Agency versus Fertility Clinic

Agency versus Fertility Clinic

Joined: October 31st, 2011, 4:13 pm

November 6th, 2011, 9:49 pm #1

Hi, I posted earlier regarding where to start with the entire egg donor process.

I am still struggling to understand the process even though we've done research online.

Some confusions are - what is the difference between going through an agency versus in house donors? Is it the cost? Our fertility clinic charges $400 just as the application fee to match up. Do agency's change the same, more?

Also, when you match with an agency - are you required to pay for their blood work and ultra sounds, etc on top of the fee that have listed for each donor? Or does that fee include everything?

Because when I spoke to our clinic - she quoted a price which seemed like it was covering everything so it makes it easier to understand what we are looking at financially.

Any help would be great.
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Mrs. M
Mrs. M

November 6th, 2011, 11:12 pm #2

The clinic we used for our first DE cycle did not have an in house donor pool and we had to use an agency. We picked an agency from our clinic's "approved list." That meant they had worked with the agency previously and met all the ASRM criteria. For us the agency experience was not a good one. We started looking in April 2010 at several agencies and donors. By June we decided on and agency and picked a donor. The agency had been very responsive to us prior to our paying the fee. They told us they had worked with the clinic several times and knew exactly what was needed in terms of donor requirements. In early July we paid the agency and donor fee ($8,500) to agency. We were told our donor was cycling in July but should be ready to cycle with us in Sept. We paid a lawyer (independent of agency) to draw up a contract with the donor ($1000) and we paid the donor's attorney $500 to review it on her behalf. We paid our clinic $4,300 administrative fee which included donor screening but not any ivf or monitoring costs. After we dished out all this money we had multiple issues with the agency getting updated donor documentation to the clinic (physical was outdated, was schedule then cancelled by donors pcp, pap not updated, then abnormal and needed further testing before cycling, issues with scheduling donor for clinic screening). All that stuff delayed us so the donor was not ready to cycle until mid Dec. It was extremely frustrating and in hindsight I should have paid the attorney extra money to do a contract with the agency with timelines. In the end after the cycle we did not get a baby despite using a four time proven donor. It was the first time she had cycled at our clinic. On the previous cycles she had produced 10-14 mature follicles. On our cycle she produced 19 and they had to back off on her stims twice. We only ended up with three embies despite dh's "excellent" SA. I think they may have over stimmed her and that impacted egg quality but I'll never know for sure. Anyways we are moving on to Shady Grove and their in house donor pool. We could not afford the cost of another agency donor or the frustration of dealing with them. If you use an agency get some references from former recipient couples before you spend any money. I would also see if they would allow you to hold back a portion of the agency fee until the clinic has rec'd all necessary documentation. GL!
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LadyMagoo
LadyMagoo

November 7th, 2011, 1:25 am #3

Hi, I posted earlier regarding where to start with the entire egg donor process.

I am still struggling to understand the process even though we've done research online.

Some confusions are - what is the difference between going through an agency versus in house donors? Is it the cost? Our fertility clinic charges $400 just as the application fee to match up. Do agency's change the same, more?

Also, when you match with an agency - are you required to pay for their blood work and ultra sounds, etc on top of the fee that have listed for each donor? Or does that fee include everything?

Because when I spoke to our clinic - she quoted a price which seemed like it was covering everything so it makes it easier to understand what we are looking at financially.

Any help would be great.
Hi. We decided to use an agency because we wanted a semi-open donor and a fresh cycle. We also wanted more control over selection, screening and testing than we though we could get through an in-house program. A reputable clinic with an in-house pool has presumably screened its donors thoroughly, but we thought it was also in their interest to deem their donors OK. We just wanted an independent relationship with all of the parties: agency, clinic, donor and attorney.

This was, without a doubt, the most expensive way to go. The entire process cost us about $32k. We chose out clinic and agency very carefully. Our doctor rejected several donors we presented to him and we had to not get our hearts set on any particular donor. We ended up finding our perfect donor - she had passed all clinical tests and she had the personal and physical attirubutes we were looking for. But we had to let our doctor do his job and apply stringent screening criteria.

We chose not to work with a frozen egg bank because we wanted an open donor. Same went for some clinics that offered fresh cycles through their in-house donors - we found that most were anonymous programs.

We chose our agency carefully, turning down any agencies that demanded huge deposits or refused to turn over any clinical information about the donor until we coughed up cash. We ultimately worked with Giving Hope, and I cannot say enough nice things about them.

I hope this helps! Best of luck to you!
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Anonymous
Anonymous

November 7th, 2011, 1:51 am #4

Hi, I posted earlier regarding where to start with the entire egg donor process.

I am still struggling to understand the process even though we've done research online.

Some confusions are - what is the difference between going through an agency versus in house donors? Is it the cost? Our fertility clinic charges $400 just as the application fee to match up. Do agency's change the same, more?

Also, when you match with an agency - are you required to pay for their blood work and ultra sounds, etc on top of the fee that have listed for each donor? Or does that fee include everything?

Because when I spoke to our clinic - she quoted a price which seemed like it was covering everything so it makes it easier to understand what we are looking at financially.

Any help would be great.
Good Evening,

I used an in-house donor. I couldn't afford the price of the agency route. I did a shared cycle (me and 1 other couple/person) and got pg with a SET on try # 1 and have 7 frozen - this on a shared cycle! A shared cycle is cheaper and means you split the eggs. Cost was about $16k all-in (all monitoring, meds, and donor fee).

One thing about shared: I was originally signed up for 1 donor, and on hold and then when she became available the other couple backed out. The clinic had not made either of us pay a fee! Grrr! Make sure you get clarification on that. I ended up with a completely different donor b/c she was ready to go: noone was picking the other donor and I was tired of waiting.

For some, they want to search and search and find that perfect donor. I didn't really approach it like that. I was picky (and live in a large city; so my clinic's donor pool was substantial)but in the end what my true wish was that it was me egg, my dna. Ah, well. It was not meant to be. In other words there wasn't going to be a perfect person. I was that person in my eyes.

I'm currently in my 2nd trimester and am glad that the 1st donor didn't work out. The next one I feel in my gut is more similar to me, plus I liked the profile and pictures.

So, it's all a journey. Best of luck to you!!
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Anonymous
Anonymous

November 7th, 2011, 1:56 am #5

pg ment above. sorry; forgot to note that nt
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Joined: October 31st, 2011, 4:13 pm

November 7th, 2011, 9:31 pm #6

The clinic we used for our first DE cycle did not have an in house donor pool and we had to use an agency. We picked an agency from our clinic's "approved list." That meant they had worked with the agency previously and met all the ASRM criteria. For us the agency experience was not a good one. We started looking in April 2010 at several agencies and donors. By June we decided on and agency and picked a donor. The agency had been very responsive to us prior to our paying the fee. They told us they had worked with the clinic several times and knew exactly what was needed in terms of donor requirements. In early July we paid the agency and donor fee ($8,500) to agency. We were told our donor was cycling in July but should be ready to cycle with us in Sept. We paid a lawyer (independent of agency) to draw up a contract with the donor ($1000) and we paid the donor's attorney $500 to review it on her behalf. We paid our clinic $4,300 administrative fee which included donor screening but not any ivf or monitoring costs. After we dished out all this money we had multiple issues with the agency getting updated donor documentation to the clinic (physical was outdated, was schedule then cancelled by donors pcp, pap not updated, then abnormal and needed further testing before cycling, issues with scheduling donor for clinic screening). All that stuff delayed us so the donor was not ready to cycle until mid Dec. It was extremely frustrating and in hindsight I should have paid the attorney extra money to do a contract with the agency with timelines. In the end after the cycle we did not get a baby despite using a four time proven donor. It was the first time she had cycled at our clinic. On the previous cycles she had produced 10-14 mature follicles. On our cycle she produced 19 and they had to back off on her stims twice. We only ended up with three embies despite dh's "excellent" SA. I think they may have over stimmed her and that impacted egg quality but I'll never know for sure. Anyways we are moving on to Shady Grove and their in house donor pool. We could not afford the cost of another agency donor or the frustration of dealing with them. If you use an agency get some references from former recipient couples before you spend any money. I would also see if they would allow you to hold back a portion of the agency fee until the clinic has rec'd all necessary documentation. GL!
Thanks for all the info...I think I am leaning towards the in-house pool since $ is def a factor.
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Joined: October 31st, 2011, 4:13 pm

November 7th, 2011, 9:34 pm #7

Hi. We decided to use an agency because we wanted a semi-open donor and a fresh cycle. We also wanted more control over selection, screening and testing than we though we could get through an in-house program. A reputable clinic with an in-house pool has presumably screened its donors thoroughly, but we thought it was also in their interest to deem their donors OK. We just wanted an independent relationship with all of the parties: agency, clinic, donor and attorney.

This was, without a doubt, the most expensive way to go. The entire process cost us about $32k. We chose out clinic and agency very carefully. Our doctor rejected several donors we presented to him and we had to not get our hearts set on any particular donor. We ended up finding our perfect donor - she had passed all clinical tests and she had the personal and physical attirubutes we were looking for. But we had to let our doctor do his job and apply stringent screening criteria.

We chose not to work with a frozen egg bank because we wanted an open donor. Same went for some clinics that offered fresh cycles through their in-house donors - we found that most were anonymous programs.

We chose our agency carefully, turning down any agencies that demanded huge deposits or refused to turn over any clinical information about the donor until we coughed up cash. We ultimately worked with Giving Hope, and I cannot say enough nice things about them.

I hope this helps! Best of luck to you!
yes it was very helpful..at this point any info/advice/experiences are extremely valuable!
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Joined: October 31st, 2011, 4:13 pm

November 7th, 2011, 9:35 pm #8

Good Evening,

I used an in-house donor. I couldn't afford the price of the agency route. I did a shared cycle (me and 1 other couple/person) and got pg with a SET on try # 1 and have 7 frozen - this on a shared cycle! A shared cycle is cheaper and means you split the eggs. Cost was about $16k all-in (all monitoring, meds, and donor fee).

One thing about shared: I was originally signed up for 1 donor, and on hold and then when she became available the other couple backed out. The clinic had not made either of us pay a fee! Grrr! Make sure you get clarification on that. I ended up with a completely different donor b/c she was ready to go: noone was picking the other donor and I was tired of waiting.

For some, they want to search and search and find that perfect donor. I didn't really approach it like that. I was picky (and live in a large city; so my clinic's donor pool was substantial)but in the end what my true wish was that it was me egg, my dna. Ah, well. It was not meant to be. In other words there wasn't going to be a perfect person. I was that person in my eyes.

I'm currently in my 2nd trimester and am glad that the 1st donor didn't work out. The next one I feel in my gut is more similar to me, plus I liked the profile and pictures.

So, it's all a journey. Best of luck to you!!
Yes I am also leaning towards in house. I hope to be as lucky to find a shared donor...
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Joined: August 6th, 2011, 6:43 am

November 7th, 2011, 10:44 pm #9

Hi, I posted earlier regarding where to start with the entire egg donor process.

I am still struggling to understand the process even though we've done research online.

Some confusions are - what is the difference between going through an agency versus in house donors? Is it the cost? Our fertility clinic charges $400 just as the application fee to match up. Do agency's change the same, more?

Also, when you match with an agency - are you required to pay for their blood work and ultra sounds, etc on top of the fee that have listed for each donor? Or does that fee include everything?

Because when I spoke to our clinic - she quoted a price which seemed like it was covering everything so it makes it easier to understand what we are looking at financially.

Any help would be great.
It was just so much more expensive to go with an agency. And my clinic had a large pool of donors. I got lucky and found one I really liked and she was available so we grabbed her. My clinic charged $2000 for the administrative fee of matching me with a donor. That included her basic blood work testing, psych screening and a few basic genetic tests. I paid extra for a fragile x genetic test. If I would have gone with an agency they still were going to charge me the $2000 on top of the agency fee. And the agency donors receive higher compensation than the clinic donors. My clinic donor received $4500. I believe the clinic donors are good at my clinic and I trusted the coordinator when I asked her details about the donors. My RE said they would not have made it into their donor pool if they were not good donor candidates.

With an agency you have access to more pictures, adult pictures, probably more written details and the option to have contact with the donor.
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LadyMagoo
LadyMagoo

November 8th, 2011, 1:24 am #10

yes it was very helpful..at this point any info/advice/experiences are extremely valuable!
Given how expensive the agency route was, we would have been up a creek if it hadn't worked. We were super careful about choosing the right doctor and agency, as a result. (We also refused to choose an agency that demanded massive up-front, non-refundable deposits.) We knew we couldn't get too emotionally attached to any one donor and had to let the testing guide our decision (once we had some basic demographic characteristics). We ended up with 7 healthy embryos (after doing genetic testing on the 15 original embryos), transferred one, and we are 24 weeks along now.

Good luck!!!

LM
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