Tips for Your Donor Search
Once you decide to use an egg donor to help create your family, the search for the right donor begins. We know this part of the journey can feel both exciting and daunting, mixed with tons of other emotions. Our intention is to help scale back the thousands and thousands of available egg donor profiles so you have a select number of prospective candidates to choose from. This creates a list that is manageable to review and choose from and all profiles you’ll see are a direct reflection of the characteristics you hope to find.
We have been helping intended parents in this process for many years and have some suggestions for parents as they embark on the search. We hope this helps you in yours!
How to Find an Egg Donor
One of the first questions future parents ask when deciding to pursue egg donation is, how do I find an egg donor? While there are emotional and financial hurdles that many recipient clients must overcome before embarking on the egg donation process, thankfully, finding an egg donor is easier than it has ever been.
Years ago, when it was recommended to patients that they pursue egg donation by their fertility doctor, they were handed a list of agencies to contact to assist them in finding their egg donor. The trouble with that is not every agency is going to have the right egg donor for every client, so the burden of that search is put on them and sifting through countless profiles and connecting with many different agencies can become a full time job. Additionally, by connecting with a handful of egg donor agencies, it really limits your search when there are over 100 reputable egg donor agencies throughout the country that each have anywhere from 5—500 egg donors! That’s potentially 50,000 available egg donors to choose from! While it would be impossible to search through all these profiles on your own, I don’t know any recipient that wouldn’t love to be able to quickly and easily view just the 20-50 top egg donor candidates that most closely match their criteria from that group of 50,000 available egg donors. Thankfully, that is now a possibility.
Family Match Consulting has relationships with all of the top agencies throughout the country and a unique system to be able to thoroughly and quickly search each agency to find clients the best possible egg donor candidates that match their desired criteria. One former client called us “the Google search for egg donors”, and essentially that’s what we are! Clients fill out a search query, or questionnaire, so that we understand the specific characteristics they hope to find in an egg donor and then like Google, we start our search! We work very quickly, and send each client as many candidates that we find that fit their criteria. Most of our clients match with their donor within 1-2 weeks and we are able to provide them with tons of profiles that they never would have been able to find on their own. Aside from the speed, thoroughness, and over a decade of experience we bring to each and every search, we are also proud to offer this service at the very lowest price possible.
We hope to be able to assist you in finding your “perfect” egg donor, too.
How to Select an Egg Donor
Once you have decided to embark on the egg donation process you are faced with a number of questions, some of which you may have never thought you’d be posed with. For example, most people don’t grow up wondering “what are the most important characteristics I would hope to find in my egg donor?” Being faced with this question can be challenging for a lot of our clients, but here are 5 tips that can help you navigate the egg donor selection process.
Parents Via Egg Donation (known as PVED) is a fabulous non-profit organization that offers support and resources for all people seeking information about egg donation. Founded by Marna Gatlin, PVED was the first, and remains the largest support group for parents and parents-to-be who are considering egg donation to build their family.
We hope that anyone and everyone exploring egg donation will enlist the help of PVED. They offer a ton of free information and resources and have message boards where thousands of people connect to share information and encouragement.
Visit Parents Via Egg Donation at: www.pved.org
Family Match Consulting is giving away one FREE egg donor search, with add on follow up option to a member of PVED. Package is a $1,350 value!
To enter, please answer the following questions and email responses to: firstname.lastname@example.org by APRIL 15th, 2015. Winner will be contacted that day.
Please be sure to include:
1. Name of fertility doctor and fertility clinic
2. Brief explanation of your fertility journey thus far
3. Characteristics you seek in a donor. Please include ethnicity, location, physical characteristics, education, and any other important information. (Don't worry, if selected we will review this in detail and assist with any fine-tuning before we start our search.)
4. Desired time frame for cycle
5. Phone number and if it is OK to leave a message at that number
To Qualify, you MUST:
1. Have a fertility clinic selected
2. Be prepared to cycle at this time (within approximately 30-90 days) of your donor search
1. The $1,350 search fee will be completely waived. Winner will be required to sign program agreement prior to the search commencing.
2. While Family Match Consulting's fee will be waived, winner will still be responsible for all other fees and expenses associated with the egg donation process including but not limited to agency fee, donor compensation, IVF fees, legal fees, etc.
3. Winner is under no obligation to select an egg donor that is presented to them.
4. All services and contest submissions are strictly confidential.
Love and baby dust to all!!! <3
Selecting an Egg Donor
Finding the right donor, the one that allows you to stop your search and just KNOW you are making the right choice is a huge challenge for anyone. How do you know you are making the right decision? What should you be looking for? Our Founder has over 10 years of experience in matching recipient parents with egg donors and she shares some of her tips here.
1. Health - Certainly this is one of the top priorities to consider when selecting an egg donor. While most agencies will not approve egg donors with serious health conditions, every person has some family history of illness. You want to make sure that a donor's health history is compatible with your family's history. For example, if the intended father or sperm donor has a history of heart disease in the family, that may be something you want to avoid when selecting your egg donor. Keep in mind that finding a donor with all grandparents alive and well without any medical conditions is extraordinarily rare, so create a list of "deal breakers" and outside of that, try and have an open mind. During your intake with Family Match Consulting, we will discuss your family health history and make sure we are only seeking donors with a background that makes you feel completely comfortable.
2. Physical Characteristics - Our clients typically want to find an egg donor with similar characteristics to the recipient mother, or someone who looks like they would fit into their family. Hair color, eye color, height, ethnicity, etc. are some of the things to consider when reviewing profiles. We will help you fine tune your wish list so we are only presenting you with the profiles of the donors that most closely fit the criteria you seek. It is important not to place too much importance on each individual characteristic though. For example, if you are seeking a donor that is 5'7", but find a fabulous candidate with so many qualities you seek, but she happens to be 5'5", I don't recommend ruling her out. We've seen many clients discount a donor for similar reasons but later realize she's a great fit but by then she's already been selected by another recipient.
3. Education - For many clients, finding a donor with a strong academic background is important. We've worked with clients where both parents have attended Ivy League Universities so it is important for the donor to be attending or have graduated from the same. While we can certainly do a search for this, the results will be limiting. There are thousands of wonderful egg donors that have graduated from top universities, some with honors. There are also incredibly bright donors without the means or opportunities to attend some of the top schools, so they are pursuing an Associate's Degree from their local college with hopes of transferring to a four year university afterwards. Some donors skipped school entirely but launched successful careers as entrepreneurs. These are all things to consider when narrowing down candidates.
4. Location - Most donors are very willing and able to travel for a cycle, though some do have travel restrictions and therefore can only complete cycles near their hometown. Selecting a donor that lives out of the area, or out of state from your fertility clinic does increase the cost of the process, but it also opens up your search. For clients in major cities like Los Angeles, or Chicago, finding a local donor with the qualities you seek will be much easier. However for clients in more remote areas, we recommend opening up your search which will give you far more choices.
5. A gut feeling - While you may be seeking a donor that is Caucasian, brown haired, blue eyed, tall, college educated, athletic, with a healthy family history...at the end of the day, it really comes down to whether or not there is a "connection" that you feel when reading the donor's profile. I always tell clients that one final question you can ask yourself about a candidate is "would this donor sit around a family gathering of yours and look and seem as though she fits in?" Sometimes that answer will provide a lot of clarity.
While finding an egg donor is a challenge, enlisting the help of a search service can help take some of the stress away. Our experienced consultants will walk each client through the selection process and then search close to 100 agency databases to only provide you with the profiles of donors that fit the criteria you seek.
We wish everyone pursuing their dream of a family - weather it be through IVF, egg donation, surrogacy, adoption, and all things in between, all the very best of luck.
With love and copious amounts of baby dust,
The FMC team