FAQs for Egg Donors, Intended Parents, and Surrogates2023-02-20T18:24:53+00:00


Common questions for egg donors, intended parents, and surrogates.

Egg Donor FAQs

Common questions from women interested in becoming egg donors.

What is egg donation?2019-08-07T17:21:45+00:00

Egg donation helps those who are unable to become parents on their own.

People choose egg donation for many reasons. Some are struggling with infertility, others are same-sex couples or single individuals. Intended parents come from many different backgrounds and ethnicities all around the world.

How long does the Egg Donation process take?2019-07-31T15:16:53+00:00

It’s important to understand that egg donation timelines vary. While there is no guarantee you will be chosen as an egg donor, it is possible to be chosen within days of being accepted into our program. Some intended parents also require a gestational surrogate. This means that even after you are matched, there can be a waiting period while your intended parents are being matched with a surrogate. Although the donation itself lasts only 3-4 weeks, commitment to the process is typically 2-3 months. Please keep in mind that these are average timelines and that no two egg donation arrangements are the same.

How many times can I donate with Eggceptional Fertility?2021-07-08T14:20:02+00:00

Most of our clinics allow an egg donor to participate in an egg donation up to six times. However, we can only rematch you if the previous donation resulted in a pregnancy or a successful retrieval.

How do I become an egg donor with The Eggceptional Fertility?2021-07-08T14:18:21+00:00

All egg donors must meet the following requirements:

  • Between 20-29 years of age (up to 31 for experienced donors)
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) lower than 28 (calculate your BMI here)
  • No more than one occurrence of the same cancer in family history (except non-genetic cancers, such as leukemia and lung)
  • No heart disease under age 55 in family history
  • No psychiatric hospitalizations
  • Be a U.S. or Canadian citizen (Women living in Canada must have their egg retrieval done at a clinic in the United States to earn compensation)
  • Some education beyond after high school i.e. enrolled in college, college classes, certification programs, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, PhD.
  • Applicants of all ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to apply
  • Must be comfortable with giving yourself daily injections
  • Must answer all detailed family health history questions thoroughly

If you feel that you meet the above requirements, please click here to complete the online application.

I am adopted. Can I still be a donor?2019-07-31T15:19:02+00:00

Yes, if you know your biological family’s health history. Unfortunately, if your adoption was closed you may not be able to provide us with all of the necessary medical information.

I am on birth control; can I still be an Egg Donor?2019-08-07T17:19:52+00:00

Yes, but it depends on the form of birth control you are using. Acceptable forms of birth control include birth control pills, the nuva ring, the patch, and non-hormonal IUDs. If you have a hormonal IUD, you are eligible to apply under the condition that you have it removed upon matching with IPs.

If you are currently using Implanon or Depo-Provera for birth control you will need to switch to one of the acceptable forms listed above and have at least three menstrual cycles before applying to become a donor.

Always remember to consult your OB/GYN before making any decisions about changing your contraceptive.

For further information on this, email us.

Will I have to travel, or can you match me with local intended parents?2019-07-31T15:20:43+00:00

We work with intended parents who have chosen clinics throughout the United States. Where you travel will depend on the IVF clinic chosen by the intended parents. This is where you will most likely travel to twice. We will disclose that information prior to matching, so you will be aware of where you will be traveling. We can certainly try and match you only locally, but that will decrease your chances of being chosen as an egg donor and limit you to those couples working with an IVF center in your area.

What are the differences between anonymous, semi-anonymous, and known donation?2019-08-07T17:18:41+00:00

The matching for each process is the same and you are able to review a redacted profile for the intended parents, as they are able to view yours.

Anonymous Donation: You would not have open contact or communication with the couple or single to whom you agree to donate. The contract would use only first names, and all information is exchanged through our agency. We ask that you keep our agency informed of all changes in your health history and keep your contact information up to date.

Semi-Known Donation: You donate your eggs and limit the amount of information that is shared. For example, you can decide that you don’t want to exchange information but may want to meet in person at our office.

Known Donation: We can set up communication between all parties, and you can carry on the relationship to your agreed upon level of comfort. For example, you can meet and exchange information to be in touch in the future, if necessary, or can form a relationship and have consistent contact. Our social workers will discuss this further and answer any questions in your screening.

What kinds of medications are used?2019-07-31T15:22:17+00:00

Medications are used to coordinate cycles, suppress ovulation, stimulate follicles, and to trigger release of eggs. Examples of these include birth control pills, Lupron, Ganirelix, Follistim, Gonal-F, Menopur and HCG. These may be used in different combinations depending on the clinic and physician and some of the medications can be known by various names.

Are there any complications of which I should be aware?2019-07-31T15:22:43+00:00

Most women experience little to no complications. You can experience minor discomfort after the procedure, or symptoms associated with your natural cycles, such as headaches, moodiness, or cramping. There have been a very small number of extreme cases of hyper stimulation. Although it has never happened in our program, there is a need to disclose that there have been very rare and extremely limited cases.

Will donating affect my own fertility?2019-08-07T17:17:42+00:00

No relationship between egg donation and future fertility has been established, although research is continuing. Egg donation does not deplete your ovarian reserve. Each month you release a number of eggs, but only one comes to maturity. The hormones administered in the donation process stimulate more than one to reach maturity. Women in their 20’s have hundreds of thousands of viable eggs.

Egg Donor Intended Parent FAQs

Common questions from intended parents of egg donors.

What do you require from your egg donors?2019-08-08T14:50:16+00:00
  • Between 20-29 years of age (up to 31 for experienced donors)
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) lower than 28 (calculate your BMI here)
  • No more than one occurrence of the same cancer in family history (except non-genetic cancers, such as leukemia and lung)
  • No heart disease under age 55 in family history
  • No psychiatric hospitalizations
  • Be a U.S. or Canadian citizen (Women living in Canada must have their egg retrieval done at a clinic in the United States to earn compensation)
  • Some education beyond after high school i.e. enrolled in college, college classes, certification programs, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, PhD.

Medical qualifications

  • Have regular monthly periods
  • No reproductive disorders or abnormalities
  • Physically and emotionally healthy
  • Non-nicotine user, non-smoker, non-drug user; no vaping or psychotropic drug use
  • Not currently on the Depo-Provera shot
  • Not currently using the Implanon/Nexplanon arm implant
  • Willing to undergo medical and psychological evaluation
How do I select an egg donor?2019-08-07T17:16:54+00:00

Choosing an egg donor is one of the more challenging choices intended parents will have to make. Often, they will have an idea about certain traits they are looking for (hair color, eye color, and height range are some examples). However, intended parents more often base their decision on the egg donor’s responses to the donor application. We also have videos of many of our donors for you to preview. If we don’t have a video on a donor you are interested in working with, just ask. We will be happy to request one for you. When you find a profile that you connect with, your coordinator can assist you in matching with the egg donor.

Will I have contact with my egg donor?2019-08-07T17:15:20+00:00

Contact with your egg donor is up to you and your donor’s comfort level. We do anonymous, semi-anonymous, and known egg donations. We personally feel it is a better experience for both parties when they have some level of contact, but this is completely at your discretion. This is your cycle and we want to make sure your wishes are respected.

What is the difference between a proven donor and first-time donor?2019-08-07T17:14:12+00:00

A proven donor is someone who has gone through the entire egg donation process and the cycle resulted in a viable pregnancy.

A first-time donor is someone who is completing an egg donation cycle for the first time. There is no need to fear that a donor has not gone through the process. Every donor has her Anti-Mullerian Hormone and Antra-follicle count tested before your doctor decides to move further into the cycle.

Will there be a contract with my egg donor?2019-08-05T14:42:48+00:00

Yes. Once you are matched with an egg donor, you will have an agreement with her that covers everything from the medical procedure to your donor’s travel reimbursements (if any) and the type of relationship you wish to have with your donor.

Can I send my donor a gift or a card, thanking her for the donation?2019-08-07T17:12:43+00:00

Absolutely, donors love getting heartfelt letters from their intended parents. It makes the process very meaningful for them. This is highly encouraged! FYI, you don’t have to say your names, if you wish to remain anonymous.

How expensive is travel if my donor does not live near my clinic?2019-08-05T14:43:56+00:00

This number will vary depending on where your clinic is located. It averages between $3000-$5000. The donor will typically fly out two times. The first trip will be for her new patient appointment with your doctor. The second trip will be for the retrieval. She will fly alone for the first trip and is required to bring a companion for the second trip. The first trip will be a two day trip and the second is usually between 5-8 days, but can be slightly longer.

Do I learn about my donor’s family history?2019-08-05T14:44:24+00:00

Yes, you will learn about her family’s physical and mental health, in addition to their ethnicities. You will also learn about their physical characteristics such as hair color, eye color, and height. We encourage donors to send photos of their parents and siblings so you can get a sense of the entire family.

Can I choose if I have a boy or a girl?2019-08-05T14:45:05+00:00

Yes you can! Medical science is pretty awesome these days! This is something you will want to discuss with your doctor. It is more expensive to do (PGS) Preimplantation Genetic Screening, but it is available.

Surrogacy FAQs

Common questions from women interested in becoming surrogates.

Why should I choose Eggceptional Fertility?2023-01-02T20:41:43+00:00

As a surrogate, when you choose to embark on a journey with us, we promise to be beside you every step of the way. We will educate, lead and guide you through your surrogacy journey. We will also work tirelessly to support you as you help make parents’ dreams come true.

We have surrogates that are open to sharing their experiences and answer any questions. Our two-way matching process focuses on finding the best fit for you and your intended parents. We offer extensive support from the moment you start researching through the pregnancy, delivery, and beyond. We have been a part of the infertility community for over a decade, and we’ve seen almost every situation.

We’ll help you navigate the road, smooth the bumps, and cheer when we reach our destination. Every person who works at Eggceptional is dedicated to you and your journey.

How much do surrogates make?2023-01-02T20:42:13+00:00

Eggceptional offers a comprehensive benefits package. Surrogate compensation varies depending on your insurance, state of residence, whether you’ve been a surrogate before, and the terms outlined in your Carrier Agreement. However, typical compensation is between $60,000 and $80,000.

Why should I choose working with an agency versus going independent?2019-07-31T15:44:52+00:00

Working with an agency is to your advantage as we provide full support and guidance throughout the entire process. All aspects of the surrogacy journey are handled by our team, from matching, to screening, to legal, and social work support. We handle any issues that may arise. If there is a dispute or issue that comes up, this can be uncomfortable when not working with an agency who can handle it for you. You are also guaranteed that your full fee will be paid as laid out in your contract, in addition to all of your expenses when working with Eggceptional.

What are the requirements to become a surrogate?2023-01-02T20:42:46+00:00

Successful surrogate applicants:

  • Have delivered at least one child of their own
  • Are between the ages of 21-41 years of age
  • Do not participate government aid programs such as cash assistance, welfare, public housing or section 8. All other forms of government assistance will be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Typically have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of no higher than 33
  • Live in a surrogate-friendly state in the United States (we are very sorry but we cannot accept gestational carriers who reside in Nebraska, Louisiana, Michigan or New York)
  • Have the support of family and friends
  • Do not use illegal drugs, smoke cigarettes, or abuse alcohol.
I have had my tubes tied. Can I still be a gestational carrier?2019-07-31T15:42:35+00:00

Absolutely. Having your tubes tied will not affect your ability to be a successful surrogate.

Do I need to have insurance that will cover surrogacy?2023-01-02T20:43:19+00:00

No. If you do have medical insurance coverage, we’ll take a look at the plan to see if it is likely to cover surrogacy. If so, you may be entitled to a higher base fee. But if you don’t have insurance, it’s not a problem. We’ll find a plan that will cover you and your intended parents will pay any associated costs.

My significant other doesn’t seem on board with my being a surrogate. Can I still move forward?2019-07-31T15:40:58+00:00

We are sorry but we require that all surrogates and egg donors in our program have the full support of their husband or partner. If you are not married, you must have a support person in place with whom you will share the journey. Your primary support person will also have a screening with our social work team.

Can I choose whom I help?2023-01-02T20:45:17+00:00

Yes. We have all kinds of families who are looking for surrogate mothers, including married couples, single parents, same-sex couples, domestic and foreign couples, and single people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. We have parents who are hoping to add to their families and others who are having a child for the first time.

Can I meet the family with which I might be matched?2023-01-02T20:44:49+00:00

Typically, our surrogates and intended parents will meet each other via a video conference call before moving forward with a match. We encourage both parties to get to know each other and to make sure you feel good about the other party. Occasionally, intended parents will fly out for an initial meeting. More often you will meet them in person for the first time at the screening or transfer stage.

What kind of contact should I expect during my surrogacy?2019-07-31T15:38:47+00:00

You should expect whatever level of contact makes you comfortable, as every journey is unique. We do ask all of our intended parents to be in touch at least once a week from the time they meet you until delivery. Some people choose to have more frequent contact than this, especially around the time of the birth. However, it is not required. Before you cycle and during the pregnancy, you can expect phone calls, emails, and maybe an occasional visit, particularly for OB appointments and ultrasounds. After you deliver, we encourage our surrogate mothers and families to remain in contact through emails, phone calls, pictures and letters or maybe an occasional visit. Everyone is encouraged to do what makes them most comfortable. For most, the relationship develops naturally over time.

Who pays for all the medical bills?2023-01-02T20:44:21+00:00

Your insurance company (or the surrogate maternity insurance coverage we obtain for you and your intended parents) will pay most of the bills related to your pregnancy and delivery. If there are any additional unexpected costs, your intended parents will cover those costs. The family you choose to work with will pay for all IVF medical procedures, expenses, co-payments, and deductibles related to your surrogate pregnancy.

Do I have to travel?2023-01-02T20:43:59+00:00

This depends on where your intended parents have chosen their clinic, but the short answer is yes. You should plan to be available to travel for the transfer, which is typically a four- to seven-day trip. You will be able to bring a companion of your choice on this trip and their expenses will also be covered. You can be medically screened and monitored closer to home, but you will need to travel to the IVF clinic for the transfer. At times, the overseeing IVF clinic will require you to travel for an initial screening. This is typically a one- or two-day trip.

Surrogate Intended Parent FAQs

Common questions from intended parents of surrogates.

What is the difference between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy?2019-07-31T17:29:39+00:00

There are two types of surrogacy—gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. In a typical gestational surrogacy arrangement, intended parents create embryos through in vitro fertilization. One or more of these embryos is implanted in a surrogate (sometimes known as a gestational carrier), who carries the child or children to term, but has no genetic relationship to them. Gestational surrogacies makeup the vast majority of modern surrogacy arrangements.

By contrast, traditional surrogates typically become pregnant through artificial insemination, and have a genetic connection to the child or children they carry for their intended parents. We only provide gestational surrogacy services.

How long does the whole surrogacy process take?2019-07-31T17:29:06+00:00

The length of the process depends on several factors. We typically tell intended parents that they should plan on a year and a half from the time they sign on with our agency until they have a child, although it can be quicker or longer depending on the legal requirements involved and the course of the IVF treatment.

Where will my surrogate deliver my child?2019-07-31T17:28:37+00:00

Most of our surrogates already have relationships with an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) and many will deliver at the same hospital where they gave birth to their own children. All surrogates will deliver at a hospital near their home. The decision about where to deliver is typically made in conjunction with the OBGYN and the insurance company, which may have a network of approved providers and hospitals. Occasionally, our legal team will recommend that a delivery occur at a specific hospital.

Intended parents often wish to be a part of the labor and delivery process. Hospital policy and your surrogate’s comfort play a large role in determining who will be able to be present in the delivery room. Following the birth, the baby will either remain in the nursery or a room assigned to you. According to most hospital policies, the child cannot be released from the hospital until the surrogate has been released.

How are surrogate applicants screened?2019-07-31T17:28:03+00:00

A woman applies to become a surrogate with Eggceptional by filling out a detailed application. We review her answers and if we think she would be a good fit for our program, a consulting IVF physician examines her medical records, including a history of recent pregnancies. We also review any medical insurance plans. Next, she in an in-person interview or video conference call depending upon her location. We evaluate the applicant’s support network and run a criminal background check.

What are the requirements to become a surrogate (gestational carrier)?2019-07-31T17:27:30+00:00

We’ve established strict requirements for our surrogate applicants to ensure the continued success of our program. Here are some of our requirements for surrogate applicants:

  • Has delivered a child of her own, and is currently parenting at least one child
  • 21-41 years of age
  • Is a citizen, legal resident or legal immigrant of the United States
  • No participation in certain government aid programs
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) of no higher than 33,
  • Residence in a surrogacy-friendly state in the United States
  • Support of family and friends
  • No use of illegal drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol abuse
  • No currently use of anti-depressants
  • Leads a stable, responsible lifestyle
How much contact will we have with our surrogate? How involved will we be during the pregnancy?2019-07-31T17:26:19+00:00

The frequency and type of contact you have with your surrogate before, during and after the pregnancy will be addressed as part of your surrogacy plan. You can have as much or as little contact as both parties are comfortable with. However, we recommend that weekly contact via phone and meeting in person for milestone appointments be a minimum, if possible. This is the person helping to bring your child into the world and the happiest journeys always have good communication.

What happens to any remaining frozen embryos?2019-07-31T17:25:48+00:00

Frozen embryos are stored at your IVF clinic. If your family is complete, you will be advised on your options for the future of your embryos. If you choose to move your embryos, your IVF center will assist you in that process. Of course, you may use the cryopreserved embryos in a future surrogacy if you choose.

What does the legal process involve before and after the birth?2019-07-31T17:25:17+00:00

The Eggceptional team coordinates with local attorneys to ensure that you are properly matched with a surrogate in a state where you can accomplish the necessary legal work to finalize your parental rights. You will need to have wills finalized prior to the embryo transfer that ensure that a guardian is in place to care for your children in the event of your death. Once you are matched, we negotiate contracts on your behalf with independent attorneys who represent the egg donor and/or surrogate. Eggceptional works with local attorneys in the states where the surrogates reside in order to accomplish the legal work necessary to secure your parental rights. Depending on a variety of factors, your surrogacy legal work may include a pre-birth order, a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, a judgment of paternity, a custody orders, or an adoption.

How does the matching process work?2019-07-31T17:24:30+00:00

Once we have accepted a surrogate applicant into our program, our team determines possible matching options based on a variety of factors, including: the state she lives in, whether she has insurance, and the matching preferences from both intended parents and surrogates.
Once the surrogate and the prospective parents express a mutual interest, we will put them in touch by video conference call so they can meet. Someone from Eggceptional will be on the call to introduce them and get the conversation going. Then they can interview each other to see if it will be a good match for both parties.

After communicating with each other, the surrogate and the prospective parents meet in person at their mutual convenience. If the surrogate has children and/or a partner or spouse, the intended parents meet them as well.

An IVF physician medically screens them after a match is made. If for any reason the surrogate doesn’t pass the medical screening (which is rare), Eggceptional will present a new match free of charge.

Can I be a parent if I’m single?2019-07-31T17:24:00+00:00

Absolutely! We work with intended parents of all backgrounds—single individuals, same-sex couples and heterosexual couples.

Make An Appointment

Thank you for your interest in Eggceptional Fertility. We are happy to schedule a free consultation.