Egg Donor Agency FAQs

Who is a candidate for egg donation?

Candidates for egg donation are generally women over the age of 43 and or those who have a healthy uterus, but have been unable to conceive using their own eggs. Younger women with severe decreased ovarian reserve who have been unable to conceive with their own eggs are also candidates. Single men or gay male couples may use an egg donor and gestational surrogate to conceive a child. 

How to view PFC’s egg donor database?

Prospective recipients can view our egg donor database by contacting our new patient coordinators or by phone at 415-834-3095. Because our egg donors are exclusive to Pacific Fertility Center patients, we ask that recipients first establish an account with us.  

Can a "hold" be placed on an egg donor found in our database?

Unfortunately, we cannot hold a donor. Before the process of selecting a donor can begin, recipients are required to complete a series of appointments that includes a physical exam, lab work, and a meeting with our licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. After this point, the donor selection process can begin. Likewise, gestational carriers must be fully screened and approved before a donor can be selected.  Learn more about the recipient process. 

Where does someone begin if they are interested in egg donation?

At Pacific Fertility, we begin by asking all potential patients to meet with one of our physicians as well as with our in-house counselor Marriage and Family Therapist to understand the steps involved in the egg donation process. Before selecting an egg donor, patients are required to complete a series of appointments to ready them for the egg donation process. This involves:

  • General physical exam
  • Blood testing to assess/check for any infectious diseases, thyroid and prolactin hormone levels, blood type, complete blood count, vitamin D levels
  • Transvaginal ultrasound (or saline sonogram or hysteroscopy) to evaluate the uterine cavity
  • Psychological counseling of recipients/intended parents and, if applicable, the gestational carrier

How often does PFC receive new donor applications?

While we receive donor applications daily, and thousands of applications each year, we accept only 10 percent of applicants into our egg donor program. 

How are donors screened?

Our recruitment and in depth screening process is designed to be detailed and thorough for each donor. Any donor that does not meet our high standards is excluded.

Our rigorous screening process includes:

  • Extensive medical and genetic history questionnaire
  • Screening ultrasound performed by PFC staff
  • Psychological Testing (Personality Assessment Inventory) and evaluation performed by a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Genetic counseling performed by a Certified Genetic Counselor

Extensive blood work to test for an array of disorders

Do all donors have genetic testing performed?

PFC EDA routinely performs genetic testing on all donors in accordance with testing recommendations based on current professional guidelines.

Genetic testing plays an important role in the evaluation and screening of a potential egg donor. Each donor will speak with a Certified Genetic Counselor to review in detail a three generation family history and assess ethnic background. This detailed review is used to identify and quantify genetic risks to donor offspring and to determine appropriate carrier testing.

Learn more about Genetic Counseling at PFC.

What if an out-of-town donor is chosen from our database?

PFC will coordinate our patient’s donor’s treatment schedule and necessary travel arrangements. The patient will be asked to finance the donor’s transportation, lodging and food expenses.  

Is the donation process anonymous?

The PFC Egg Donation Program is designed to be anonymous, and as a rule recipients and their selected egg donors do not meet or correspond freely with each other. Complete anonymity is important for many of our patients and donors, and we pride ourselves in protecting our patient’s identities. 

What if a patient wants to meet the donor?

Some patients have a desire to meet their contracted donor. When both donor and patient feel comfortable with such an introduction, our program offers supervised meetings facilitated by our Marriage and Family Therapist. No identifying information is shared during the meeting (e.g. no last names, addresses, college names). This gives both parties a chance to meet in person while still maintaining a comfortable level of anonymity.

How to decide whether to meet a donor?

The two patient stories below may help guide our patients as they think about this choice. 

Why we chose not to meet our donor                                                                                        

“We decided to use an anonymous donor because we wanted to keep an emotional distance from the donor.  After years of infertility, we wanted to see this child as a product of our relationship and we did not want direct contact with the donor.  Since we will be going through the pregnancy, birth, and raising the child, the donor's contribution seems minimal in comparison to our contribution of a lifetime.  Also, we see this process as very personal and private. We have not told anyone we are going through egg donation, and we do not want our identities disclosed to anyone.”

Why we decided to meet our donor                                                                                            

"Although we got a good feeling from the donor's profile and essay, we felt that we wanted to be able to talk with her and get to know her. After all, this person is contributing half of the genetic material! We were very nervous about meeting, and we found out that she was too. We asked her questions about her family and interests and she asked us some questions about what we had been through. I am really glad we met. When we tell our child about the egg donation, we will be able to tell him or her about their genetic parent and our meeting with the donor. I will have a picture to show and we are saving the profile. The donor said she would be willing to be contacted when our child reaches 18 and can answer any questions she may have.  I think the child is entitled to this information and I want him or her to know that we really liked the donor."

Can Pacific Fertility Center donors be used at another clinic?

We work exclusively with Pacific Fertility Center patients, so one must be a patient of our clinic in order to use our donors.

Does the donor have any legal claim to our patient’s future child?

Since the written agreements the donor signs are an agreement between the donor and Pacific Fertility Center, there is no need for a direct legal contract between our donors and the recipients of the donated eggs. We advise our donors that they are donating eggs, that have the potential to become a baby but they are not donating a baby. To our knowledge, in 30 years, there has never been an anonymous donor that has sued a recipient for parental rights.