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Egg Donation Program FAQ2018-11-02T13:13:11+00:00
Fresh Egg Program
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HOUSTON OFFICE
  • 13201 Northwest FWY
    STE 502
    Houston, TX 77040
  • 713.952.4772
  • Mon – Thur  |  8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (CST)

  • Friday  |  8:00 AM – 4:00 PM (CST)

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Egg Donation Program FAQ

HOW DO YOU SCREEN YOUR EGG DONORS?2018-07-18T16:04:05+00:00

All SSA donors undergo an extensive multi-level screening based on both objective and subjective standards designed to satisfy both the egg donation rules and guidelines of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies and our own criteria based on years of experience.
An applicant must first pass an initial phone screening to ensure that she meets the basic qualifications and has the proper motivation. Approximately 1 in 10 applicants will pass this initial screening. Those making it through the phone screening will then have a clinical interview with a licensed mental health professional and complete:

  • An extensive three-generation family health and genetic history
  • A detailed psychosocial history and
  • The Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI)

The PAI is a widely used and researched test of adult behavior and psychopathology. The test offers 22 scales, including 11 clinical scales for mental health disorders. The test is based on 344 true/false questions and takes approximately one hour to complete.

WHY IS IT BETTER TO HAVE DONORS SCREENED BY IN-HOUSE COUNSELORS?2018-07-18T16:07:36+00:00

Many programs do not have counselors on staff and must refer their donors out for psychological assessment. By contrast, at SSA our licensed counselors complete this assessment on the donor’s first visit. Due to our extensive specialized experience, our counselors are better suited to gauge the applicant and her commitment to complete the process. Our reputation is our most important asset and that depends on the quality and professionalism of our donors and their commitment to you.

IS THERE A FEE FOR OUR INITIAL CONSULTATION?2018-07-18T16:10:02+00:00

There is no fee for an initial consultation, which includes 90 days access to our full online donor registry. The consultation is conducted either by phone or at one of our offices.

WILL WE RECEIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL COUNSELING FOR THE DONATION?2018-07-18T16:10:41+00:00

Our agency fee includes a session with an SSA counselor that satisfies the American Society for Reproductive Medicine guidelines on egg donation and allows our counselor to confirm to your doctor that you have received the required counseling and are ready to proceed. Because you will be counseled by a licensed counselor, depending on your particular health insurance policy, some portion of the fee may be eligible for reimbursement.

WHAT IS THE COST FOR A DONOR CYCLE?2018-07-18T16:11:23+00:00

FRESH EGG PROGRAM

Our agency fee is $6,500 and includes recruiting your donor and her psychological screening, the donation contract between you and your donor, legal representation for both you and your donor in entering into the donation contract, counseling and legal clearance letters to your IVF physician, health insurance for your donor in the event of medical complications, and ongoing coordination and mediation during your donation cycle. Donor compensation varies between donors, but most of our donors are paid from $6,000 to $15,000, depending on how many times they have previously donated, whether their eggs have resulted in pregnancy, and their personal characteristics. This means that excluding your IVF medical costs, an average donor cycle will cost from $12,500 to $21,500, depending on the donor you select. SSA does not provide medical services and your medical costs for the egg retrieval are not included in our fee. You will pay the medical costs for the IVF cycle directly to your IVF physician. Assuming an IVF cost of $25,000 (including medications), an average fresh egg cycle will cost from $37,500 to $46,500, depending on your doctor and the donor you select.

FROZEN EGG PROGRAM

The American Egg Bank (AEB) offers 6 egg frozen donor egg packages starting at $16,500, with additional eggs available on a per egg basis. The package price will vary depending on the donor you select,. The package price includes all of the compensation paid to the donor and medical, psychological, legal and any long distance travel costs involved in retrieving her eggs. You will separately pay your doctor for the embryo transfer, which typically costs from $3,500 to $4,000. This means that including your frozen embryo transfer, an average frozen donor package will cost about $25,500+ for the base 6 egg package. The eggs are genetically pre-screened but any fees for genetically testing your embryos are extra and would be paid directly to your IVF doctor.

WHAT TYPE OF INFORMATION WILL WE BE GIVEN REGARDING OUR DONOR?2018-07-18T16:12:32+00:00

We provide couples with a current photograph and, if available, childhood photographs of their donor. Her biography includes age, general physical characteristics, education, talents and interests, ethnic background, any history of drug usage, legal history, marital information, pregnancy history, health history including major illnesses and surgeries, academic interests, family genetic history, self-described personality assessment, general physical description of immediate family members, and a one-page letter explaining why she is interested in being a donor. We are FDA registered and our biographies include all FDA screening questions for certain communicable diseases. We also disclose whether she has previously been a donor and, if so, the number of eggs retrieved and success rates.

WILL THE DONOR KNOW OUR IDENTITY?2018-07-18T16:13:02+00:00

You will not be introduced to your donor and we will not disclose your identity to her. However, ancestry and DNA testing is becoming increasingly popular and it is possible that a genetic link between your child and the donor may be revealed if your child participates in this type of testing at some future time.

WHAT HAPPENS IF OUR DONOR DOES NOT PASS HER MEDICAL SCREENING?2018-07-18T16:13:29+00:00

We stand behind our services. We will rematch you at no additional agency fee.

WHAT HAPPENS IF OUR DONOR DOES NOT PRODUCE ANY EGGS?2018-07-18T16:13:53+00:00

The success of an IVF cycle depends on many factors and cannot be guaranteed. Moreover, American Society for Reproductive Medicine guidelines provide that donor compensation cannot be based on the success of the cycle. However, your physician will be using ultrasounds to monitor your donor’s follicle development and, in most cases, will make a recommendation prior to retrieval as to whether or not to cancel the cycle.

WHAT IF THE RETRIEVAL CYCLE IS CANCELLED?2018-07-18T16:14:21+00:00

If you decide to cancel the cycle, the donor will be paid some portion of her fee but, depending on the timing, not her entire fee. At your request we will rematch you without any additional agency fee. However, upon rematch you would be responsible for that portion of the fee paid to your original donor and, if you choose to work with a more experienced donor, any additional compensation due her.

IS AN ADOPTION NECESSARY?2018-07-18T16:14:48+00:00

Egg donation is governed by state law and these vary from state to state. For example, under Texas law an adoption is not necessary if the wife of a married couple carries and delivers the child. If you have questions regarding the legal aspects of egg donation you should consult with an attorney with expertise in assisted reproductive law.

DOES STRESS CAUSE INFERTILITY AND, IF SO, WHAT CAN I DO?2018-07-18T16:15:18+00:00

Although some studies indicate that high levels of stress may prevent conception, it is more likely that the treatment and disappointment associated with infertility causes stress. Research shows that women suffering from infertility experience higher levels of anxiety and depression. This, in turn, can have an effect on fertility.

WHY SHOULD WE WORK WITH SSA?2018-07-18T16:16:16+00:00

EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS:

SSA is one of the oldest and most experienced full service egg donation and surrogacy agencies in the U.S. Since 1993, our friendly and caring staff of licensed mental health professionals and attorneys has helped build families for couples and singles experiencing infertility. We have developed an outstanding reputation over more than two decades and can provide references from the top physicians in the field. You have the comfort and security of knowing that professionals will be handling your arrangement.

FDA REGISTERED:

Registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an establishment that engages in the manufacture of human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue-based products, we follow all FDA screening protocols for egg donor and surrogate arrangements. We are regularly inspected by FDA auditors with published results. We believe this is one more way to offer our clients assurance that their arrangement will meet the highest professional standards.

EXTENSIVE DONOR SCREENING:

All donors in the SSA program undergo an extensive multi-level screening based on both objective and subjective standards. The screening process has been designed to satisfy both FDA rules, guidelines of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, and our own proprietary criteria. Donors in our frozen egg program will have completed their psychological screening prior to making their donation. Donors in our fresh egg program will have either completed their psychological screening or are “pending”, in which case psychological screening will be completed prior to match and only medical screening by your doctor will remain.

FROZEN DONOR EGG BANK:

American Egg Bank frozen egg program has pre-screened frozen donor eggs available for our clients. This means that you can create your embryos in a matter of days rather than months and you will avoid the delay and uncertainty that comes with a “fresh” donor cycle. Using frozen eggs can also be less expensive than a fresh donor cycle.

ATTORNEY MANAGED TRUST ACCOUNT:

Client funds for an arrangement are never mixed with agency funds. All client funds are deposited into a separate attorney trust fund account (IOLTA) at a bank insured by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This IOLTA account is managed by a licensed attorney.

SPECIALIZED EXPERTISE:

SSA counselors focus their practice on infertility and receive specialized advanced training in the field, making them among the most experienced infertility practitioners in the country. Our counselors provide ongoing guidance throughout each arrangement, to reduce stress and improve the quality of the experience for the participants. SSA counselors and attorneys are also participating members of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and various other professional groups.

WORKING RELATIONSHIPS WITH TOP IVF CLINICS:

SSA has long working relationships with many of the top IVF clinics and physicians in the U.S. and can provide references upon request.

USE YOUR OWN DOCTOR:

SSA works with clients and fertility specialists from all over the U.S. and you will be able to continue to use your local IVF physician for medical treatment. Most of our donors agree to long distance travel if your doctor is not local, but this will be verified with each donor prior to match. You will be separately responsible for your donor’s long distance travel costs, including a travel fee for the extra time involved. At this time, the AEB frozen egg program is only available for patients working with doctors at Houston Fertility Specialists in Houston, Texas.

TAX DEDUCTIBLE:

The IRS has issued private guidance that all of the fees (including agency and donor fees) for egg donation programs will qualify as medical expenses for federal income tax purposes and as medical care expenses under a flexible spending account. You should consult with your tax advisor to determine whether these fees would be tax deductible in your particular circumstances.

ARE YOUR DONORS PRE-SCREENED FOR GENETICS?2018-07-18T16:16:41+00:00

That depends on the program. Donors in our frozen egg program will have completed genetic screening prior to their donation and genetic screening is included in the agency fee. Donors in AEB fresh egg program will receive genetic screening only at your request (additional cost).

WHAT IS OUR FIRST STEP?2018-07-18T16:17:01+00:00

Once your IVF physician has indicated that egg donation is your best option, your next step would be to contact us. We will then guide you through the rest of the process. We also offer counseling on an hourly basis to help you work through your decision as to which option is best for you and your family and in dealing with the emotional issues involved in infertility.