What does the process involve?
The process is simple: you choose a donor from our database, and then your donor goes to your clinic for the screening and donation.
The first step is to look at the database: you may request access codes on the login page. All you need to do is to submit your name, the name and location of your clinic, and a list of your search criteria, and we will respond promptly with a unique user name and password.
There is no fee to look at the database and request more information about the donors. As long as you are a patient at SART-registered IVF clinic in the US, you are welcome to view the database. We work with all kinds of couples and individuals.
Once you have chosen an available donor, we will email you the service agreement, which you sign and return to us along with the agency fee. Then we send the complete match materials to your clinic, and they begin the donor’s screening. After the screening, the egg donor contract is drafted and the compensation and other funds are held in trust. After the retrieval, any unused funds in trust are returned along with a complete disbursement list.
How does NAFG find its donor candidates?
NAFG advertises electronically on various Web venues.
How does NAFG screen its donor candidates?
All candidates fill out our preliminary electronic questionnaire, accessible through our Web site, as well as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s uniform donor questionnaire. You will be able to review the non confidential portions of both questionnaires.
Current photos of all our donors appear on our site. These photos are taken by us whenever possible. In addition, we ask for the donor’s own current digital photos and childhood photos (if available), a copy of a current photo ID (to verify the likeness / corroborate identity), and any school and test score transcripts available, if applicable. If a candidate has donated before, we will share all the results from her previous donation that are available to us. We will have the medical records from her previous cycle(s) to send to your clinic for review before you make a commitment.
All candidates are interviewed by phone and whenever possible, in person. We conduct basic background checks to make sure that each donor’s social security number is valid, that it corresponds to the date of birth provided, and that no criminal records or outstanding warrants associated with the candidate have been filed.
We are unable to perform any medical tests. This will be the responsibility of your own IVF clinic. However, we ask many follow-up questions regarding each donor’s family medical history, as indicated on the questionnaire. If any prohibitive conditions exist the donor is disqualified. Most applications are indeed rejected for a variety of reasons.
How long does the process take?
Once you reserve a donor, it typically takes about three months to get to the retrieval. You should not reserve a donor until your clinic confirms that you are cleared to start a donor cycle.
Are there waiting lists for donors? What does it mean if a donor is marked as “reserved”?
There are no formal waiting lists. If a donor is marked as “Reserved,” she is currently engaged by another recipient or taking a break in between donations. If you are very interested in a donor who is currently cycling, we will contact you after the results of her retrieval are known and if she has agreed to donate again. Every reserved donor is in a different stage of the process; we can provide approximate availability dates for any reserved donors of interest.
May I work with a donor from a different state?
Yes. If you choose a donor from out of state (or who lives beyond commuting distance from your clinic), she would need to make a one-day trip for her screening (typically requiring an overnight stay), then spend about a week near the clinic for the donation. The donor would typically have one local appointment for her screening and two for her monitoring. We set up the local testing in cooperation with your clinic and make all travel arrangements. Depending on various factors (distance, hotel rates, etc), figure on up to another $6,000 in travel expenses for an out of town donor, not including costs for local testing (which we usually arrange for you to pay the local clinic directly with your credit card).
How and when do I reserve a donor?
You should reserve a donor when you are a registered patient at an IVF clinic and have finished all your own testing in order to begin a donor cycle. Once you have narrowed down your selection to a single candidate, we will approach her with the opportunity to confirm her availability and schedule. Then we will send you our service agreement to sign and return with the agency fee, and we will send the complete match documentation to your clinic so that they may schedule your donor’s screening.
What are the costs?
NAFG Program and Administrative Fee: $7,000 (due upon reserving the donor)
Insurance: $180 for MA and RI and $297 for all other states (sometimes included in medical expenses; held in trust after the donor’s screening)
Legal fees for donor and recipient: approx. $1,500 ($1,000 for the recipient’s lawyer to draft the contract and $500 for the donor’s lawyer to review)
Egg Donor Compensation: $12,000 (held in trust after the donor’s screening; repeat donors earn up to $15,000 (and up, on some occasions.)
Expenses and travel: $0 - approx. $6,000: if you choose a donor within a commuter’s distance of your clinic, we hold $500 in trust for transportation. If your donor requires longer travel and hotel accommodations, there would typically be two trips required by your clinic, one for the screening and another for the actual donation. These two trips occur about two-three months apart; the second trip lasts about a week. Many variables determine the actual amount but we generally hold $5-6,000 for the second trip; the first trip would be approximately $800-1,000. You would also be responsible for the fees for any local testing ordered by your clinic: there can be local tests for the screening as well as two-three local monitoring appointments. NAFG coordinates/ books all travel and local testing arrangements.
Please be aware that all medical fees are separate and paid to your clinic directly.
What's your view on egg donor compensation?
We believe that egg donors should be compensated well for their time and effort.
Since the year 2000, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine ("ASRM") and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology ("SART") established and maintained a limit on what they considered appropriate donor compensation (amounts more than $5,000 required "justification" and amounts above $10,000 were "not appropriate”). An antitrust lawsuit charging price fixing (Kamakahi v. American Society for Reproductive Medicine) was initiated against the ASRM in 2011 and settled in February 2016; since the ASRM has removed the compensation limits from its ethical guidelines.
We believe that donors should be compensated at a rate higher than the outdated recommendations established many years ago. Accordingly, in February 2016 we have raised our standard donor compensation to $12,000 for first-time candidates (from $10,000) and to $15,000 for previous donors (from $10,000). NAFG's own fee structure remains the same.
NAFG has been a member of ASRM and SART since we started in 2006. We have always followed and will continue to follow their ethical guidelines as related to our program.
What is your refund policy? What if my donor does not pass her medical screening or does not respond well to the medication?
If the donor does not begin her screening appointments (because she withdraws before then or her written questionnaire disqualifies her), you are entitled to a total refund, or to choose another donor at no additional charge. This only happens on rare occasions, as we do our best to offer only the most motivated / qualified candidates.
Once the process enters the screening phase, our fee is non-refundable. However, if medical issues concerning the donor arise during the screening or stimulation phases which would prevent a retrieval, you may choose another candidate from our pool within twelve months at no additional charge.
If the retrieval takes place, no matter the outcome, the donor is entitled to her full fee. Fee terms are outlined in our service agreement, provided to you when you reserve a donor.
What is the purpose of the egg donor contract?
The egg donor contract, negotiated between the recipient(s) and donor through their respective attorneys, describes all the rights and responsibilities of both parties. This includes scheduling, compensation, expenses, and issues of custody, confidentiality, parental rights, etc. It is signed by both parties anonymously. NAFG has professional relationships with independent attorneys who concentrate in assisted reproduction law and we will refer a lawyer to the donor, and recommend one to the recipient, if desired. The contract must be signed by both parties before the donor begins her medications.
Do I meet my donor in person?
The vast majority of our donor arrangements are mutually anonymous: you receive photos and a great deal of information on your donor, but you never meet her, speak to her, or know her first or last name. Generally donors have no information at all about their recipients. Some recipients write notes of gratitude to their donors (transmitted through us), and donors appreciate them.
However, when both donor and recipient desire an in-person meeting, it can be arranged to occur at your clinic (supervised by the psychologist) or arranged through us, supervised by an independent social worker. (This meeting would always take place during or after the actual donation; recipients do not meet donors preliminarily before they are reserved or as part of the screening process.) Even when recipients and donors meet in person, names do not have to be revealed; both parties decide what they are comfortable with.
The most typical arrangements for us are mutually anonymous, with the donor open to possible contact in the future (through third parties), should the potential offspring desire it. Most donors are open to this.
Keep in mind that you will always have photos and a full description of your donor for your reference, and to show your child if you choose. Your IVF clinic will keep records on file in case any medical emergency arises which would require communication with your donor.
What is NAFG's policy on maintenance of records?
NAFG will endeavor to maintain, to the extent feasible, Donor/Carrier identifying information and Recipient Parent/Intended Parent identifying information for an indefinite period of time. When an Egg Donor Agreement or Gestational Carrier Agreement governs the relationship between the Parties, it customarily indicates instances when the identities of the participants may and/or must be revealed. NAFG will do its part to comply with the terms of these Agreements. The IVF clinics involved and individual attorneys involved should also be considered a resource when and if necessary.
What are NAFG’s credentials? How is NAFG different from other agencies?
The Northeast Assisted Fertility Group is registered with the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) and is licensed by the state of New York. NAFG’s president and founder, Sanford M. Benardo has been a leading assisted reproduction lawyer for many years. He is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the legal professionals group of the ASRM and is past president of the American College of Assisted Reproduction and Adoption Lawyers. NAFG abides by the ASRM’s ethical guidelines for egg donation. Please see the Who We Are page for more information on our staff.
NAFG has a highly selective donor pool of educated women from all over the US (but mostly from the Northeast). We have excellent, long-standing working relationships with the first-rate clinics in the Northeast, who have consistently referred their patients to us for years. We have facilitated hundreds of donor matches.