For some it is a controversial issue, for others a hope to have a child. Egg donation and the laws revolving around has been a hot topic since the beginning, bringing frustration to couples who could not access it in their home countries, and happiness for those choosing to go abroad and accomplish their dream.
Fertility treatments such as IVF, Egg Donation, Embryo Donation, PGD or Surrogacy, have been and will be a sensible subject surrounded by controversy. Governments and religion banning them, clinics approving and offering them, couples being caught in the middle.
If 30 years ago the only option to have a child for infertile couples, gay couples or single men or women was adoption, now they can take advantage of the developments in IVF and egg donation, but only in certain countries.
Who needs egg donation and what exactly is this?
Egg donation is an option for women who for some reasons cannot produce eggs or their eggs are of low quality for a successful pregnancy. In some cases the cause is medical, in other cases it is just the natural cycle of life, such as menopause.
Any woman can donate eggs as long as she meets the requirements set by the law. In some countries the donors' anonymity is respected, hence becoming top choices for couples coming from regions were the identity, medical history and private information about the donor is revealed.
In Vitro Fertilization with donor eggs is an intricate process which needs detailed organization and perfect timing. The eggs are removed from the donor at a certain stage in the menstrual cycle, combined with the sperm of the future father into a healthy embryo and then transferred into the womb of the future mother who has undergone a thorough treatment to prepare the body for the pregnancy.
In the US women who choose to undergo IVF with donor eggs have the option to choose donors with the desired specific characteristics, such as physical resemblance to the recipient, ethnicity and even religion, check her academic background, talent or hobbies. Still, the price for the procedure is around $26,000 but could reach $45,000, that is why many US patients choose to give up their option to hand-pick the donor, for lower prices in other countries.
In Canada, the situation is quite similar to the US. The prices are almost the same and the law forbids to pay donor eggs to encourage altruistic egg donations. That is why many clinics in Canada refer their patients to centers in the US, Mexico ($4,200 - $8,500) or Europe.
Spain ($8,200), Poland ($2,800 - $5,900), Ukraine ($6,400 - $10,000), Greece ( $3,400 - $6,500), Estonia, Czech Republic (~ $4,800), Cyprus ($5,900 - $6,700), Bulgaria ($3,900 - $6,900), UK ($6,700 - $9,900), Georgia ($8,400), Latvia ($6,400), Russia ($7,900), Romania (from $3,000)
The law in Europe states that the woman undergoing IVF with donor eggs should not be older than 50 years and in the case of gay couples, one of the female partners has to sign a notarial deed saying that she is going through this as a single mother. The anonymity of the donor is guaranteed, with one exception: the UK. In this country, children conceived with donor eggs can trace their donors when they turn 18. According to the law, the woman who gives birth to the child is the rightful mother.
Australia approves only altruistic egg donation, which means that the donors are not paid for their services. That is why not many women line up to have their eggs donated and therefore the interminably long waiting list. So, although egg donation is legal in Australia, many choose to go in other countries, such as India, to have IVF with donor eggs procedures. The price for the treatment in this country is around $20,000.
Egg donation in South Africa is anonymous and donors are compensated R6000 (~ $560) per donation cycle. The price for the IVF with donor egg procedure is around $10,000. The agencies who are based outside South Africa can show the adult pictures of the donors, while those based in the African country only show child pictures of the donors.
In India the IVF with donor eggs procedure varies between $4,000 - $4,950. A donor could get from $500 to about $1,000 for one donation. India only allows IVF with donor eggs if the recipient and the donor do not know each other (so no possibility to get altruistic egg donation from family or friends). Other options is Asia are Malaysia with prices varying between $5,600 and $8,000 and Singapore between $8,000 and $13,000.
Whether it is altruistic or not, whether the recipients have access to the donors' identity or not, whether they choose to pay $20,000 or $4,000, go abroad or stay in their home country, couples and single parents have numerous options when it comes to IVF with egg donation. Fertility Tourism offers an option to those who do not have access to this procedure in their home countries or who cannot afford the high prices.
For more information about the countries where Egg Donation is legal and what steps you should take in choosing the best option for you, do not hesitate to contact us!Ana.S 2014-09-11 Articles/Press Releases