Becoming an egg donor is much harder then what the media leads us to believe and if you read everything out there that has "eggs for sale" on the front page you would think that "selling eggs" is a great money maker! Here is the short version of what an egg donor might go through when applying to the Open Arms program:
In the very beginning of the process, a potential donor sends us a blurb, which we respond to with a more detailed application. In this emailed application we include a list of requirements, as follows:
-1. between the ages of 21 and 29 -2. healthy -3. Height and weight proportionate 4. Not adopted -5. does not smoke (if you use to smoke you have to quit smoking 2 years before the donation) -6. does not use illegal drugs -7. No history of depression or any mental health disorders -8. is not alcohol dependant -9. is not on any form of government assistance -10. has never been convicted of a crime and is educated, mature, dependable and committed to following through with the process.
Lets discuss two of these requirements in more detail: age, and smoking. It never ceases to amaze me that young women take the time to fill out such a detailed application, when the primary email has already disqualified them. Let me expand on the importance of these qualifications.
Regarding smoking: we ask that potential donors have not smoked for two years. Why? Because habitual smokers are less likely to relapse after two years off cigarettes. Social smoking counts as smoking. Any nicotine in the system is reason to cancel a cycle; and cigarettes lower fertility. Intended parents are working against infertility issues anyway; why would they choose a donor who is damaging her own fertility rate?
Now for age: we ask for 21-29 years of age in donors for a reason. Girls younger than 21 are less likely to follow through on cycles or have the maturity to understand the work and time commitment a cycle can require. Older than 29, and a woman's fertility rate drops dramatically. Yes, we do make exceptions in some cases. That is, if a couple is seeking an egg donor of VERY specific characteristics unmatched in donors of the 21-29 age range, it is at the parents' discretion to choose an older donor. We sometimes list younger donors if they have shown they are mature enough to complete a cycle.
Of course, we appreciate your interest in our program, just be sure to read the blurb of qualifications before taking the time to fill out the extended application.