Choosing to have a baby is one of the most important milestones in a woman's life -- and these days, there are a million and one ways to do it. Whether it happens naturally or through fertility treatments -- from Clomid to IVF, an egg donor to a surrogate mother, adopting a "snowflake baby" to adopting a child -- there are many avenues to consider.
Fertility Miracles: FAQs
My doctor has told me that I need to find an egg donor. What is the success rate of pregnancy when using a donor?
The success of the transfer depends upon the IVF clinic that you are using and what their reported statistics of success are. Typically, when using an egg donor, the rate of success is at 70%.
Donors and Tattoos
I have chosen a donor that has tattoos. Can the donor still donate if they have received a tattoo or piercing?
Donors that have received a tattoo or body piercing a year or more from the date of their application are allowed to participate in egg donation. For those donors that have received their tattoos or body piercings less than a year from the date of application, they are either not qualified, or documentation must be provided by the parlor that performed the work stating that they have been inspected by the Department of Health.
Donors and Medical Screening
How do you screen your applicants for medical history? For the rare neurological and other conditions (things you wouldn't automatically know without specific tests), how do we know they don't have them?
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) provides guidelines that, as an agency, we must go through with the donors that apply to our program. Please keep in mind that not all donors get accepted into the program for various reasons, most of them medical. For specific tests that parents may have concerns about, this is addressed with their own particular IVF physician. All donors are required to undergo a genetic evaluation with a counselor, and those findings are then presented to the IVF physician. It is up to the parents and the IVF physician whether they would like to have additional genetic testing performed other than what was recommended by the genetic counselor.
Donors and Fertility
What kind of fertility testing do first-time donors undergo?
All first-time and repeat donors go through ultrasounds, FSH, and other blood work and cultures that are required by the FDA at the time of their medical screening appointments. The donor must pass all of these laboratory tests to be given medical clearance to proceed with the donation.
Cost of Using a Donor
What is the price difference between a previous donor and a first-time donor?
A first-time donor receives $6,500-$7,000 for their first donation, while a previous donor, depending upon the number of donations they have gone through, will increase by $500 for each donation. The ASRM provides guidelines on the amount to be paid directly to the donor. Agencies are encouraged to abide by these amounts, and parents should not be encouraged to provide an "incentive" to the donors for a successful retrieval.
Choosing a Surrogate Mother
I have had multiple miscarriages and now need to find a surrogate mother to carry my baby. How do I select the right surrogate mother?
Choosing the right surrogate mother for your journey can be an overwhelming process. You need to take into consideration the things you would find most important. Things such as: surrogate-friendly state, married vs. single, stay-at-home mom vs. working mother, health insurance coverage, carrying multiples, etc ... We always tell our intended parents to try and keep an open mind when reviewing surrogate profiles and interviewing the surrogate mothers. You might just find the right connection with an amazing surrogate mother that you may not ever have considered!
Surrogate Mother and You
Will I be able to meet the surrogate?
Most definitely! In the initial stages, it is not uncommon to have a conference call with the surrogate to test the waters, share information, and see if you have any type of connection with the surrogate. Once you decide that you want to take the next step forward, arrangements can be made for a face-to-face meeting with the surrogate. In some cases, it can even be done on the same day of a medical screening appointment with your IVF physician.
Adoption and Surrogacy
Will I have to adopt my child once born?
It is very important when making your surrogate selection to choose one from a surrogate-friendly state. Each state that does participate in surrogacy has very specific guidelines when it comes to the parentage documents and/or adoption process. For example, California and Oregon are states where surrogacy is permitted. In California, there is no adoption process for the intended parents, but in Oregon, the intended mother will need to adopt the child(ren), and the records will remain sealed until the child(ren) is 18 years of age.