What questions should I ask the agency?

Once you’ve settled on your top egg donor candidates, you’ll want to know more about her and the logistics of matching with her.  Remember, egg donors are young women with lives, families and work – an egg donation cycle takes a lot of commitment both in time, physical and emotional effort, so it’s important to understand that this takes planning on her part.

You’ll reach out to the agencies via the Tulip platform but what should you ask them and what do they need to know from you?

Can the donor travel?
The location of your clinic will be the first question the agency will want to know. If your fertility clinic is in Los Angeles and your egg donor is in New York, she may have to make up to two trips to your clinic for medical screening, some monitoring and the egg retrieval.  Don’t forget to ask what the estimated travel costs may be.

Does she have any blackout dates?
Let the agency know how soon you want to do your egg donor cycle.  An egg donor may have commitments coming up such as a wedding, family gathering, final exams or a big work project due. The egg donor agency will work with your clinic to schedule all of her medical appointments and they can work around big dates but make sure you are aware of these blackout periods. If your donor is not available to do a cycle until a later date, or only has a small window to complete the cycle, it’s best to talk this out with the agency and your clinic.  Some clinics may require the donor to be available for up to 14 days near your clinic.

Has she done a cycle before and can you share the results of that cycle? 
Previous cycle records ‘belong’ to the intended parents who cycled with that donor.  The agency will have gone to great lengths to obtain these records and can send them directly to your fertility doctor to review.  Your RE can then give you her/his opinion on the donor – don’t try to become a specialist in reproductive endocrinology based on a donor’s previous cycle results – the RE is looking for stimulation protocols, how the donor’s body responded and other data that will indicate she is an appropriate donor for you.

What is the agency fee?
Egg donor agency fees can range with the average being about $8000.  Ask the agency to provide you with a fee structure – what amount is due up front to secure the donor and when do they expect full payment?  What happens in the event that the donor doesn’t pass her medical screening?  What is their refund policy?  Remember that egg donor agencies spend money and time recruiting the best candidates.  Most agencies will issue partial refunds but ask them to clarify this.

What is the donor’s requested compensation?
Donor compensation generally starts at around $6000 but ask – sometimes a donor may request a compensation that is higher than that. You’ll want to know before you get invested in working with her.

Can I see more photos? Can I see a video of the donor? Can I see photos of her family?
These questions are all valid but remember – not everyone wants to share personal information like this with strangers.  Some agencies have videos and extra photos, but others do not. Some donors are okay with sharing lots of information, but others are not.  If this is something that is really important to you, it’s a question you should ask up front.

What happens if the donor doesn’t pass her medical screening?
This gets back to refund policies but this is important.  There are many instances where a donor doesn’t pass your clinic’s screening. While this is unfortunate, it’s usually not something that the agency would know about.

Remember, the egg donor agencies have the same goal as you – to help you have a baby.

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