Why don't you complete all the psychological and medical screening tests on all the donors in advance?
The psychological, and particularly the medical screening tests, are only valid if completed shortly prior to beginning the actual donation process. If these tests were done too far in advance, medical or emotional problems could arise in the time between the completion of the screening and when the donor is actually selected.
Psychological testing can be completed promptly, and your clinic will have specific medical screening protocols that they will want the donor to complete.
What type of screening process do your Egg Donors and Surrogates go through?
Donors must be close to 21 years old and no older than 32 years of age and Surrogates no older than 38 at the time of transfer, in good health, and have no known negative genetic history. We accept women who appear to be mature, emotionally stable, intelligent, and able to commit to the requirements of the program.
Applicants fill out a lengthy questionnaire. In addition to covering their educational background, physical and personality characteristics, etc., this questionnaire covers their physical and mental health in extensive detail, plus the health and characteristics of their immediate and extended family.
When you select a donor, she will be evaluated by a licensed psychologist and by the medical personnel at your IVF clinic.
Most clinics include some combination of the following tests in their screening. Please check with your clinic for specific screening protocol.
Baseline Ultrasound to assess ovarian reserve
Urine Drug/Nicotine Screen
AMH: anti-mullerian hormone, a measure of ovarian function
Blood type/Rh Hematocrit (check for anemia)
What happens if our Donor or Surrogate do not pass the medical or psychological screening?
Because there are so many tests involved with the screening there is a possibility that she may not pass a test, or receive a result that would cause a delay in proceeding. If she is unable to participate then you may select a new donor under your original CCS, LLC agency fee. Depending on how much screening your first donor completed, clinic and/or psychological screening fees may need to be remitted for the new donor.
My clinic is pressuring me to use their in-house Donor and/or Surrogate. They say that it's faster and outside donors might fail their screen. Is that true?
It’s faster for the clinic. In terms of your Donor/Surrogate screening, yes, it is possible that they may not pass. The recipients who work with me feel this risk is far outweighed by the positives mentioned in the question above. They may have to be a bit more patient, but they want to work with an exceptional Donor/Surrogate and not rush what is probably the most important decision in their life.
Will you help us find a donor if we cannot find one in your current pool?
Yes, Central Coast Surrogacy, LLC routinely runs customized advertising for registered clients to help target in on the Donor/Surrogate characteristics they are seeking.
Depending on the ethnicity of the donor, appropriate candidates are usually found in a reasonably short time.
Why do women donate eggs?
Women donate for a variety of reasons. The financial compensation is often the initial draw, and is generally designated for educational funding. However, evidence of other motivation and a general interest is present in the donors I represent. There really are many women who are drawn to the program by empathy or altruism. Some have a friend, co-worker or neighbor who has experienced infertility; some want an infertile couple to be able to experience the joy that they have experienced through raising their own children.
Why do women Surrogate?
Many women Surrogate because they genuinely like to help other people and feel a strong connection to their own children that they would like to share with others. Many have had easy pregnancies and may miss the feeling of carrying a baby. Some are also looking for ways to stay home with their children, buy a house, or start a business with the money they earn by becoming a Surrogate.
What happens during an egg donation cycle?
As for the actual process of egg donation, it is easiest to think of it as an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle split between two women.
You and your donor will begin the cycle by taking birth control pills. The pill assists in cycle synchronization and the ovulation suppression process.
After a pack of birth control pills your donor will begin taking Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). This hormone stimulates her ovaries to mature multiple eggs – sometimes up to fifteen or more in one cycle. She will take this hormone for approximately twelve days. While she is taking FSH, she will be very closely monitored through blood samples and ultrasound to see how the follicles (eggs) are developing.
Simultaneously, you will begin using estradiol (estrogen) to prepare your endometrium for a possible pregnancy.
When the doctor determines that your donor’s follicles (eggs) are nearing maturity, she will stop taking FSH and will receive one final injection of a different hormone called hcg. Hcg allows the eggs to become completely matured and ready for release.
At about the same time, you will begin using progesterone in addition to continuing the estrogen. Progesterone is the other hormone you need to maintain a pregnancy in the early stages.
Next, your physician will remove your donor’s eggs (before they are released) during the egg retrieval procedure. This procedure lasts about 20 minutes and is done under sedation. A needle is guided via ultrasound into the ovaries to aspirate the eggs. This is done through the back of the vagina.
What happens to the eggs once they are retrieved?
Once the eggs are retrieved, they are “washed”, inspected and placed in a petri dish where they will be fertilized with your partner or donor’s sperm. There, they will grow and develop into embryos. Generally, three or five days later, one or two of the embryos will be placed into your uterus. You will continue to use estrogen and progesterone to prepare your uterus for a possible pregnancy. You receive your first pregnancy test approximately 2 weeks after the embryos have been transferred to your uterus. Any “healthy” embryos that were not placed in your uterus will be frozen for future attempts at getting pregnant.
What happens during the embryo transfer (You or Surrogate)?
The actual procedure set-up feels similar to a pelvic exam. Your physician will pass a very small catheter through your cervix and deposit a tiny drop of culture media in which the microscopic embryos are suspended. Additionally, the physician is guided externally by sonogram allowing them to verify the exact placement of the embryos. After the transfer, you will be asked to lie still for a short while and then you are released. Your physician will give you information regarding what level of activity you may have after the procedure.
Do we receive all the eggs that are donated by the Egg Donor? What happens to any extras that are not transferred during this cycle?
Yes, you receive all the eggs that are retrieved from your donor. You and your doctor will determine how many embryos should be transferred during your cycle. Generally, one or two. Any remaining embryos will be frozen. You may use these embryos in the future, at your discretion. They are legally your embryos. Most couples end up with 2-6 frozen embryos.
If the Donor or Surrogate does have a complication related to the donor egg cycle or Surrogacy, who pays for her medical treatment?
Most insurance companies do not cover fertility and/or voluntary procedures, and will often reject claims filed with the donor’s insurance company. To help ensure that you are not exposed to any additional costs, Central Coast Surrogacy, LLC offers a “one-time” Assisted Reproduction insurance policy through a Lloyd’s of London Cover holder and underwriter.
Will my Donor have enough eggs for own future pregnancies after donating to me or other recipients?
Yes. A young woman goes through many, many eggs each month to select the single one that is ovulated. The follicles that don’t complete the development process normally dissolve and are absorbed by the body. Fertility drugs (hormones) preserve a portion of these excess eggs that the body would ordinarily discard. No extra eggs are used up in the process.
How is the Egg Donor/Surrogate compensated?
Donors are compensated between $5,000-$13,000 for participating in the program, based on a predetermined amount prior to contracting. This sum is intended to provide reimbursement for the time, effort, and inconvenience involved with screening appointments and tests, taking fertility medications, appointments at the fertility clinic and for undergoing the egg retrieval.
Your donor’s reimbursement check will be mailed to her soon after her egg retrieval. If the cycle is canceled before the egg retrieval occurs (i.e., inadequate ovarian response), she will receive partial compensation ($500) for her time and inconvenience.
Surrogates are compensated between $22,000 and up to participate in the program. The price will vary based on the program they are participating in and travel, medications, ect. An estimate of total costs for your Surrogate will be provide prior to contacting. Payment will be made in installments to your Surrogate’s escrow account as determined in your contract.
Can we meet our Egg Donor/Surrogate?
Yes! You may specify if you are interested in meeting your Donor/Surrogate. Most Donors and Surrogates are comfortable with whatever choice the couple has made. A very small percentage of donors want to remain fully anonymous.
You may not be sure right now about this choice. We can discuss this concept further at our first meeting, and you will have plenty of time to make this decision.
Some couples will have a strong desire to meet their donor and learn more about her in person. If you choose this option, I will be there to introduce you and facilitate the meeting with your donor.
Many recipient parents will feel that they already have a strong sense of the special person their donor is from reviewing her profile and through what I will relate to you about her. This may be enough for you. If you choose an anonymous relationship, I maintain strict confidentiality.
What if our child wants to know about the Egg Donor/Surrogate in the future?
The growing trend among recipient parents is to give their child information about the Egg Donor at the appropriate time. As in the case of adoptive children, there is evidence that it is important for a child to understand their genetic origin before they reach adolescence. Additionally, not revealing this information to a child creates a family “secret”, which may somehow be discovered by the child in the wrong setting. Children can become confused and unsure of whether they can trust their parents when this occurs. I will provide you with a number of articles and resources at our in-person meeting that will help you make the right decision for your family.
When you select your Donor, you will be given quite a bit of non-identifying information about her that you will be able to share with your child if you choose to do so. Many donors are receptive to revealing additional information about themselves either at the time of their selection or at a later point via CCS, LLC or through the attorney who creates the egg donation agreement.
We have also seen a trend of the Surrogate Mothers staying a part of the process and meeting the child thy gave birth to after the process is complete. This is completely the choice of the Parents and can also be stipulated in your contract.
Will we receive legal guidance?
Yes. I will help facilitate a contractual agreement between you and your ovum donor prior to the egg retrieval. This agreement serves several purposes. First, it allows the parties the opportunity to clarify their expectations and understanding of their rights and responsibilities. This significantly reduces the risk of confusion or unforeseen complications during or after the cycle. This also provides individuals with the chance to address legally related questions, concerns and clearly communicate their intentions in the reproductive relationship. With the legal process complete, the parties are often able to proceed with a greater level of confidence.
Presently, most states have little to no legislation or case law regulating assisted reproduction. Consequently, in the very few cases that have been brought to litigation, the courts have declared that they will look to the intent of the parties when making their ruling. This means that the courts will likely look to the legal agreement in order to determine the original state of mind and intentions of the parties.
I will provide you with a list of attorneys specializing in assisted reproduction law.
Will the Egg Donor/Surrogate also receive legal guidance?
Yes. She will be referred to a separate attorney to help her review and understand the egg donation agreement that your attorney has established.
Will my baby need insurance after birth?
Yes. In all states it is necessary to immediately cover your child with insurance. This can be as simple as adding your child to you or your spouse’s policy by notifying them of the birth, or buy purchasing a separate policy, which is usually the case for our International families. There are currently 2 companies that help with insuring newborn children: