Egg donation can provide the missing link for couples or singles who can’t have a baby on their own. Through egg donation, a woman donates her eggs for use in fertility treatments. Eggs from an egg donor are fertilized in a laboratory with sperm from the intended parent or another donor — and the resulting embryo is then placed in the uterus where it hopefully develops into a healthy pregnancy. There are various reasons why the use of an egg donor may be recommended. We address these in The Egg Question: Fresh v Frozen Donor Eggs?
Of course, there are costs involved with egg donation. In this article we’ll go over the financial commitment you should plan for as well as financing options available.
Before we can answer this question, it’s good to know that there are two types of egg donation: fresh and frozen. Fresh eggs cost more than frozen eggs but, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the success rate of fresh eggs is slightly higher than that of frozen (55.3% vs. 46.7% live births).
In this article, we’ll be addressing costs related to fresh eggs. The cost of egg donation varies, as it depends on a lot of factors, but a starting point is $20,000. This includes the agency’s compensation, egg donor fees, screening costs, and legal fees but excludes IVF-clinic related expenses. If you were to include all costs, the final figure can easily add up to anywhere from $35,000 to $65,000. One should also keep in mind that multiple rounds of donor egg IVF are sometimes necessary, which will increase the costs involved.
So…why is egg donation so expensive? It requires a payment to the egg donor herself for her time as well as her commitment to rigorous screening, testing, medication and an egg retrieval procedure under anesthesia. In addition to this, intended parents must cover the donor’s travel expenses, legal fees, and, eventually, IVF – as well as various other fees outlined below.
This varies from agency to agency, with some charging more for premium egg donors or donors who have already had successful donation rounds. The services included in this fee are donor recruitment and vetting, and all coordination efforts to oversee the successful completion of the cycle.
Price range: $8,000 – 17,000
Egg Donor Fees
There are multiple items related to the egg donor fee:
Egg donor compensation varies according to the egg donor’s location, ethnicity, education, and experience with prior cycles. Donors who attend or have graduated from elite universities normally cost more. If you’re not sure what to take into consideration when choosing an egg donor, check out our article about How to choose an egg donor.
Average cost: $10,000 – 40,000 (and in some cases upwards, depending on donor’s experience).
A legal contract between the donor and intended parents is always a must. As noted by the Legal Professional Group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the contract “set[s] forth the parties’ expectations and intentions before, during, and after […] the gamete donation agreement”. More information on what should be included in the agreement is available on the LPG ASRM website. Legal fees incorporate the drafting and negotiation of this agreement as well as the egg donor’s attorney legal fees. Final costs vary according to state.
Average cost: $500 – 1,500
Egg Donor Screening
The egg donor will undergo a comprehensive screening process, including meetings with:
Average total cost: $450 – 1000
Other miscellaneous costs may include elements such as complications insurance, an escrow account service fee and a contingencies fee.
It is good to keep in mind that complications insurance offers coverage for the donor only, but intended parents have the option of going for a higher coverage level.
Some agencies cover the escrow account service fee in the agency fee, while others bill separately.
Average cost: $325 – $1400
Other Matters to Take Into Consideration
Before deciding on an egg donor and their agency, you should also look into the fine print on the refund policy and their return of unused funds policy. Most agencies have a refund policy, but the percentage refunded will vary from one to another. As for the return of unused funds, this is often done 60 days after cycle completion.
Here’s a handy overview of the costs you should expect to come along with a fresh cycle egg donation. (The table excludes medical and medication costs of the intended parent or surrogate, as well as IVF or other necessary procedures.)
|Agency Compensation||$8,000 – 17,000|
|Egg Donor Fees||$10,000 – 40,000|
|Egg donor compensation||$2,500 – 30,000 (and upwards)|
|Travel expenses for medical screening & egg retrieval||$5,000 – 7,000|
|Local medical monitoring||$1,500|
|Compensation in case of cycle cancellation||$500 – 1500|
|Legal Fees||$500 – 1500|
|Drafting and negotiation of the egg donor’s agreement||$0-1000|
|Egg donor’s attorney legal fees||$500|
|Egg Donor Screening||$450 – 1000|
|Psychological screening||$450 – 700|
|Genetic consult||$0- 275|
|Miscellaneous||$325 – 1400|
|Complications insurance||$325 – 500|
|Escrow account service fee||$0-400|
|Total Average Cost||$20,000 – 60,000|
There’s no straightforward answer to this question, as it depends on your specific policy – however, it is very probable that insurance will not cover an egg donor cycle.
That said, the IVF cycle may be covered by your insurance if your plan has this specific coverage. It’s best if you get in touch with your insurance provider to learn more about your coverage in this area.
There are various options for financing egg donation, but the majority of programs will have strict credit requirements and a list of specific criteria that should be met.
While egg donation can be costly – for many it can be the key to starting their family. It’s important that you factor all costs into your budget planning as there are several to consider – aside from just the obvious egg donor’s fee.
GoStork helps with this by providing thorough and completely transparent cost breakdowns of every fee included in the total egg donation cost. Visit our free platform (fun fact: at over 8,000 egg donors it’s the largest online database!), where we help you sort by your favorites, compare side by side (including comparing all associated fees) and easily connect with the agencies of the ones you’re interested in. We’re here to support you as you search for your perfect match!