Egg donation is still a relatively new idea for all intended parents who learn that they may need to choose an alternative route to build their family. I find that there are many misunderstandings that intended parents might have about the role of egg donors:
It is not all about the money. Most egg donors may be initially attracted by the financial compensation but that is not usually the deciding factor. Those who sign up to be egg donors usually do so for the human element of positively impacting someone’s life.
Egg donors offer a valuable and rare gift, their eggs. They can only donate for a limited number of years, usually between the ages of 21 – 29. Therefore; there is a “shelf life” so to speak for any one donor based on her age and in addition to her own personal life goals.
Egg Donors should also only donate up to 6 times (per American Society of Reproductive Medicine guidelines) during this time period. The average egg donor only cycles 2-3 times.
Egg donors are people not inventory. There is no reorder process to keep up with the demand for egg donors with specific qualities. Appealing donors get chosen quickly and similar donors with the same attractive attributes trickle in slowly to the potential pool of willing and able candidates. This is one of the reasons why we don’t recommend waiting for a donor who is currently in cycle. There is no guarantee that she will choose to cycle again, her life is likely to move forward just as our intended parent’s lives move forward.
The compensation they earn is well deserved considering what they are offering is priceless. Egg donation is not an easy process. The donation process requires them to take hormone injections and undergo an invasive procedure in order to retrieve her eggs for the benefit of someone else. Choosing to be an egg donor is not for everyone. If a young woman (or her family) sees her donation as giving away a future child, then she should not be an egg donor. Egg donation, like any organ donation, is a sacrifice and a gift. When she is able to see her role from the standpoint of providing the building blocks for life, then the experience can be rewarding for both her and the family she helps.
Egg donors are free agents. Being an egg donor is not a career move. It is not her full time job. Egg donors are busy young women. Being an egg donor requires time and commitment. They must rearrange their own personal schedules for numerous medical evaluations, legal consultation, daily medication injections, monitoring, and finally the retrieval process. The task list for egg donation is long, arduous, and does interfere with a donor’s daily life. The average length of time from choosing your donor to retrieval is approximately a two-three month time period. If she chooses to donate for a family, she is often sacrificing her own time with friends, holidays, romantic endeavors, and a host of other life plans.
We want all of our Intended Parents to be able to make the best and most informed decision about their future donor. We also recognize that the donation process is a partnership. The best partnerships between Egg Donors and Intended Parents are based on the mutual respect for the greater good of the outcome; your baby and a workable relationship that values all parties involved. For more information about Egg Donation, visit the American Society of Reproductive Medicine fact sheet :