Parenthood Via Egg Donation & Surrogacy – What You Need to Know

First of all, What Is Egg Donation?

Egg donation is an ART process where a fertile woman donates her healthy eggs to allow another woman to conceive a child.

Today, egg donation is an effective treatment for overcoming infertility due to decreased ovarian health. While this can occur at any age, the condition is much more common in women who are in their late 30s and 40s.

For these women who cannot conceive using their own eggs, donor eggs offer the best pregnancy and delivery success rates. This is why the practice is becoming more and more common. As a matter of fact, every year, more than 30,000 intended parents use donor eggs to have a baby.

Why Families Use An Egg Donor

There are many reasons why parents opt for egg donation to have their own children. Here are a few of them:

  • Women who cannot carry a pregnancy due to genetic conditions which may pose a threat to the child
  • Women facing infertility or a medical condition that is preventing them from having a baby
  • Diminished ovarian reserve due to age or other medical condition
  • Premature menopause
  • Women who had a hysterectomy or were born without ovaries
  • PCOS, endometriosis, chemotherapy or radiation exposure that made them unable to produce healthy eggs
  • Women who had multiple failed IVFs using their own eggs
  • Same sex male couples or single fathers

What is the Surrogacy Process?

Surrogacy is an assisted parenthood process that involves a woman (called a surrogate) agreeing to carry and give birth to a baby for someone else. Once the baby is born, the surrogate gives up legal guardianship of the baby to the intended parents.

In gestational surrogacy, the embryo is created using the intended parents’ sperm and eggs or donors are used.

Surrogacy With Egg Donation Process – Step by Step

Although the process of having a baby through surrogacy with egg donation varies person to person, we have prepared a basic overview of the steps involved.

1. Initial Planning and Discussion

The first step is to sit down with your spouse (if you are partnered) and jot down your family goals, preferences, budgeting, timeline and what the path may look like. Then contact your clinic to discuss the matter and get answers to the questions you may have.

2. Selecting Your Donor

The next step is to find a donor who matches your preferences. After all, half of your baby’s genetic material will come from your donor. The best way to find a donor is signing up with a reputed egg donation agency and reviewing their donor database. The database usually contains all the necessary details you need to know about the donors such as ethnicity, education, age, medical histories, physical traits and her images.

This makes it easier for you to choose a donor who is suitable for your family building.

3. Consulting a Fertility Specialist

Since everyone’s surrogacy and egg donation journey is unique, you should consult with one of your clinic specialists or physicians who will help you plan the journey.

4. Egg Donor and Sperm Donor Screening

Once you have chosen your egg donor and have the sperm ready, you have to start the screening of the sperm and the donor. The quality of the donor egg and sperm will impact the  fertilization. The tests include a questionnaire plus physical evaluations. It also involves blood tests to make sure there is no risk of infectious diseases.

5. Embryo Creation

The next step is embryo creation at the IVF lab. After the eggs are retrieved from your donor or thawed (if you are using frozen donor eggs) those eggs will be fertilized in the lab using the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm. The embryos can be tested for genetic abnormality and the healthy ones can be frozen at your clinic until your surrogate is ready for transplant.

6. Choosing Your Surrogate

Selecting your surrogate is another important part. This is the woman who will carry your baby to term. This is why you should match with a surrogate who aligns with your family goals and preferences. You can go through a surrogacy agency to find a suitable surrogate or ask a friend or family member to be your surrogate. In both cases, the surrogate needs to go through thorough physical and mental screening to ensure she is ready for this role.

7. Completing legal agreements

Once a surrogate is found, now’s the time to complete the legal works. The legal agreements between you and the surrogate protect all parties during the pregnancy and ensure you have legal protection throughout your journey. The agreement also mentions the surrogate’s compensation plan in detail.

8. Embryo transfer

After the paperworks is done and the legal agreement is signed, your surrogate will prepare for her cycle timing and undergo actual transfer of the embryo.

9. Surrogate pregnancy

Once the embryo transfer is done, the surrogate’s pregnancy progress will be tracked. In the first 10 weeks, your surrogate’s pregnancy is closely monitored by your IVF clinic. For the rest of the pregnancy and delivery, the monitoring will be done by the surrogate’s obstetrician.

10. Delivery and guardianship take over

2 or 3 days before the possible delivery date, your surrogate will be admitted to the delivery center. Depending on the agreement you can be present in the delivery room during the delivery. Once the baby is delivered, the final legal work will be taken care of and you can take our baby home.

Final words

Surrogacy with egg donation is a wonderful way to become parents for the couples and individuals who cannot produce healthy eggs and carry a pregnancy by themselves.

However, the path is time consuming, demands a lot of resources and you need to be ready for the emotional ups and downs. This is why you should thoroughly research every step of the process before embarking on the journey.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.