Looking at Overseas options for an Egg Donor Angel

Our initial investigation:

I first heard about going overseas for an egg donor and in particular to South Africa via a few other recipients those had either been or were going.  I then started chatting to them about what clinics, Dr’s and recommendations they had to share.  I then did my own investigations in regard to South Africa and Greece at that time as these seemed the two most popular.  I hadn’t heard as much about Czech so I didn’t consider them at the time but quite a few now have been there and were very happy with the clinic and the process and many were successful. 

I looked at each clinic’s websites and contacted them regarding doing an egg donor cycle with them.  

As you need to find your own donor in South Africa I started liaising with Egg Donor Agencies (which there are plenty of and they are all excellent) as well to find a suitable donor in the time frames I could travel.  You still use the clinic for the process/cycle but you need to go to them with a donor from an agency.  If you are considering South Africa, I would suggest looking at the various Egg Donor Agencies first and corresponding with them regarding donors you like and their timing. If you are considering going to other countries like Greece, Spain or Czech, the clinic will choose an egg donor for you. You will need to send them photos of yourself, a bio of yourself and what you are looking for. They will come back with potential donors and if it doesn’t feel right, then ask them to send you more.

In South Africa, all the agencies are great, I strongly suggest you register with all the agencies including the clinics one. Its about finding the right egg donor for you, the one that you feel a connection with including personality and physical traits. Timing is also important in terms of the egg donor being available for the cycle when you are planning to go. In terms of “proven versus un-proven”, ask the agency and the clinic about the donors, their AMH/follicle count and hormone levels, their age, if they have children of their own and if proven, how many cycles, the outcomes etc.

The only reason for my choice of South Africa was the amount of recommendations we had received regarding the Cape Fertility Clinic and their successes. I also felt it was important that we could choose our own Egg Donor Angel in South Africa whereas with Greece and other countries, they choose for you. I really wanted to find the right donor for me.

Choosing a donor from the agencies in South Africa can be overwhelming xox Before you begin your search, map out your time frames/travel dates if you are restricted, list/think about what you are looking for (many like to choose donors that look at bit like them physically) in terms of physical and personality traits as well. Then start looking, most of the databases allow you to filter by some physical traits as well as proven and un-proven. I suggest not to filter out the proven versus un-proven unless this is not negotiable 🙂 xox Make a shortlist of the ones that you really like and correspond with the agencies about them in terms of are they still available, will they be available and any other questions you might have.

When looking at where to go/which country for egg donation, ensure you check and consider each countries and clinics laws, protocols and restrictions. Things like sorry to say some clinics and countries are restrictive re age, marital status/single and same sex couples etc. so please ensure you check this before proceeding. South Africa is known to be the very supportive of individual circumstances 🙂 xox.

Also keep in mind that most of these countries, the donors are anonymous. We would have preferred to know our donor and have ongoing contact however time was running out for us to find that “perfect” donor and especially here in Australia.  We decided that our desire for a family far outweighed a known donor and we knew we had to compromise.  We had always planned to tell our children from the beginning about being donor conceived and we felt and have read research that supports this, that our child will be ok with not knowing their “donor” as long as they know how they came about.  We have kept our donors profile and information and a letter from the donor to our little boy and he will always have access to this and know something about her.

Keep in mind that with the huge increase in DNA testing by sites like Ancestry, 123 etc. anonymous donors are already being found and this will only increase in the future as it becomes “standard” to do this test. Already donor conceived children are finding their anon donors via the DNA testing sites and connecting with the donor and their families.

The Process for going overseas in general:

Look at all the countries that recipients are recommending and/or have been successful with.  Don’t be afraid to travel, whilst it seems daunting, it’s not as scary as you think, consider it a holiday as well.  Also do your own due diligence in regard to organisations offering to bring donors to Australia/your country if this is your preference or you are considering this and the same with frozen eggs being offered.

There are companies that co-ordinate the process for you for a $ cost, again as IVF is expensive and you’ve already been through so much, before committing to paying these fees, chat to me and chat to others on my Facebook group “egg donor angels international donor options” about the process and what to do, you might find it’s not as scary and has hard as you think.  Most on my group and via my site, have done it on their own, no issues or dramas.

I have tried to list as much information under each country/city about them and what the legal requirements/restrictions are however you must do your own due dilegence as this is a working document so some information may change and I haven’t included every country. 


  • Choose a country that suits you but one where you will also have a nice holiday as you don’t spend a lot of time in the clinic. We would probably have never gone to South Africa if it wasn’t for this and we just loved Cape Town.
  • If you are able to choose your donor, make sure you register with all the agencies to find the “right” donor for you, it should be about this not the relationship with the agency or even the costs.
  • Get costs on other options such as PGD/PGS testing, embryoscope, embryo glue etc.
  • Consider doing acupuncture before and after your transfer.
  • Consider leaving a frozen vial of your partners/husbands sperm in case you want/need to do another cycle and they can’t travel. But you can also do the egg donor cycle by distance this way, we did for our 2nd cycle as we left a sperm sample there.
  • Get the clinic to freeze the embryos individually so you have options/choices when doing a FET later on.
  • Buy more medication than you need for the 12 weeks so you’ve got enough in case of spills/breakages etc. and also if you go back for another cycle or a FET.
  • Join my Facebook support group, amazing members and lots of support and information.

So where to from here…

Your decision process may depend on your own background/ethnicity;

South Africa’s egg donor agencies have a mix of Afrikan and German/English/Scottish donors as well as some Asian I believe.

Many have chosen donors based on their own looks and on the agency websites you can drill down to things like eye and hair colour etc.

If you have a Mediterranean background it might be better for you to investigate Greece or Czech, but it’s not an absolute.  The clinics promote that they can find the donor best suited to you.

Many countries/clinics are not open to single women and/or same sex couples so please check this out as well.  South Africa will do egg/sperm donation for single women and same sex couples and for any age (they do say up to 50 years old but it’s up to the clinic to make a final decision re this, if you were just over the age limit, you would need to approach the clinic re this with your story and see what they say). 

Keep in mind that Czech and Greece choose your donor for you based on your looks and requirements, whereas with South Africa you choose your own donor via the agency websites/databases.

Make sure you check with each clinic and country for age limits as some only treat women up till 49-50 years of age. 

So if you’ve decided on where you want to go, contact the clinic/s, ask for pricing and the paperwork you need to complete for them including a checklist of their timings and requirements. If it’s South Africa, start your search on the egg donor agencies databases and if it’s elsewhere send them your photos and donor attributes so they can start looking for you.

You need to work out what dates you want or can travel for the cycle/process.  You need to allow about 2 weeks in total.  But check with the clinic on their time frames as some will allow you to start your progesterone here before going there and so you can be there a few days before the egg collection and your partner’s sperm deposit.  Ensure you communicate your dates to the clinics and agencies.

Most clinics say it takes between 8 and 12 weeks to organise and do the cycle, but make sure you check with them first on their lead times.

Don’t book any accommodation/flights etc. till you have final confirmation of the cycle, as hard as this is. 

Do your research on the details and you can even tentatively check accommodation for the dates you think you might be there. Once you have confirmed your donor and their availability and the cycle is happening you can start looking but again don’t book until the clinic say that the donor has started her cycle and that all is going well.

Allow some days either side of the trip in terms of flights, accommodation and work/leave but more importantly have some at the end as the donor might be slow to respond etc. and you might be required to stay a few extra days. For example, our first egg donor was slow to respond and therefore our egg collection and subsequent embryo transfer were delayed by a few days. 

You normally arrive the day before you start the progesterone injections and then allow about 2-3 days extra at the end after they had suggested the transfer may be.  Thank goodness we did as our donor was slow to respond and took a few extra days for the cycle. We ended up flying out the day after transfer, whilst it was ok, they like you to have a few days before flying after the transfer.

They will try to marry up your cycle with the donors via medications if you have cycles. I don’t have cycles since doing chemo so mine was easy but others will need to be on “down regulating” medications etc.

You will also go on oestrogen prior to going overseas for the cycle and your GP should be able to prescribe this for you. Go and chat to them about what you are doing and get them on board with helping you with what you need medically.

Most clinics need an array of blood tests and they can’t be older than 12 months. If you’ve been doing IVF here recently then you can ask your clinic for all your results/blood tests/sperm analyis/scans etc. and send them to the overseas clinic. Otherwise most GP’s will do the tests for you and you can scan and send the results to the overseas clinic.

Once you know your dates and if you are going to South Africa, you have a couple of donors that should be available for those dates, contact the clinic and let them know the agency you are liaising with, the donor id and your dates etc.  They will start working on your cycle from there.

Make sure you get your test results sent to them as quickly as possible as well. If they don’t, ask them for a list of what they need.  Importantly they will need blood tests for both you and your partner as well as background information on you as well.  If you have recently done IVF/Egg Donor cycles, then you should be able to get this information from your clinic and just email it to them.  If not get a full list and book in at your GP and make it happen 🙂 xox. It’s all the usual tests HIV, hep B/C, syphilis etc.  They normally like a current ultrasound as well. 

Make sure you check if any vaccinations etc. are needed for where you are travelling.  As we were only going to Cape Town in SA, we didn’t need to take anything, we could have taken malaria but it was not recommended and our concern was also re the impact of these medications on the potential pregnancy.  Most GP’s in Australia don’t do these overseas vaccinations, you need to go to a specialist clinic for this but check with your GP first about this and what is recommended. 

Also, ensure that your GP and your Fertility Specialist (if needed) are aware of your plans and keep them involved in the process and with updates.

You will need to see your GP upon your return to organise the pregnancy blood tests and if positive ongoing HCG tests etc.

Your GP should be able to give you a script for most of the medications like the estrogen tablets and the clexane, the more specialised medications might have to be done by your FS, however try your GP first, some do it, some don’t but it’s worth a try with them first, unless you are seeing your FS and you can get them to do it all.

With South Africa and I believe most of the other clinics, you can buy your medications for the remainder of your cycle and the first trimester of the pregnancy and it’s cheaper than here. I always buy extra in case I lose/break some and also if I have to go back for a FET later on, I’ve got some for this.

South Africa for egg donation (also embryo and sperm donation):

  • Treatment allowed for single women and same sex couples
  • You can choose your own donor from a donor agency, detailed profiles along with childhood photographs are supplied
  • Maximum embryos you can transfer is 2 but recommend one embryo unless the recipient mother is over 38 and they suggest 2.   This can also can depend on the quality of the embryo’s.
  • Egg and sperm donors are anonymous
  • Egg and sperm donors are not allowed to be paid but are reimbursed financial compensation for their costs/time
  • Sex selection not allowed
  • Embryos can be stored for up to 10 years
  • Sperm of a deceased partner is not permitted to be used unless consent is clearly given in the will
  • Donors can have no more than 5 live children born from their donated gametes
  • Donors are anonymous
  • Age limit is up to 50 years of age but if you are over 50, best to contact them and tell them your story and ask them what they can do, they will consider each person on their situation.

Cape Fertility Clinic, Cape Town South Africa:

  • Very professional and easy to deal with
  • You get to choose your donor via an agency
  • High success rate
  • Donors only under 35 years old

I found Cape Fertility to be very professional and for the most part very responsive. If you don’t hear back from them within 24-48 hours you can call them and speak to your co-ordinator, however I never had a need to do this.

All of their communications were professional and detailed, more information and direction than I have ever received in Australia at the three main clinics I have used.

Website links:

http://capefertilityclinic.co.za/ – their main website.

http://capefertilityclinic.co.za/international-patients/ International page on website

http://eggdonation.co.za/ – other website for them.

http://eggdonation.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Eggdonation-international2015.pdf -link to their international egg donor cycle costs – please note these costs are not the most current but they will give you an indication.

http://eggdonation.co.za/the-recipient-couple/ – process for the recipients for egg donation cycle with them.

Our cycle cost us around $8500 AUD, this included egg donor fee, agency fee, extra medications for me, egg donor cycle, scans, my embryo transfer and embryo freezing.  It’s gone up slightly since then but still under the $9k AUD cost.

The final costs also depend on the donor agency and donor fee, if you are using a “known/proven” donor then it costs more and if the donor has to travel you will need to pay these expenses.

We used an unknown donor for our first cycle there and whilst we were successful we only ended up with one good embryo from our first cycle with her.  However we did get pregnant.

Dr Matabese has been our Dr there and is caring, compassionate, informative and amazing.   Others have also praised her as well as Dr Heylan and Dr Le Roux.  All the staff including the reception, nurses and Dr’s are professional, friendly, and caring.  I found the clinic just as good, if not better than IVF clinics in Australia. 

The clinic will guide you every step of the way including information needed, information missing, deposit required to start the cycle and you pay the remainder when you are there.  The clinic pays the donor her financial compensation fee and this is included in their invoice/costs.  The donor agency will send you an invoice for their fee once it’s all confirmed as well.

All of these tests are done by the clinic on the donor:

  • HIV I and ll antibodies
  • RPR (Syphilis)
  • Hepatitis B surface antigen
  • Hepatitis C antibodies
  • CMV (Cytomegalovirus) lgM
  • Blood group
  • Cystic Fibrosis dF508

You can request additional tests and these will be an additional cost.  If any of these tests come back abnormal or positive they are legally not allowed to donate. 

As the recipient, you will be required to complete a medial questionnaire for you and your partner as well as supplying all the necessary tests as listed below.

All results should be no older than 12 months.

The clinic also give you a maximum of 15 eggs from the cycle, the extra eggs will be frozen and put in their egg bank for others to use when they don’t get any eggs or potentially any viable embryo’s. Whilst this is rare it does happen and many on my group have had this option.  They also offer the guarantee that if no eggs are retrieved from your donor, they will give you 5 eggs from their egg bank at no additional charge.

The female recipient will need to supply the clinic with the following test results (no older than 12 months)

Blood tests:

  • FSH test done on day 3 of cycle
  • HIV I and II
  • RPR (Syphilis)
  • Hep B S Ag
  • Hep C Ab
  • Rubella IgG blood test (immunity)
  • TSH
  •  Prolactin           

Other tests:

  • Recent transvaginal pelvic ultrasound
  • HSG (hysterosalpingogram) or hysteroscopy or saline infusion sonogram (not compulsory but might be requested by your treating Doctor after reviewing your medical history and ultrasound scan result) 

And the male partner the following:

  • Semen analysis

Blood tests:

  • HIV 1 and II
  • RPR (Syphilis)
  • Hep B S Ag
  • Hep C Ab

They may ask you for more tests/information pending their evaluation of your results/tests and questionnaire.

The clinic will advise you to get medications prior to the cycle, the most import being the Estradiol valerate tablets 2mg – 140 tablets (Progynova, Estropause, Estrace).  They will advise you when to start taking them and the quantity etc.  However, it will most likely be the following:

  • 1 tablet daily for 3 days, then
  • 2 tablets daily for 3 days, then
  • 3 tablets daily for 3 days, then
  • 4 tablets daily. Continue with 4 tablets daily.

These tablets thicken and prepare the lining of the womb prior to the embryo transfer.

You will be taking progesterone being; Progesterone in oil injections (100mg)– 35 ampoules (Gestone).

These injections will only be started after you have seen the doctor in Cape Town and can therefore be obtained from the clinic. You will be told by the clinic exactly what day to start the injections. It is usually on the day of the donor’s egg retrieval, however I started mine the day I had my first meeting with the clinic.  It will all depend on your results and cycle plan they prepare for you.

We purchased extra progesterone injections to take home with us instead of using pessaries and with the hope that we would be pregnant.  They were not too much of an issue to fly with.  I put them in my check in luggage and the only time I took them on the flight was when our flight from Singapore was seriously delayed and I wasn’t going to be back home in time to take the injection.  The staff at Changi airport were amazing, they allowed me to access my bags and get my injection and we asked the flight attendants to have a minute of privacy for Shane to inject me in the butt 😉

I also took clexane for the flights, all I did was keep my spares in my luggage and then had the one in my handbag ready to inject just before the flight.  I did have a letter from my GP here stating I was taking these injections and doing the IVF.  I would suggest getting a letter from the IVF clinic re the progesterone, though I didn’t do this and had no trouble, I would suggest it anyway.  I always went through the customs claiming the injections in my bag but wasn’t held up once or checked.   Though the past few trips, I’ve taken my medications in my carry on with a letter from the clinic saying what they were for.  I was concerned they could go missing etc.

The injections are once a day and are to be done around the same time each day, with a few hours’ leeway.  They are to be injected into a muscle; most people get it done into their bottom or do it into their thigh.  If you and/or your partner are not comfortable doing this, you will need to go to the clinic each day whilst there to do it and make further arrangements when travelling and at home.  After a while the injection spot can get a bit painful, you do alternate from side to side but they say ice packs or hot water bottles help on the spot.   Personally, I much preferred these to the pessaries, only have to do them once a day, no mess and just easier.  Though it does get painful and lumpy in the butt ?

Again, pending your medical requirements, they may advise you to go on the pill and any other medication to ensure the best result for you and your cycle.

Again, any medications and doses, CFC will give you clear instructions on not only what and how much but also where you can obtain it from.

CFC will give you a detailed timetable closer to your cycles starting.

When you arrive in Cape Town, your first appointment will be about 2-4 days prior to egg retrieval, they will do an ultrasound to check your lining and chat to you about how your donor is responding and give you an update on the cycle.  They will increase or adjust any medications if needed based on this. 

The Egg Donor cycle and the embryo transfer are no different from anywhere else in the world; same protocols and procedures as such. 

Aevitas another IVF clinic in Cape town http://www.aevitasfertilityclinic.co.za/ I don’t know as much about them but a few have been there, have said it’s good and have been successful.

They have an egg and a sperm bank and they claim a 57% success rate with egg donation.

Vincent Pallotti Hospital, Park Rd, Pinelands, Cape Town 7405

+27 21 531 6999   info@aevitas.co.za

Hart is another clinic in Cape Town:

Again I don’t know much about them but some have been and say they are very good as well.


Dr Wisweidel (originally from CFC) has started this clinic and Jenny the IVF nurse also originally from CFC now works there.  Kimenthra the embryologist originally from CFC is now the embryologist/lab manager there.


Ground Floor, Christiaan Barnard Chambers, 87 Loop Street,


Tel: +27-21-4240670

Fax: 27-21-4248343

South African Egg Donor Agencies:

Egg Donors in South Africa are anonymous but the agency will provide you with a very detailed profile on your egg donor including family history, hobbies, interests, handwriting analysis and much more. 

Donors in South Africa are also under 35 years of age. 

If you require donor sperm, they also have a donor sperm bank that you can access.  Just email your preferences and they will provide you with some profiles.

South Africa also caters to singles and same sex couples unlike some other countries.

With all agencies, you can contact them and they will send you a welcome email with the password to access the egg donor database and profiles. You can view a list of current egg donors including basic information about them, if they have successfully donated and their availability.  Once you select 2-3 you like, then you can contact the agency for a more detailed profile on them.

If you can’t find someone suitable, email them and let them know what you are looking for and they will see who they have on file as well.

I recommend chatting to your agency/agencies at the same time as liaising with your IVF clinic so you’re saving time and the donor agency will liaise with the clinic on your behalf as well.

Here are known and good agencies:

http://www.eggdonationsouthafrica.co.za/ – Egg Donation South Africa – this is the donor agency we used; they were very good but they are no longer affiliated with Cape Fertility Clinic, so if you are using CFC, you cannot use EDSA for your egg donor.   

Cape Fertility now have their own egg donor agency so ask them about this as well.

http://giftovlife.com/ – Gift of Life 

http://www.nurture.co.za/ – Nurture

http://www.ababysa.com/ — AbabySA

http://www.sunshineeggdonors.com/ – Sunshine Egg Donors

http://baby2mom.co.za/ – Baby2Mom

http://www.vitalab.com/ based in Johannesburg, not as safer city as Cape Town.

I strongly recommend you look at all of them and find the donor/s you like and feel a connection with and then ask for detailed profiles and ask questions including their availability and successes, if not already detailed. 

Also, check their agency fees and “travel costs” as some of the agencies are more expensive than others and if a donor is not based in the city you are doing treatment, you will incur travel costs for her appointments and egg retrieval.  However, don’t let this deter you, if she is the right donor, it could be worth paying the extra costs for her.

It can be overwhelming but when you read the detailed profiles and the donor’s personal comments and look at their health and family’s health and history, you will get a feel for which ones you like more. 

Also, they supply childhood photos so again you will get a feel for the ones that you connect with and I guess feel will give your child a resemblance to yourself.   They are not allowed to give adult photos as donors in South Africa are anonymous.  You can ask the agency if they have more childhood photos of the donor.

Information and Travel tips/advice regarding South Africa:

  • Convert Rand to AUD: just type this into google and you will be able to do this, however $1 = approx. 10-12 rand.
  • Time Difference: Cape Town/South Africa are behind about 9 hours behind us this is AEST daylight savings.  So, when it’s afternoon here AEST it’s early morning there. I would often check emails in the early hours here so I could respond and get a reply back quickly.
  • To look up the current time in South Africa for where you live, just type in current time Cape Town and it will show you.

Again, don’t book anything till the clinic and the agency have confirmed your cycle is going ahead, this may be 1-3 weeks prior to travel.  Do your research prior so you have some ideas on where you want to stay and who you want to fly with and any stopovers.

Main airlines that fly to SA:

  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines – stops at Singapore, varying stopover times.
  • Etihad – stops in the Middle East
  • Emirates – stops in the Middle East
  • South African Airlines

Most of the airlines stop at Johannesburg and it can be a few hours there, we were lucky our first flight/trip, the plane only stopped for about 1 hour with Singapore airlines and we waited on board, with Emirates we flew direct to Cape Town and with Qantas we had to get off the flight, get our bags, go through customs, recheck our bags and get on a South African Airways flight.. but this wasn’t an ordeal at all and when you get to Cape Town you are a domestic traveller not international as you’ve done customs at J’burg. 

Before booking your flights, look at Webjet to see what’s available, where they stopover, how long the flight is and how long the stopover is and the approx. cost.  We did this and then booked directly through the airline.

We flew Singapore Airlines the first time, they were very good, on the way we had about a 7 hour stopover which whilst it seemed a lot, it wasn’t too bad. Changi Airport is huge and fabulous. 

If you do got to Changi airport, make sure you go and get some changi $’s vouchers from the airport to spend.  We used ours to get a lovely hot shower and we had some left over to purchase a couple of things.  There’s a great selection of food but try the Hawker stand up above the main level, cheap and good local food. There are sleep beds all around the airport, they aren’t super comfy but we did sleep.  We had a walk around the airport, had some food, had a shower, and then found a quiet section with these and had a snooze for about 2 hours.  There’s also a pool, gym, and a cinema for a cost but plenty to do if you want to. They also have internet access, you just need to go to the booth, they scan your passport and you can then log on.

I believe Dubai is also very good and lots to do as well. 

If you are looking for a nice few days to relax on the way home, a stopover trip might be good, so with Singapore you can stop at Singapore for a few days, we did that a couple of times and love Singapore, there’s lots to do.   You can also do this with Emirates and Etihad as well, I think either Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

So Cape Town….

We hired a car from Cape Town airport for the whole time and it was quite cheap and the best way to get around.  Driving there is pretty much the same as Australia, but they do drive fast there and sometimes erratic lol.  But it’s quite easy and safe to get around Cape Town.  Also make sure you stay within the speed limit and you will see beggars at most major intersections, most are harmless, but don’t accept anything even if they say it’s for free, as you do need to “pay” for it.. we often gave our loose change to them as they do struggle over there. 

We stayed in an apartment just out of Camps Bay the first time we went, which is a lovely area.  Camps Bay is very touristy but quite safe and lots of security.  You do get lots of beggars around Cape Town as they don’t have the same support as we do and their hourly wage is very low, around $1.50 per hour.  

Our 2nd trip we stayed in Bantry Bay at the President Hotel, was secure, safe and reasonably priced and the room was nice and it’s close to supermarkets, cafes and the beach. We also stayed at the Bantry Bay hotel which was ok and then at the Penninsula Hotel which was great. Also Bantry Bay/Seapoint is about 15 min drive to the clinic and a 10 min drive to the Waterfront.  And there’s a Hussar Grill down the road which does fabulous steaks/food, our favourite but there are lots of amazing places to eat in Cape Town and cheap. Seapoint and the area also have some fabulous children’s playgrounds.

Wherever you stay, check out local laundry services, you can get your clothes washed and dried for about $7 a bag.

If you stay at Camps Bay, it’s about a 25 min drive to the clinic pending traffic etc. 

Food is very cheap in South Africa, we found eating out was very cheap and reasonable.  There are some great cafés and restaurants around Camps Bay as well as around the city area. Bree St in the city is quite good and trendy and good to go and see and eat at.  Also check out Stellenbosch if you have a car or you can go on the “red/blue bus”.  Good wineries and food.

Remember to tip here, as the wages are too low, you do need to leave a tip, it’s about 10% but they deserve it, the staff are always very polite, helpful and friendly. 

There are also “parking attendants” that will come up to you when you go to park your car anywhere in Cape Town, they are polite and friendly and ask for a tip pending how long you are going to be there for.  For the most part it’s a few dollars and they do watch your car for you.  There are less of these now as they have changed the laws re this but there are still quite a few.

There are sadly beggars and a lot of poverty so can be quite confronting, the wages are very low around $1.50AUD per hour so we were quite happy to tip and to also give money to beggars.  The Africans are keen to work and polite and friendly.  However, like hawkers, they can get a bit pushy, just be polite and friendly and walk away.   Many live in shanty/shack towns on the outskirts and these are also confronting, we wanted to do an organised tour of these but didn’t get the chance, others have done it and said its quite interesting and they are friendly and it’s not scary as long as you are with a guide.

We purchased a phone with credit down at a store at the Waterfront. Was very cheap and we didn’t even use all the credit, even with calling Australia quite a few times and local calls as well.  It was only about $40AUD and worth it, that was on our first trip.  Our last 2 trips, we just rang from the hotel, it wasn’t overpriced and we also used Facebook msg’r and video calling using the free wifi in the room.

I used a local acupuncturist close to the clinic that was very good, reasonably priced and flexible about booking you in before and after embryo transfer. 

Dr Zhang yzhang@intekom.co.za Contact: 021 6742804 Address: 3 Kinkleway, Newlands, Cape Town

We did a safari at a place called Inverdoorn and it was fantastic, we got a package where we had an afternoon and an early morning safari, all food included and it was amazing.  I would strongly recommend staying an extra night, if you only stay the one night, you don’t really get time to relax and enjoy the place.   http://www.inverdoorn.com/. Others have done safari’s at Aquila https://www.aquilasafari.com/ and loved it.

There are plenty of great things to do, Cape Town is a beautiful city and the views are amazing. 

  • Cable Mountain is amazing and worth the cable car ride up, its’ quite breezy and can be cool pending what time of year you are there but again beautiful. There’s a café up there if you want to stop and have some lunch, food was quite good considering.
  • Robben Island, great tour but the trip over is quite rough, so if you get sea sick take your seasickness/ginger tablets etc.. It’s where Mandela was imprisoned.  You need to book this as it can be quite busy esp. in peak tourist times.  You probably need a day to do it, though tours start at 9am and it’s about a half day total.
  • Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, best place to shop and great range of restaurants.  You will find most brands and shops here. Great little place to eat lunch in there is Melissa’s and lovely gourmet foods as well to take away. 
    • Make sure you check out the craft pavilion, there’s a store that sells toys and children’s clothes made by African women that are in shelters, impoverished etc.  A good cause and the handmade toys are too cute, a wonderful gift to give to your baby to remind them of where they came from as such.
  • Century City – another shopping centre – large
  • Hout Bay – the guy with the seal ?
  • Boulders Beach – the penguin colony – a must do, they are too cute.
  • Simons Town – quant village to browse
  • Lions Head – if you are up for the walk and are ok with heights, it takes about 4 hours pending fitness and there’s a path as such and some rough spots, amazing view but not for anyone with a fear of heights.  Some sites say to take young children, we would disagree with this ?
  • Cheetah Outreach – this is fabulous experience http://www.cheetah.co.za/ and you can get to do a Meerkat experience, we did it our first trip and got to cuddle Sebastian and it was fantastic. 
  • Meerkat Adventures – we wanted to do this but it’s a bit of a drive, https://www.meerkatadventures.co.za/ but would be great to do. 
  • Kirstenbosch National Botanic gardens, absolutely stunning and lunch at Moyo is a must.
  • Table Mountain National Park
  • Cape of Good Hope – a must to do, it’s a day round trip but the views are spectacular.
  • Castle of Good Hope – fabulous to do as well.
  • Stellebosch – great for wineries and food
  • Afternoon Tea at Mount Nelson Hotel is fabulous
  • Company Gardens in the city – lovely and the squirrels are a delight, buy a bag of nuts and they’ll come running.

Cape Fertility can recommend places to stay in relation to the clinic, however check with them on their latest updates. We found Camps Bay, Seapoint, Bantry Bay and by the Waterfront are all great places to stay, lots of security and good places to eat.  We searched “Trivago” for accommodation and just checked each one out including hotels and apartments.  For more detail on this click on the “files” tab on the Facebook group and you will see the full pdf/file here. Many have also done airbnb and found it to be great as well.

On the way home from our first trip, we had a longer stopover of 5 days in Singapore and had a fantastic time there, great food especially at the Hawker stalls, good shopping and some great things to see.  We found Singapore to be very safe and clean and we mainly caught the trains or walked to most things but the taxis are good and cheap.  Restaurant food is expensive, so make sure you try the hawker stalls, like anywhere don’t buy if it looks a bit dodgy but we found most to be pretty good. Check with your accommodation on the best ones locally to go to.


  • Excellent service and professional
  • Quite a few clinics to choose from
  • Under current laws the donation of cells (eggs and sperm) must be voluntary and anonymous for both donor and recipient. The clinic is required to keep the medical records of donors for 30 years to safeguard all parties, and can be subject to state inspection to ensure practitioner compliance
  • IVF techniques cannot be used to choose a future child’s sex, with the exception of cases where it may be used to prevent serious genetic diseases at the recommendation of the doctor. These cases include diseases which:
    • are incompatible with the postnatal development of a child
    • significantly shorten the life
    • cause early disablement or other serious health consequences
    • are untreatable given our present level of knowledge
  • Don’t get to choose your own donor, they choose for you based on your requests and photos you send
  • Do not treat single women or same sex couples
  • Surrogacy is not illegal but there are no laws to protect everyone especially the recipients if there are problems
  • Age limit, only treat women to 49 years and 364 days old
  • Managed and regulated by European Union Directive 2004/23/EC for Tissues and Cells, Czech national legislation was amended so that all IVF clinics require a valid licence to operate. This licence is granted by SUKL (translated as the State Institute for Drug Control) which has a duty to inspect the IVF clinics at least every two years. http://www.eshre.eu/Guidelines-and-Legal.aspx

Zlin IVF Clinic:

  • Excellent service and professional
  • Don’t get to choose your own donor, they choose for you based on your requests and photos you send
  • Don’t allow single women
  • Age limit, only treat women to 49 years and 364 days old
  • If you are over 45 you are required to do further tests
  • Can do PGD testing
  • Do embryo glue

According to law, they can treat women until 49 years (+ 364 days).

Women older than 45 years need a written confirmation from her GP and a mammogram in order to undergo the treatment and will cope with consequent pregnancy.

According to Czech law they can treat the couples (marriage is not condition).  They do offer donor sperm. If you come without your partner, he must sign a consent form that he agrees with donor embryo transfer. His signature must be officially notarized and the copy must be sent to them by e-mail no later than 2 weeks before treatment and you must bring the original consent form to the clinic.

Oocyte donation in the Czech Republic is anonymous, voluntary and free. Donors are young women up to 33 years of age who fulfil the strict criteria for oocyte donor search (Guidelines for oocyte donation of The American Society of Reproductive Medicine, published in Fertility and Sterility, Vol. 77, No. 6, Suppl. 5, June 2002). All these women have to undergo gynecological, hormonal, and genetic tests (cystic fibrosis, karyotype) as well as they are repeatedly tested for the presence of sexually transmitted diseases (HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B+C) The STD tests of donor must not be older than 3 months before the egg retrieval. Then these tests are repeated before starting as well as during their stimulation.

The donor database consists of mainly University students from Tomas Bata University that is situated close to the clinic in Zlin or women on maternity leave. All their donors are Caucasian, they do not have any African or Asian donors.

You can ask for a donor, that has donated previously with success or has a child/children already. When matching donor to recipient (oocytes as well as sperms), they will try to fulfil most of your preferences (height, weight, hair/eye color, education, etc.).

You will be given basic information about your donor; height/weight, eye/hair colour a week before your arrival. They will not legally provide you with any catalogue or profiles of the donors to choose from because of the anonymity – it has to be strictly kept for both donors and recipients.  ALL OF the DONORS are checked for genetic transferred diseases and if some tests reveal any pathology the donor cannot donate. The criteria for donation are very strict in Czech Republic.

The average number of retrieved eggs is 8-10, however each donor has a different reaction on successful stimulation, so the range of oocytes retrieved is from 7-20.


Mandatory tests for the Female:

1.           thyroid panel hormones (on any day of the cycle):  TSH, free T4

2.           Prolactine 

3.           For women 45+ years old:

•            Mammogram result

•            Letter from your General Practitioner stating that hormonal treatment and pregnancy are not contraindications for you

4.           Vaginal ultrasound – regular check before medical preparation on any day of the cycle

5.           STD: HIV 1/2, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis (all STD tests must not be older than 12 months on the day of planned embryo transfer)

Male partner:

1.           Semen Analysis (the most recent result)

2.           STD: HIV 1/2, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis (all STD tests must not be older than 12 months on the day of planned embryo transfer)

B.          Recommended tests

These tests are recommended in the case of previous unsuccessful treatment or recurrent miscarriages and become necessary in the case of second attempt in the clinic.

Female partner:

1.           Diagnostic Hysteroscopy

2.           Immunology:  anti-ovarium Ig,  anti-spermal Ig, anti-Zona pellucida Ig, anticardiolipin ACLA total, ACLA IgG, ACLA IgM,  NK cells    

3.           thrombophilic mutations:  factor V Leiden,   factor II Prothrombin, MTHFR (C677T), MTHFR (A1298C)

Male partner:

1. Karyotype – man xy

Additional tests may be required or recommended to you by our specialist after reviewing your medical form information.

All test results must be sent to them prior to your arrival. The original copies of STD test must be presented on the first consultation in the clinic.

Other clinics in Czech can be found on this website www.fertilityclinicsabroad.com/clinics/czech-republic/


  • Lovely place to visit and travel to and can extend trip to include holiday in other European cities
  • You don’t get to choose your own donor, they choose for you based on your wishes and photos you send
  • Egg and sperm donors are anonymous
  • Also, do anonymous embryo donation, however check with your clinic as some prefer you to use donor egg and donor sperm instead as it has potentially a higher success rate.
  • Age limit is 50 years for women undergoing IVF.  No age limit for men.
  • Treatment not allowed for same sex couples
  • Single women can do IVF but have to sign a notarial deed
  • Sex selection only allowed for medical reasons
  • Surrogacy is allowed but only for medical reasons and with court approval and all must be permanent residents of Greece
  • In women under 35 years of age using own eggs, one or two embryos can be transferred.
  • In women, over 35 and under 40 years of age using own eggs, up to two embryos can be transferred if it is the first or second treatment cycles. Thereafter, on subsequent treatment cycles, up to three embryos can be transferred.
  • In women aged 40 years of age using own eggs, up to three embryos can be transferred.
  • In women, over 40 years of age using own eggs, up to four embryos can be transferred.
  • In all women using donor eggs, only two embryos are allowed to be transferred.
  • National Medically Assisted Reproduction (ACE) is now in place to regulate the IVF clinics.





  • Lovely place to visit and travel to
  • Many travel from the UK to Spain
  • Egg and sperm donors are anonymous
  • High standards
  • Many clinics have frozen eggs
  • You don’t get to choose your own donor, they choose for you based on your wishes and photos you send
  • Also, do anonymous embryo donation, however check with your clinic as some prefer you to use donor egg and donor sperm instead as it has potentially a higher success rate.
  • No law on time embryos’ can be stored
  • Can be a variation in costs for different clinics in Spain, check and compare costs
  • You may be able to egg share with some clinics
  • Single women can do IVF
  • There is no law or age limit for the country but some clinics may/will not treat women over 50
  • PGD is allowed only for medical reasons as is sex selection
  • Only 6 children can be born from the same donor
  • Surrogacy is not recognised
  • Sex selection only allowed for medical reasons
  • http://www.eshre.eu/Guidelines-and-Legal.aspx












I’m happy to add more information to this page, if you send me information re the clinic, accommodation and place you stayed/visited, I’m more than happy to add it. Email me at diannej@eggdonorangels.com.au

Legal Advice:

Stephen Page – Page Proven  – Stephen is a director of Page Provan family and fertility lawyers in Brisbane. He is highly regarded as the leading surrogacy lawyer in Australia and one of Brisbane’s most respected LGBTIQ friendly lawyers. Stephen has written and presented at conferences around the world.

Stephen’s first surrogacy case was in 1988. Since then he has appeared in courts in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia on surrogacy matters- the only lawyer to have done so.

Stephen has been a Queensland Law Society accredited family law specialist since 1996. He has practiced in all areas of family law and has three sub-specialties :

Stephen is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and a Fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. He is an international representative on the Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee of the American Bar Association.

Stephen graduated with Bachelor of Laws (Honours) in 1985 from the then Queensland Institute of Technology (now QUT). In 1987 Stephen was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland. In 1989 Stephen was admitted as a solicitor of the High Court of Australia. In 2013 Stephen was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia.

Sarah Jefford is the author of More Than Just a Baby: A Guide to Surrogacy for Intended Parents and Surrogates.

Sarah was shortlisted for the Lawyer’s Weekly Women in Law Awards 2019 in two categories – Thought Leader and Sole Practitioner of the Year. She was also a finalist in the 2020 Australian Law Awards for Innovator of the Year.

Sarah advocates for positive, empowered, best practice altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provides support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy. Through her work as a lawyer, Sarah promotes the best interests of the child and the bodily autonomy of the surrogate, and supports intended parents and surrogates to build a relationship that lasts. Sarah is the only lawyer practising exclusively in surrogacy and donor conception (family creation) law in Australia and practises across all states and territories.

Whether you are seeking assistance with domestic and international surrogacy legal advice or the post-birth Parentage Order, Sarah can assist at all steps along the way.

Sarah can assist with Donor Agreements and Co-Parenting Agreements for donor and modern family arrangements.

Sarah has published The Australian Surrogacy Handbook, a guide for intended parents and surrogates starting out on their journey. Sarah also produces The Surrogacy Podcast, sharing stories from intended parents and surrogates from around Australia.

Please consider donating to my website as this is my baby for over 12 years, I’ve spent thousands of dollars keeping the website live. I’ve helped thousands of people every year through the site, with phone calls, emails, my many Facebook groups and private messages and all with my own money and my own time.

Account name: Dianne Johnston

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