We’ve compiled some FAQs to help guide you through our Family by Co program.
Where do I start?
The first step is to fill out a short form in which you share more about your family and what you’re looking for in an egg donor. You’ll then gain immediate access to our matching platform; there is no fee to start browsing. When you’re ready to begin the process with a specific donor, you can place a hold on a match for up to five days.
Do you have anonymous donors?
It is impossible to guarantee anonymity in egg donation. With widely available genetic testing and more state laws banning anonymous gamete donation, it’s increasingly likely that identity and shared genetics will be discovered. We ensure that our Split members (who will be freezing her eggs and donating half to your family) are aware of the possibility that, even in an undisclosed match, donor-conceived children may eventually want to reach out with their own questions.
Are the eggs that I receive fresh or frozen?
This depends on your preferences and match specifics. If you are interested in using fresh eggs, in most cases, the Split member, who is freezing her eggs and donating half to your family, can either do her retrieval at your clinic or you can ship frozen sperm to the Split member’s clinic (where the clinic will then freeze the embryos and have them shipped back to you). If you are interested in using frozen eggs, we can freeze the eggs immediately upon retrieval and ship them to your clinic or a long-term storage facility. All of this is to say, our Member Advocates are here to discuss the nuances of your specific scenario and can help sort out the logistics no matter what.
What if I don’t find a donor who is a good fit?
We’re committing to working with donors who are as unique as you and your family, and hope we can find someone who is a great fit. There is no fee to access our matching platform and once you have an account, you can indicate specific characteristics or criteria that you’re looking for in a match. Sign up for emails so you can get notified, as we are constantly adding new members who may be a good match for you and your family. Still don’t see what you’re looking for in a donor? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss how we can help.
What relationship will I have with the donor? Will we meet?
Every relationship is unique and depends on the desires of all parties involved: you, the donor, and any future donor-conceived children.
While we view all IP-donor relationships on a spectrum, you will need to decide if your relationship is disclosed or undisclosed. In a disclosed relationship, you exchange contact information and can communicate directly. In an undisclosed relationship, you do not exchange contact information and only communicate via Cofertility. If you opt for a disclosed relationship, the scope and degree of communication (both during and post-match) is what both parties make of it and can be outlined in your legal agreement.
Ultimately, we strive to honor the perspectives of all parties involved in the family-building process, including families, donors, and any future donor-conceived children. More research shows the benefits of being open with children about their donor-conceived roots. As such, we encourage you to be open with your own children about their conception story. We share more about our stance on disclosure in this article.
Regardless of your relationship after birth, you can also choose to meet the donor during the matching period. This can be done with or without sharing contact information.
Does the donor have a say in the match?
Yes. Unlike others in the space, we pride ourselves on facilitating mutual matches that meet the needs of you, your family, and the donor. After you place a hold on a match, our Member Advocate will reach out to the donor to ensure that she consents to the match. Once she does, you’ll be able to move forward with the process.
How long does the matching process take?
The timeline can vary, but in total the process from match to cycle may generally be two to four months. Once you fill out the intro form, you’ll gain access to our matching platform and can start to learn more about our donors. When you’re ready to begin the matching process, you can place a hold on the match for up to five days.
When you match with a Split member (who will be freezing her eggs and donating half to your family), we can begin the process of scheduling her screening and testing with your clinic, which generally takes a few weeks. Once your doctor gives the go-ahead, we’d set a date for the cycle at a time that is mutually convenient.
What kinds of intended parents do you work with?
We work with anyone who is looking to build a family through egg donation, in the US or anywhere in the world. Whether you’re single or coupled, we do not discriminate, period. We believe the concept of “family” takes many forms, and we’re here to help your family grow, whatever that looks like.
Screening and retrieval
Will I get enough eggs?
The average number of eggs retrieved varies widely by patient and cycle, but can be predicted by a donor’s age, AMH, and antral follicle count. That means that your doctor can give you a good picture of how many eggs to expect from a specific donor after her initial screening. If, for any reason, her screening results predict that she won’t retrieve a sufficient number of eggs to do a split cycle, we will re-match you with another donor for free or refund the coordination fee. Once the eggs have been retrieved, fertilization and euploidy rates can differ based on egg and sperm quality. One study looking at frozen donor eggs found that 84.2% of blastocysts were euploid (genetically normal).
“Enough” eggs will also depend on your family-planning goals. Some families want as many embryos as possible to increase the chances of having more than one child. Because each batch of retrieved eggs is split between the family and the donor, it's common for families to do two egg retrievals. This can be something determined up front with the donor and your doctor, and can depend on the number of eggs retrieved in the first cycle. We also ask each of our donors whether they are open to a second cycle as part of the initial application — many report that they are!
Do you have any restrictions on the clinic that I work with?
Cofertility is clinic agnostic as long as the clinic reports outcomes to SART and has a CAP certified lab. Some clinics have specific requirements related to working with outside donors and have policies in place for how they handle those cases. If you already have a clinic in mind, reach out to our team and we can send a list of questions that we recommend you ask them before getting started.
Can you refer me to a clinic?
Absolutely. While we do not have any exclusive clinic relationships, we pride ourselves on working with a range of clinics whose clinical teams deliver high quality, compassionate care. Get in touch and we’ll be happy to connect you with one in your area.
Do you have medical advisors?
Yes! We work with an incredible team of medical advisors who keep us in-the-know of the latest outcomes-based research, regulatory updates, and best practices. You can learn about the members of our Medical Advisory Board on Our Story page.
Can you help me find a surrogate?
While we don’t currently offer surrogacy matching, we can refer you to a reputable surrogacy agency who can help make this happen!
Do I have to be working with a clinic already?
Nope! We’re excited to work with you regardless of where you are in the family-building journey. Whether you’re just starting the process or have an established relationship with a clinic, we’d love to walk the rest of the road with you.
Will I need to make legal arrangements?
Yes, but we will help with this part. When you and the donor agree to move forward with your match, you’ll enter into a legal agreement designed to protect the rights of both parties. We can refer you to a lawyer with expertise in the fertility industry and our programs; they will draft and review the contract, ensuring you have no unanswered questions. While it’s likely faster to work with one of the attorneys we’ve worked with before, if you prefer, you may also use your own outside counsel, though we ask that he/she has experience dealing in fertility and egg donation.
Can I do a second cycle with the same donor?
Yes! If both parties agree to complete a second cycle, you’ll pay a reduced coordination fee of $3500. While you won’t need to pay for screening expenses, you will be responsible for covering fees related to the donor’s medications, retrieval cycle, and shipping her portion of eggs to her existing storage facility.
How many times can an individual donate?
We follow ASRM guidelines that limit an individual to six donation cycles across her lifetime.
What happens if my doctor does not clear the donor who I match with?
If the donor does not pass your doctor’s initial screen, we will waive our coordination fee for another match. You may also get a full refund of our coordination fee if you do not wish to match again.
If the donor is out of state, do I need to switch clinics to one near her?
If you match with a Split member, who is freezing her eggs and donating half to your family, we’ll work with both parties to determine the best place to conduct her testing, monitoring, and retrieval. In some cases, we will complete the donor’s testing and monitoring at a clinic close to her home to eliminate travel and can have the eggs shipped to your clinic. In other cases, donors will travel to your clinic for the retrieval. Ultimately, this is a decision that will be determined during the matching process.
Can you tell me more about the donor screening process?
Our team screens donors through a rigorous, multi-step process to ensure each person is qualified and prepared to become an egg donor, going above and beyond FDA and ASRM-recommended screening guidelines. Before donors can be listed on our platform, we review their personal and family medical history and collect information on their lifestyle and behavioral habits. Most importantly, we work with every donor to get at the core of who she is as a person — her values, her goals, her personality. This allows us to provide you with the most thoughtful match possible.
Once you move forward with a match, the donor will undergo a physical examination, psychological evaluation, and full genetic screen. Your doctor will review these results and give us the green light to move forward. We will also ensure that donors are screened for background and education checks.
Life after match
What if I or my surrogate doesn’t get pregnant?
Our one-time coordination fee comes with a baby guarantee, and we will match you again and again until that happens.
What happens after the embryo transfer?
We do not view egg donation as a one-and-done transaction. In fact, we think about your embryo transfer as the beginning of your relationship with Cofertility. We’re passionate about supporting donor-conceived children and families and as such provide a range of educational and support tools and services to help you raise happy and healthy families. You’ll retain access to those resources for life.
What happens if a medical issue comes up with my child?
Regardless of the match disclosure status, our donors are aware that they may be asked to provide more information in the event that your child develops any serious medical issues. We also ask our donors to proactively share any updates to their medical history so that we can pass relevant notes along to you and your family.
If you and the donor’s relationship is such that you are communicating these updates to one-another directly, please also share them with us so we can ensure any internal records are kept up-to-date.
What will it cost?
Costs include a one-time Cofertility coordination fee along with the costs associated with the donor’s screening, egg retrieval, and storage.
Once you find a potential match, you put down a $500 deposit to place a hold on that match. No other family can match with the donor during this time. When you decide to move forward, the deposit is credited towards our coordination fee and further payment is broken into two phases.
Phase one includes our $7,000 coordination fee and expenses related to the match and screening, such as the donor’s physical screening, genetic testing, psychological evaluation, and legal fees. These can range from $3,000 - $7,000, depending on the clinic.
Phase two covers expenses related to the retrieval cycle, medication, and storage of the donor’s half of the eggs. The fees range from $16,000 - $24,000 and depend on the specifics of your match, like whether the donor is required to travel. Note: with Cofertility, there is no donor compensation.
While any medical expenses (e.g., initial consult, genetic screening, retrieval cycle) are non-refundable, our coordination fee comes with a baby guarantee. We want to help you bring your baby home, and we will re-match you for free until that happens. What does that mean? If a donor doesn’t pass your doctor’s screening, we’ll help you match again. If a cycle leads to no blastocysts, we’ll match you again. If none of the blastocysts turn into a pregnancy, we’ll match you again. We’re doing things differently around here, and hope this guarantee can bring you peace of mind.
If you have additional questions or want a more in-depth breakdown, reach out and we can walk you through each of these phases in more detail.
Do you compensate your donors?
In our unique model, families match with a woman who freezes her eggs and donates half to your family. There is no cash compensation. Instead, they are given an opportunity to freeze and store their eggs for 10 years for free. We agree with ASRM that egg donor compensation can open the door for exploitation. Furthermore, a 2021 Harvard study found that 62% of donor-conceived adults felt the exchange of money for donor gametes was wrong and 40.6% were troubled by the fact that money was exchanged around their conception. By allowing our donors to freeze their eggs as part of the process, our unique model honors everyone involved.
How do you handle payment?
Once you move forward with a match, payment will be handled through SeedTrust. They’re the nation’s leading egg donation escrow fund manager and have managed more than 10,000 cases. Upon signing your agreement, we’ll walk you through how to create an account with SeedTrust.
Is there a fee to access your matching platform?
Nope! There is no fee to register with Cofertility. Completing the form will allow you to create a profile on our matching platform. Once you are ready to place a hold on a match, we do require a $500 deposit.