete a clinical interview with the donor to learn more about her life – her family history, education, supports and motivation to donate. The donor will also complete a psychological examination which must be reviewed and approved by a psychologist in order to proceed. When a donor has successfully completed both parts of her psychosocial evaluation, we consider the MATCH official!
The egg donor will travel to the Intended Parent(s)’ fertility clinic for a comprehensive in-person medical screening. Occasionally, the clinic will allow a donor to complete some or all of the medical screening at a clinic local to the donor. During this time, the Intended Parent(s) will begin work on their legal contract with their donor. The Intended Parent(s) will be represented by their Circle attorney while the donor will have legal representation independent of Circle.
Approx 1-3 days
Once a donor has been medically cleared by the Intended Parent(s)’ clinic, and the contract between the Intended Parent(s) and the donor is finalized, the clinic will plan out the retrieval cycle. They will also order medications for the donor and local monitoring will be arranged for the cycle. The donor will attend local monitoring for the cycle ahead of travel to the Intended Parent(s)’ clinic for the retrieval. The number of monitoring appointments required varies from clinic to clinic. Intended Parent(s) can ask their clinic what the standard is for their retrieval cycles.
Approx 1 month, includes medication time, travel and pre-retrieval monitoring)
This is the most exciting time during your egg donation journey. Your egg donor will be taking her medications; on average, donors are on stimulation injections for 8-12 days prior to administering a trigger shot with a scheduled retrieval 36 hours later.
The egg retrieval will take place at the Intended Parent(s)’ clinic. Donors are required to travel for this trip with an adult companion. After beginning injections at home, a donor and a companion will then travel to the IVF clinic for the remainder of the cycle for monitoring leading up to the retrieval.
Once eggs are retrieved, they will be fertilized into embryos at the clinic. Many intended parents choose to complete genetic testing of their embryos (PGS testing) to aid in determining which embryos are most likely to yield success. 24 hours after the retrieval is complete, the donor and companion will travel back home. The retrieval trip itself can average 4-12 days depending on the duration in which she is on stimulation injections.
We understand that this process – while exciting! – can feel a bit overwhelming. There's so much to coordinate and think about. We know Intended parents have can option to find an egg donor – and donor eggs – from an egg bank, or other sources. However, Circle Egg Donation knows that the process can be complicated and emotionally charged, and for this very reason, intended parents choose to work with an egg donation agency to help manage every step.
If you're considering egg donation, we highly recommend you work with an experienced agency. You can reach out to Circle Egg Donation at: [email protected]
We understand that you may have questions about the egg donation process and what to expect. Here are some answers to questions we receive from intended parents.
The length of time it takes to find your egg donor match will vary, and depend on your egg donor preferences. We recommend searching the database and finding more than one donor you have interest in, and then speaking with the Circle team about your choices.
Because an egg donation cycle can take up to 6 months in total, an egg donor with 3 people in her queue can mean a wait time of 18 months or longer. We recommend finding another donor with whom to match. Our database had hundreds of amazing women waiting to help you!
If you require both an egg donor and a surrogate to grow your family, we recommend meeting with the Circle team and signing on to put yourself on the wait list for a surrogate match (which can take 10-12 months). While you wait for your surrogate match, you can find an egg donor and create your embryos so you're ready to go when you are matched with a surrogate.
Working with an egg donation agency means that you have a team helping coordinate and manage the entire egg donation journey with you. Your agency will work with your clinic, manage the payments to your egg donor, book her travel, etc. Plus, you will have choices as to the type of egg donation you prefer, and have the opportunity to meet your donor and get to know her and her motivations for donating her eggs.
Egg donation costs range from $21,000-$24,000 and include: your agency fee, legal fees, egg donor fees, medications, insurance and more. Costs for embryo creation, embryo testing, embryo transfer, etc are not included in above costs, and are paid by intended parents to their IVF clinic.