Become an Egg Donor Angel

Give the gift of a family xox

Give the gift of a family xox

With one in six couples in Australia of reproductive age experiencing difficulties in conceiving a child and three year plus waiting lists for egg donors, it’s imperative to get the word out to Australian women about Egg Donation to help them become a family. If you are reading this then you may be considering becoming an Egg Door Angel and helping couples become a family through the wonderful gift of Egg Donation. To become an Egg Donor Angel there are some guidelines including preferably being between the ages of 21 and 38, to have had children (not an absolute) and if married or in a defacto relationship to have your partners approval. Read more…
  Most women are born with a limited supply of around two million eggs, but this number decreases with age however some women experience infertility issues at a younger age.  Some women find that they couldn’t for various reasons have children earlier and finding out in their late 30’s or in their 40’s that they are having trouble conceiving or their eggs are no longer viable.  For all these women it’s a devastating moment when you are told that you can’t have a child, the second moment comes when after months or year of trying and riding the emotional roller coaster you realise that you need to make a choice.

These days thanks to medical advances we have fantastic IVF techniques including sperm, egg and embryo donation and from this thousands of couples have realised their dream to become a family…. but sadly there are thousands still searching for that Egg Donor Angel to help them realise their dream.

So how do I become an Egg Donor Angel?

Firstly read the information listed below about the process and requirements of Egg Donation and if you still want to help a couple become a family click on the browse ads page on our website.  Here you can look at couples advertisements seeking their own Egg Donor Angel. Once you find one you would like to consider helping, click on contact (their name) in blue and follow the directions.

Or you can put an ad on our website offering to be an Egg Donor Angel, click on place ad and follow the directions.  If you place an advertisement on our website, please be aware that you may be inundated with messages from potential recipients.  This can be overwhelming, but take your time, read through them and choose the ones that you would like to chat to further with about being a potential Egg Donor Angel.  Once you are in discussion with potential recipients, please take the time to email back the other recipients even with a quick message such as “thanks so much for contacting me, at the moment I am in discussion with several potential recipients, sorry but I won’t be able to help you in this instance.  All the best with your search for your Egg Donor Angel.” This enables the other recipients to move on and continue their search.

All ads have to be approved before they will be uploaded to the website, sadly not all people are legitimate.  Once you have placed your ad, I will review and send you an email with information in regard to being an Egg Donor Angel and will ask you to reply to my email confirming your email address.  Once you reply, your ad will be approved and will be live on the website.

I can only approve Egg Donor Angels from Australia, however we have approved ads for potential Egg Donor Angels and Recipients from NZ and review them on an individual basis.

It is illegal in Australia to be paid for Egg Donation, all out of pocket medical expenses can be paid by the recipients.

In Australia, the donation of reproductive tissue must be altruistic. It is against the law for someone to profit from the donation of eggs (as detailed in the Human Tissue Act 1982 and NHMRC – Ethical guidelines on the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology in clinical practice and research 2007).

There are Australia-wide laws which make it illegal to give, receive or offer to give or receive payments for eggs, sperm or embryos.  Only out of pocket medical expenses can be paid by the recipients.  Travel and parking out of pocket costs incurred by the donor must be expenses which are verifiable (invoices and/or receipts must be provided) and the costs must be directly related to the donation. The donor should only be reimbursed if they have been left out-of-pocket and via receipts once they are out of pocket.

Please be aware that as a donor you will be acting illegally if you offer to receive or request payments that do not fall into the “medical expenses” category or for travel/parking where invoices/receipts cannot be supplied.  Recipients can also be acting illegally if they pay a donor any compensation that does not fall under the legal definition.

Any requested payments made before the beginning of the donation process as a pre-determined lump-sum amount could breach Australian law.

The Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 (Cth) makes it illegal to receive or offer to receive “valuable consideration” (which can include payments which are not “medical expenses” and/or travel/parking (with invoices/receipts), inducements, discounts or priority in provision of a service) for the supply of eggs, sperm or embryos. For your information, the National Health and Medical Research Council has released the new Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research (2017). Guideline 5.4 of these new guidelines provide more guidance about what could be considered “expenses”.

Donors who request payments that are not verifiable and are not reimbursements of expenses paid out-of-pocket by the donor may be breaching this law. Asking for payments to be made before the process begins could indicate that the payments are not reimbursements of out-of-pocket amounts. Asking for payments to be made on a lump-sum basis would indicate that the payments are not verifiable, particularly if the amount is pre-determined.

Its also illegal for the donor to request to keep the Medicare rebate or for recipients to offer the donor the Medicare rebate.

Also keep in mind that if a recipient pays a donor these amounts, they could also be committing a criminal offence under the same law.  I caution all recipients against engaging with a donor who is making illegal demands and payment requests.

Also please ensure you check your spam and junk mail folders for emails/replies and also approve/allow emails from my website so you don’t miss any correspondence.

It is both the person giving or receiving (or offering to give or receive) payment who could be committing the offence of commercial trading and this could be the donor, the recipient, or any other person involved in the process. It should therefore be emphasised to everyone that they could be committing an offence if they ask for or offer to pay amounts which are unrelated to the donation process, or which are not verifiable through evidence such as receipts or invoices.

Donors in particular should NOT be claiming that the amount requested (without verification) is for travel expenses or time of work without being able to substantiate that claim with evidence of those costs or loss of income.

This is truly an altruistic gift and we thank you for considering it xox.

When placing an ad to be an Egg Donor Angel, tell the potential recipients about yourself and be yourself 🙂  Make sure you include your location, state, town but not your actual address and include if you are willing to travel.  I would also suggest including your age, a basic physical description and if you have  had children and/or planning a family.  Sorry these things are quite personal but so very important for the process xox.

  • VICTORIAN residents  – it is illegal to advertise as an Egg Donor without written permission from the Minister for health.  Please ensure that you have this and include the approval number and copy in your advertisement.  Ads without this will be removed until you have this approval number.  Obtaining and displaying this approval number and copy is purely the responsibility of the advertiser.  Send a copy of the wording you plan to use to:  Minister for Health, Department of Human Services, GPO Box 4057, Melbourne VIC 3001
  • Under the Human Tissue Act 1982 (Vic), no person is permitted to publish an advertisement relating to the selling, buying or donation of tissue unless the advertisement is approved by the Victorian Minister for Health and contains a statement to that effect.Therefore, any Victorian who advertises about the donation of eggs, regardless of whether they are proposing to donate or receive those eggs, or be involved with the process in any way, must obtain the approval of the Victorian Minister for Health to advertise.

    This law covers any advertisement about the donation of eggs, regardless of who is placing that advertisement, and regardless of whether that advertisement appears on a public or private forum, or anywhere else.

  • Please be aware that both donors and people looking for a donor will be breaking Victorian law if they publish an advertisement without the Minister’s approval.

What is required and what is the process of being an Egg Donor Angel:

 

Can I become an Egg Donor Angel?:

  • Are you between the ages of 21 and 37 (preferred).
  • Have you had your family or at least one child?  It is preferred for potential donors to have  completed their family (not an absolute).  Or are you not planning to have children?
  • If adopted you must have access to their genetic family history.
  • It’s best you do not carry certain genetic conditions or have children with genetic conditions.
  • If you have had fertility issues or miscarried, this may stop you from donating.
  • If you are married, or in a de-facto relationship, your partner is required to attend the counselling sessions and sign a consent form. He or She will also be required to have their blood tested as well.

 

Who needs an Egg Donor Angel?

  • Women who have experienced premature menopause
  • Women who carry a genetic disease.
  • Women who have no ovarian function due to medical treatment (chemo, radiation) or surgery.
  • Women who are poor responders to IVF cycles.
  • Women whose egg quality and quantity has declined due to age.
  • Women who were born with no eggs, were born with genetic abnormalities with their eggs or have no ovaries.
  • Women who have had cancer

 

Some things to consider before offering to be an Egg Donor Angel;

Donations are no longer anonymous in Australia, donors are recorded on a register that the details are available to the child when they turn 18.  It is considered that any child born from embryo, egg or sperm donation has the right to know their biological background.

If you become an Egg Donor Angel, keep in mind that your children will have a genetic half-sibling.  This is important to consider as well as the decision on what to tell the child as you need to make an informed decision before pursuing this further.

Your husband/partner/de-facto also need to be a part of the process and also need to approve of your decision, so please ensure that you have discussed this with them and they are “on board” before starting the process.  It’s also important to be comfortable with your family and friends approving of this, whilst you don’t need their approval for this, there have been instances where Egg Donors have pulled out of the cycle midway due to family/friends finding out about it and not approving.  This can be heartbreaking for all involved and best to be sorted from the beginning xox.

In making your decision, you need to consider you own personal preferences on what contact you would like with the recipient and the child and discuss this with the recipient couple initially.  Some donors like to be a part of the family, sometimes being a special friend or aunty, some donors prefer no contact after the donation and some donors like minimal contact.  This is very important and should be discussed with the recipients initially and will be discussed in your counseling sessions if you decide to become an Egg Donor Angel.

If you live in Victoria recipients and donors need to have their ads approved by the Minister of Health and each ad must contain the approval number and copy from the department.

  • VICTORIAN residents  – it is illegal to advertise as an Egg Donor without written permission from the Minister for health.  Please ensure that you have this and include the approval number and copy in your advertisement.  Ads without this will be removed until you have this approval number.  Obtaining and displaying this approval number and copy is purely the responsibility of the advertiser.  Send a copy of the wording you plan to use to:  Minister for Health, Department of Human Services, GPO Box 4057, Melbourne VIC 3001
  • Under the Human Tissue Act 1982 (Vic), no person is permitted to publish an advertisement relating to the selling, buying or donation of tissue unless the advertisement is approved by the Victorian Minister for Health and contains a statement to that effect.Therefore, any Victorian who advertises about the donation of eggs, regardless of whether they are proposing to donate or receive those eggs, or be involved with the process in any way, must obtain the approval of the Victorian Minister for Health to advertise.

    This law covers any advertisement about the donation of eggs, regardless of who is placing that advertisement, and regardless of whether that advertisement appears on a public or private forum, or anywhere else.

  • Please be aware that both donors and people looking for a donor will be breaking Victorian law if they publish an advertisement without the Minister’s approval.

If you live in WA and NSW, a donor can donate up to a maximum of five women with the donor’s own family being one of the five.  Any children conceived by you count as a family, as does each frozen embryo for the same recipient. If you live in SA, QLD or VIC then you can donate to ten women with again any children conceived by you count as a family as does any frozen embryos for the same recipient.

Under Australian law, the woman giving birth is the legal mother of any child born. The recipient couple are legally and financially responsible for the child/children and have full custodial and parental rights to the child/children. The donor has no legal rights to the child/children and has no financial or legal responsibilities for the child/children.

Where the egg donor is known, there is a “cooling off” period from the initial counseling session to final counseling session with all parties of 3 months.

Egg Donors are allowed to pull out of the process up until the egg has been inseminated with sperm, then the recipient couple are the legal owners of the embryo.

If you are a Victorian Egg Donor and the embryos are stored in a Victorian IVF clinic, if the recipients want to remove the embryo’s from storage, written consent must be obtained from the from both people that produced the gametes that created the embryo (i.e. the egg donor and the sperm donor).

You may notice that couples looking for Egg Donor Angels may list some attributes that they would like, i.e. hair color etc.  Don’t let this deter you from contacting them if you feel you could help.

As a couple looking for an Egg Donor Angel the ultimate desire is to have someone that looks like us to take away some of the pain of the child not being ours biologically but sometimes it is not an absolute.  How often does someone say “oh doesn’t he or she look like the mother or the father”, whilst its imperative for the child to grow up knowing that they are donor conceived it would be nice for the recipient mother to have some similarities.  As there are also so few Egg Donors it is not always possible to find the perfect match and most of the time, we are just happy to find a suitable donor.  The only exception could be is where the donor is non-Caucasian – their eggs would be offered to a non-Caucasian couple or a couple who had already indicated they were not concerned about this issue.

If you are considering being an Egg Donor, it is best you avoid cigarettes and alcohol during the cycle, as well as taking contraceptive precautions other than the contraceptive pill if necessary as there is a risk of you becoming pregnant with multiple pregnancies.

It is recommended not to have sex during the cycle and to continue to take precautions after the cycle.

The medications used to stimulate ovaries can make you extra fertile including multiple births. Depending on the protocol that the IVF clinic determines, most donor cycles commence with the birth control pill.

If you are using other methods of long term contraception you may have to wait a couple of months after stopping before you can donate.  This is to ensure that hormones have returned to normal.

Again the IVF clinic and doctor will advise you what to do.

It is illegal in Australia to pay someone for Egg Donation or to request money.  All medical expenses are covered by the recipient couple.  Donors should not be out of pocket financially and all “medical” out of pocket costs and any travel/parking costs may be covered by the recipient, if these costs were incurred during the donation process as in appointments and if invoices/receipts are supplied.  Again we stress the legislation says “reasonable”.

An Egg Donor Angel can withdraw consent for the use of her eggs right up until the time of fertilisation with the partners sperm.  Until that time, the eggs are legally hers. Once the eggs are fertilised, they are the legal property of the recipient couple.

Donors have no rights whatsoever over any children conceived and no financial obligation.  

 

What else should I consider?

If you decide to become an Egg Donor Angel, most questions and issues will be covered by the IVF clinic including mandatory counselling sessions. However some things to consider are:

    • Who will you tell about this?
    • What will you tell them?
    • How will you feel about the child contacting you when they are older?
    • The remaining embryos that the couple do not use are legally theirs to decide their fate.  How will you feel if they decide to donate them to another couple?.  Most donate them to research so it may not be a concern.
    • How will you feel about this child and donation if you decided to have more children in the future and are unable to?
    • If you have not yet started your family, how do you feel about your future children having genetic half siblings?
    • How do you feel about your children having a genetic half sibling/s?

 

What’s the medical process to become an Egg Donor Angel if I still want to help?

You and your recipients need to book individual appointments with their IVF clinic.  Your potential recipient can do this for you or can give you the details to phone them and arrange a time that suits you.

Your individual appointment will consist of the Doctor asking you questions about your medial history. Please ensure you disclose all family medical history, any genetic and medical conditions that your family has including your children.

The doctor will request you to complete blood tests for blood group, RH factor, rubella, hormone levels, HIV, Hep B & C, AMH and Thalassemia (basically a group of blood disorders found in certain races) etc.  Your partner will also be asked to complete blood tests.

They will also ask you to have an ultrasound to assess your ovaries and follicles (potential eggs).

They will also assess access to your ovaries for egg pick-up and to provide a baseline scan to refer to during your treatment.

Depending on your protocol with the IVF clinic, you may need to be on the pill for a few weeks before starting the cycle.

The actual cycle for donation will take around four weeks pending how you respond to the medications, it could be shorter or longer based on this.

Most blood tests and ultrasounds can be done early in the morning and this is best for the IVF clinic as they like to have the results for the afternoon.

Appointments with the IVF clinic will most likely need to be done when they have appointments available so you will need some flexibility with this.  However many can be done via phone and/or Skype.

The counseling can often be done in the early evening or after initial appointments or via the phone and/or Skype.  When first liaising with the potential recipients and for the counselling consider what future contact you want with your recipient and any potential donor conceived children and come to an agreement with them about this.

Once the initial blood tests and ultrasound are reviewed, the counselling is completed and approved and the IVF clinic doctor is happy to proceed, they will devise a ‘protocol’ for you and the recipient.  This is a regime of timing, drugs and dosages to follow during the cycle.

They will carefully synchronise yours and the recipient’s cycle so that when your eggs are ready for pick-up, her body is ready to accept them.

Most donors will go through a cycle called ‘down regulation’ cycle, where your ovaries are suppressed from producing eggs before being over stimulated. Your cycle will start with the pill, then generally a period of ‘down-regulation’ (approx two weeks) where your body is prevented from ovulating, followed by a period of ‘stimulation’ (approx 12 days) where your ovaries are over-stimulated to produce more than their usual one egg.

The cycle normally starts on day 1 of your period where you need to ring the IVF clinic and you will begin FSH injections daily called Gonal-F or Puregon. This is called the stimulation phase where the medication is used to stimulate the ovaries to develop plenty of follicles from which lots of eggs are potentially retrieved. The number of follicles will depend on how well the woman responds to the medication as well as other factors such as age etc. This injection will be daily for approximately 9 to 14 days again depending on how well you respond to it. The nurses at the IVF clinic will help you with how to do the injections and where necessary can organise for you to attend the clinic to do the injections. This drug is injected into your tummy and you are taught how to do this at the clinic…once you know how to do it, it becomes very easy to do, trust me I have done it for months and months! The potential side effects of this are; PMS type symptoms such as bloating, mood swings, irritability, headaches, tender breasts and tiredness.

Blood tests and ultrasounds will be done on a regular basis during this part of the cycle and the IVF nurse will let you know when your first one will be and from the results of them when the next one will be.

After about 7 to 10 days of stimulation, they will get you to take a 2nd injection called the antagonist, this is the hormone that stops your body from ovulating as they want the follicles/potential eggs to stay in the ovaries and grow ready for egg collection and insemination. Orgalutron and Cetrotide are the main medications used for this. You will take this injection along with the FSH one till the day of the trigger injection. Possible side effects for this medication are; headaches, localised irritation at the injection site – both are rare.

Again they will continue to do ultrasounds on your ovaries to see how many follicles are developing and to check on their size. They will also continue to do blood tests to check that your hormones are on track.   If the follicles are too small and need more stimulation, another ultrasound date will be set.

Egg collection all depends on how well you are responding and the size of the follicles, the ideal size follicle for egg collection is between 16 and 25mm. Some cycles may also be cancelled at this stage if there is no follicle development.

Once they are happy with the size of the follicles, they will set a date for Egg Collection/Pick Up. Once a final date for Egg Collection/Pick Up is made, you will give yourself a ‘trigger’ injection at a particular time,  exactly 36 hours before the Egg Collection.  This trigger injection of hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) is a drug that mimics preparation of the uterus lining for embryo implantation, which tells the brain to release any eggs ready as well as telling them to mature.  It is given either in the tummy (subcutaneously) or in the thigh (intramuscular)…it stings a little more than the FSH injections and can remain a little tender at the injection site. A day of rest i.e. no injections follows the trigger injection to release the eggs after the stimulation stage, and then egg collection is about 36 hours after this injection.

Its day surgery admission for the Egg Pick Up, with fasting both food and drink after 12am the night before. You will talk to the anesthetist and the nurse before the procedure. You will be given a light anesthetic and be ‘out’ for about an hour while the doctor picks up your eggs. This is done using a needle and needle guide through a vaginal transducer. The fluid in the follicles is drained, and the eggs are then taken for fertilisation.

When you wake up from surgery, you may feel quite groggy. You will need someone to take you home and expect to rest for the rest of the day and the next day after pick up. You may have some spotting and your ovaries may be quite tender. Clinics advise Panadol forte for pain relief, heat pack for your abdomen. Very important is to drink an extra two litres of water to help your body heal and to help with constipation after the GA. Metamucil or the like is also recommended.

Now you may ask what about the side effects of the drugs I have taken.  The job of the suppressant drugs, is to force your body into a temporary menopausal state where you will not ovulate. As such you may experience some menopausal symptoms such as spotting, hot flushes, headaches, breast tenderness, discomfort in lower back and abdomen due to increased ovarian activity.

A full list of symptoms and what to be aware of will be available from the clinic.

There are other protocols for IVF treatment that include the same medications but different timing and may include some hormones to regulate your cycle prior to the donor cycle. These are called long down regulation cycles where the one above is called an antagonist cycle. Make sure you chat to the IVF/Fertility specialist and nurses about your medications and timings and if you have any doubts or questions, please contact them ASAP.

The worst side effect of the stimulation drugs is Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) where the ovaries are so over stimulated that fluid leaks from the ovaries….in very rare cases some patients require hospitalisation. However, most women get some minor signs of OHSS during their treatment – swelling, tenderness – which is all treatable at home.

Clinics are very careful to monitor anyone who may be prone to over stimulation, usually women who produce 15-20 eggs plus. Although rare, OHSS is a very real risk and must be taken seriously – please make sure you consult your clinic for a list of symptoms to watch out for.

General Anesthetic – although a light anesthetic is used, the usual side effects of a general anesthetic apply and some people may experience drowsiness, nausea etc.

Your recipient may wonder as you will, how many eggs will you donate, this is such an unknown as there are many factors that impact on this including age, health, etc.

The IVF doctor will start you off on the minimum dosage of drugs and each woman will react differently to the dosage.  A woman doing an IVF cycle may produce anywhere from 0 to 30 plus eggs, with the average being between 5 – 15.

Quality is more important than quantity as it is the ability of an egg to become fertilised and divide into two cells that is important. Any leftover embryo’s will be frozen for future attempts of FET or Frozen Embryo Transfers.

The success rate for pregnancy for the recipient are between 15 – 50% depending on clinic, age of recipient, existence of other fertility problems e.g. male factor etc.

Research has shown that donor egg embryos have the same success rates as ‘normal’ embryos.

What happens after Egg Collection/Pick up depends on your relationship with the recipient.  However  you can contact the clinic to find out how many eggs were successful, and by law the clinic must tell you if there is a successful birth, the sex of the child and if there are any disabilities.

If you find out later on that there are any new hereditary diseases, please contact the clinic so they can alert the family.

Also keep them informed of any address changes.

I hope this provides enough information for you to make an informed decision to contact any of our couples seeking an Egg Donor Angel on this website. If you need further information or would like to chat more about this, please email me at diannej@eggdonorangels.com.au xox

Thank you for coming to this site and this page and considering this wonderful gift that could help a couple become a family.

Please read Why I donated my eggs – Haley’s story January 2016  xox

Have you considered surrogacy?  This ones a little bit harder emotionally and physically but if you would consider it, please check out my page on this as well.

Below are some links that could provide further information:

Access Australia

VARTA – Victorian Assisted Reproduction Treatment Authority

As I do all of this on my own with no other income as it’s truly my passion, I don’t charge any fees for this website, it’s totally free so if you would like to donate to this website, the Facebook page and groups and help me to keep helping others find their Egg Donor Angel, please click on the donate now button below  or my details are below xox.  Donations will go into improving the website, the processes, to finding more egg donor angels and to creating more awareness for this wonderful cause.

Thank you, every bit helps as I started Egg Donor Angels with my own money  and my own time (and lots of it :)) and I continue to run it on my own time and money, it’s almost a full time job now.. but I love doing this and am so very passionate about it xoxox

Account name: Dianne Johnston

BSB: 112-879

Account number: 066 926 009

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Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter and also join our Facebook group, a private place to offer support and to chat xox

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