egg donation southern california
Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
You love your doctor — you’ve been with him for a long time, completely trust him, love the staff, etc. — and have just found a great egg donor who you’re ready to book. The only issue? She lives out of town. Or — even scarier — out of state. What do you do? You’re confident that she’s the donor for you, and she’s said she’s willing to travel for a donation, but how would that even work? Do you book her travel? Does the agency? And how is all of this going to affect your overall budget for the cycle?
BHED facilitates travel cycles all the time. In fact, 20 to 30 percent of our matches involve some travel on the donor’s part. For clarity: a travel cycle, in the egg donation world, is when your donor is required to travel more than 75 miles (one way) from her home to your doctor’s office. That means a donor coming from San Diego to Los Angeles is considered a travel donor just as much as one traveling from Chicago to San Francisco (although, of course, the coordination and cost differ significantly).
If your donor is traveling a “short” distance (one that requires automobile travel rather than air), BHED’s travel policy requires the recipient to reimburse the donor for mileage at the current government rate. Your doctor will definitely want her to come to town for her initial appointment, retrieval, and likely a couple of monitoring appointments once she’s started medication — although your BHED coordinator will also set the donor up with a local monitoring facility to cut down on the travel and associated costs. As long as your doctor approves (and most are happy to do so), your donor can do some or many of her check-ups in her hometown; that facility will coordinate with your doctor and follow your clinic’s protocol.
It’s a similar story if your donor is coming from farther away (i.e. out of state). Your doctor will want her to be in town for her initial appointment, and then again for five to seven days leading up to the retrieval. The first trip will be very brief and often doesn’t require an overnight stay. Your donor will fly in, take a cab to your clinic for her appointment, and then head back to the airport to travel home. Your BHED coordinator will then set her up with a local facility (which, again, will coordinate with your doctor’s office) for her monitoring appointments and she’ll be able to do much of the remainder of the cycle from her hometown. The second trip will happen between day three and five of the donor’s stim process, and from there she’ll stay in town through her retrieval. For this trip, she’ll need a companion to accompany her to make sure that she gets back to her hotel safely after her retrieval and is well taken care of.
BHED doesn’t add any additional fees to coordinate travel — it’s all included in your agency fee. Your coordinator will take care of everything, from booking the donor’s flight and hotel to ensuring that she has adequate ground transportation to get to your doctor’s office and facilitating communication between your clinic and the donor’s remote facility. Working with a travel donor will generally add approximately $3,000 to $4,000 to the total cost of the cycle. This includes the donor’s flights, ground transportation, hotel stay for the longer trip, and a per diem of $50 per day, along with the flight and per diem for her companion for the retrieval trip. Your coordinator will book everything directly and will work to find the most cost-effective accommodations possible (while still keeping the donor comfortable).
While travel cycles do require more coordination, we try to make things as easy as possible for both the donor and the recipients. Our staff will work with your doctor to facilitate the cycle, whether your donor is coming from across town or from 3,000 miles away, and will keep you informed with regular updates as things progress. Feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions about working with one of our out-of-town (or local!) donors.
Friday, April 8th, 2011
“How long will it take for me to get matched?” This is one of the MOST common questions BHED gets from donors. The truth is, there’s really just no way to predict how quickly you’ll be matched. We’ve seen donors matched within hours, and some are on our database for 2-3 months (up to a year or more) before they start a cycle. Understandably, the biggest factor in how quickly a donor gets picked is her resemblance to the intended mother. BHED has many recipients looking for their “perfect match” at any given time, and chances are good that a donor will get chosen much sooner if she happens to look physically similar to one of them. That said, some recipients care more about an impressive educational record, or a donor with common interests, than physical similarity, and still others only want to work with donors who have donated before, have children of their own, or have a particular blood type. Finding the right donor is such a personal (and big) decision, and every recipient goes about it in his or her own way.
Even though physical resemblance is completely out of the donor’s control, there are a number of things you can do to help increase your chances of getting matched more quickly…
1. Make sure your profile is filled out completely, and is kept up-to-date. Our staff will contact you every few months to go over your information and make sure it’s still accurate, but be sure to send along updates as they come along. Also, if you recently added volunteer work to your resume, graduated from school, ran in a triathlon, or increased your GPA – let us know about it!
2. Pictures, pictures, pictures. Upload great photos to your gallery (casual, friendly shots taken in natural light that look like YOU!). Besides current photos, we need pictures of you growing up (at various stages in life – baby through adult), pictures of your immediate family members, and (most importantly) a nice, clear headshot, which is the first thing recipients see when your profile comes up. Making sure your photo gallery is in good shape is one of the biggest things you can do to help yourself get matched. BHED holds photoshoots every 6-8 weeks where donors can get (free!) professional photographs taken for their profiles. You can contact Alexa Abrams, our donor coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
3. Return calls and emails from our office promptly. When a recipient narrows their list down to one or two favorite donors, they generally have additional questions, want to confirm dates and/or request to see more pictures. If you see a phone call or message from our office, make sure to get back to us as quickly as you can. We can’t match you if we can’t get in touch with you, and most recipients want to be sure their favorite donor is communicative and responsible before moving forward.
Again, how quickly a donor gets matched is often completely out of her control, BUT, in our experience, donors who keep the above tips in mind are far more successful in finding a match. Our donor team is always happy to review your profile with you and suggest changes to better showcase yourself. Be patient, be communicative, and know that sometimes getting chosen by a recipient is just a matter of time. We look forward to seeing you matched!
Friday, May 28th, 2010
Become an egg donor. Such a small phrase for such a large responsibility. For most people, the prospect of egg donation offers one thing: money!
“Oh, the things I can buy!” she thinks, “and definitely getting those hair extensions I’ve been eyeing for the summer.”
Now, please don’t assume I’m one of those cynical types that are against hair extensions or, for that matter, anything girly or high maintenance, I’ve just already got them. *Wink*
No, to me, becoming an egg donor would fulfill one of the largest goals of my life, and something that I’ve already begun to bring to fruition. It is my life aspiration to create a piece of software that provides cost effective pricing and constant algorithmic calculations to maximize profitability in restaurants, then roll out the production of the software with my very own restaurant. When I close my eyes and imagine this day, I am a hero! I’ve essentially altered the course of food service forever! People love me! And I, of course, am free to do as I please, probably selling the rights to my software to some large conglomerate and sitting back and running my restaurant (not without my constant residuals, though!).
Yet, take a look at present day me. Sure I’ve got a great job. Sure I could make a profitable career for myself offering consulting services with a focus specifically on real estate portfolios…
I bet you have no idea what I’m talking about. Exactly.
In the current economic climate, my entrepreneurial goals are stifled by a “not now” society that fears new ideas and lives trapped in its laissez faire attitude. ”But hey, we’re not making it worse right?” society thinks. Wrong.
Enough of my critique. My point is that I was drawn to register with an egg donor agency when I realized how immediate the potential was to actually pursue my goals. This is not something I need, nor is it something I’m relying on, but it is something that can greatly speed up the process for me, and something I would be genuinely appreciative of should I be chosen to be a part of it.
Now, there is the altruistic perspective of egg donation. At its most stripped down core, an egg donor is providing others with opportunities that previously did not exist to them. The intrinsic motivation is therefore preset and a major factor in my decision to become an egg donor. I have complete faith in BHED to find those who I am properly suited to donate for and now, my question to you, prospective parents, is what are you waiting for?!
- Camber, BHED donor #7132
Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
Below is our final topic in Brenda Fahn-Hardt’s series of discussions for Intended Parents. Thank you, Brenda, for all of your contributions over the past few weeks!
Will I Feel Bonded to My Child?
One fear that intended parents sometimes bring up is that they may not feel as connected or bonded to their child because they used an egg donor. I don’t think I have encountered any cases that substantiate this fear, but of course it is a valid concern. I tell intended parents that they may be more prepared to handle their child than parents who have biological children. Biological parents many times assume that they will understand their child, yet each child is unique and may or many not resemble their biological parents either. The key to parenting is to be attuned to who your child is. When you enter the world of parenthood, it is a daily challenge to let go of who you think your child “should” be and accept them for who they are. A daily lesson as a parent is to listen and accept your child for who he/she is. If you can do that there is no doubt that you will feel connected to your child.
- Brenda Fahn-Hardt M.S., MFT
Beverly Hills Egg Donation Staff Psychotherapist
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
The following is the first in a series of postings from Beverly Hills Egg Donation staff psychotherapist, Brenda Fahn-Hardt M.S., MFT. Brenda comes to us with years of experience working exclusively with egg donors and couples dealing with infertility issues. In this, and in posts to come, she will address some of the most common psychological and emotional issues that come up in her work with Intended Parents.
Intended parents usually come to infertility services after spending years on an emotional roller-coaster. There are several emotional and psychological issues that intended parents typically encounter during this process. The ones that I encounter most in my practice are 1) Dealing with the grief of not being able to conceive your own biological child 2) The anxiety associated with choosing a donor 3) Deciding whether to meet the donor during the process 4) Fears of not being bonded or connected to your child and 4) Deciding if, when and how to reveal to your child that an egg donor was used in their conception.
The journey to the egg donor option can be arduous for most couples. The realization that you are unable to conceive without the assistance of a third party can be internalized in numerous ways – the most common emotions are feelings of failure, inadequacy, humility and anger. When couples arrive at an infertility office, frequently they have not dealt with the trauma and pain that usually exists. I always encourage couples to experience their unresolved grief before getting too far down the road in the process. However, in many instances, because couples have been waiting years to conceive a child, they often feel compelled to jump into the next stage without processing their feelings. It is common for couples to get caught up in the frenzy of doctor’s offices, tests, shots and drugs while neglecting to take a step back and let oneself absorb and process the grief.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote the classic treatise on dealing with grief. In her seminal work, she identifies the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. In a perfect world, an individual would experience these stages sequentially. Yet, each of us approaches life’s complications in our own way. The process becomes inherently more complicated when dealing with two individuals simultaneously, given the complicated dynamics of relationships in general. It takes an enormous amount of patience and understanding to respect and understand your partner’s process. Therefor I encourage couples to attend support groups and couple’s therapy to assist them through the grieving process.
The goal in the last stage of the grief process is acceptance. Acceptance can take on different outcomes for different couples (or single parents). The one constant is the reality that one is unable to conceive his/her own biological child. When one comes to this acceptance, there are different paths from which to choose – using an egg donor agency and/or surrogate, adopting a child or choosing not to have a child. Whichever path is chosen, you want to be confident about your decision and optimistic about your future.
- Brenda Fahn-Hardt M.S., MFT