How do we find the best egg donor agency? Which egg donor agency is best?
We know our Tulip egg donor agency partners are the best egg donor agencies in the business, because we have over a decade of experience vetting and working with top egg donor agencies. But those just starting their egg donor search may have questions. How can you be sure that an egg donor agency is ethical, reliable and will help make your egg donor process as smooth as possible?
We’ve been working with many of these agencies since 2006 (through our parent company Donor Concierge), but we also frequently connect with egg donor agencies that are just starting up. One of the things many intended parents find crazy about the fertility world is the limited regulation of egg donation and surrogacy agencies. Anyone can start one, and you don’t need any special qualifications or accreditation to open up shop as an egg donor agency or a surrogacy agency. So how can you tell who to trust? Who are the best egg donor agencies to work with?
Here’s our checklist to make sure an egg donor agency is legit.
- Transparency: Do they list the key people on the website and identify who owns the agency and who runs it? We always want to know who is behind the agency and what organizations it is affiliated with. Is the owner the main contact? Is it owned by a fertility clinic? Or an attorney? When agencies don’t put their key personnel on the site, it signals that they’re not comfortable being open about who owns and runs the company.
- Affiliations: What organizations are they affiliated with? Are they members of the Society of Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy (SEEDS), ASRM, Resolve or Men Having Babies? And remember, just because a company lists those logos on their site, go to the source and double check. While it’s not imperative to have an affiliation with a fertility-related organization, it does signal that the company understands the fertility space and values ethics and medical standards.
- Background: Ask the agency pertinent questions about their history – when was the company started, why did they start it and which clinics have they worked with? Most people who work within agencies do so because they love helping create families. We don’t penalize an agency just for being new but we do want to know if they have any understanding of the egg donation process and the legal issues around egg donation and surrogacy.
- Screening: Ask how they screen their donors – do they meet them in person or on a video call?
- Fees: Ask to see their fee structure up front. Do they require a deposit to view their donors? If you find a donor, do they require the entire agency fee up front or a portion of the fee payable to hold her?
- Refunds: Ask the agency what happens in different scenarios – if the donor doesn’t pass her initial screening by your clinic, or if you change your mind, or if the donor backs out? Choosing an egg donor isn’t like buying something on Amazon. Agencies spend a lot of time and investment in recruitment and screening of donors (although most don’t do ovarian reserve or genetic testing ahead of time on first time donors). Getting a donor to the clinic for her screening requires time and cost – travel costs, administrative costs – these are not refundable as the agency has done the work. Find out ahead of time what the implications are if you don’t end up matching with that particular donor.
- References: Agencies should be able to supply you with names of former clients, attorneys or clinic partners who can vouch for them. If they aren’t willing to do that, move on.
Need more help working through the agency and donor selection process? Sign up for Tulip Premium (it’s now FREE for your first month) and your Tulip Fertility Coach will walk you through any question you have!