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, free access to our matching platform and can start browsing for your perfect match. 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.
What kinds of intended parents do you work with?
We believe the concept of “family” takes many forms, and we’re here to help your family grow, whatever that looks like. So regardless of your gender identity, sexual orientation, or relationship status, we do not discriminate, period.
What is egg sharing?
In traditional egg donation, all of the eggs retrieved in a given cycle are given to the intended parents in exchange for payment. However, in egg sharing, the donor has the opportunity to keep half of the eggs retrieved for her own future family planning in exchange for donating the other half to your family.
At Cofertility, we exclusively work under the egg sharing model, which we call Split, because we think it’s better for everyone involved – the intended parents, the egg donor, and ultimately the donor-conceived child.
We are proud to be one of the only agencies with a Baby Guarantee. What does that mean? If anything comes up that prevents you from bringing home a baby, we’ll rematch you with a new donor at no additional fee. If a donor doesn’t pass screening, we’ll help you match again with no fee. If a cycle leads to no blastocysts, we’ll match you again with no fee. If none of the blastocysts turn into a pregnancy, we’ll match you again with no fee.
You’ll be responsible for other costs associated with the new match, but you won’t be responsible for the Cofertility Coordination Fee.
We work with anyone who is looking to build a family through egg donation, in the U.S. or anywhere in the world. Our donors are primarily based in the U.S., and we are happy to work with intended parents around the globe, depending on your country’s laws around third-party reproduction.
When it comes to our team, we collaborate remotely and are distributed across the U.S.
How do I place a hold on a match?
When you’ve found a donor you want to move forward with, press the “Place a Hold” button at the top of her profile. From there, you’ll put down a $500 deposit to place a hold on that match. As soon as you confirm your preferences around disclosure status and clinic selection, we’ll reach out to that donor to confirm her interest and availability.
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 create a free account, 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.
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.
What are my disclosure options?
In a disclosed donation with Cofertility, you and the donor will exchange contact information and can communicate directly. In an undisclosed donation, you will not exchange contact information and only communicate via Cofertility. With an undisclosed donation, you could arrange to have the information available to your child down the road (this is sometimes called Open ID).
We highly encourage disclosed donations as we’ve met with the US Donor Conceived Council and heard from the donor conceived community that disclosed is best for the donor conceived person. However, if you choose to move forward with an undisclosed donation after careful consideration, we will honor that decision.
Every relationship is unique and depends on the desires of all parties involved: you, the donor, and any future donor-conceived children. The extent of the relationship, including the point at which your contact information is shared and the frequency of communication, is up to both parties and will be determined during the agreement phase.
It’s important to separate your disclosure status from any potential relationship that you have with the donor. For example, you may have a disclosed donation, in which you share contact information but decide not to maintain any regular communication.
In any case, 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.
Will I meet the donor?
Regardless of your disclosure status, you and the donor may choose to meet as part of the match process. This meeting can take many forms. For example, you can meet over Zoom, over the phone, or in person. The meeting can be facilitated with or without sharing contact information. Some intended parents choose not to meet live but to instead share information about themselves via a letter, slides, or video to their donor.
If you do meet “live,” we’ve put together a list of suggested questions and conversation starters that we’ll share with you and the donor before your meeting. Though we don’t require someone from Cofertility to be on the meeting, someone from our team can join for part or all of the time.
In short, we view match meetings as another way for you and the donor to connect on a human level. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. If it’s something you’re interested in, we’ll work with you to do so in a way that feels good for you.
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 donation where contact information is not shared, donor-conceived children may eventually want to reach out with their own questions.
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.
Screening and retrieval
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. We also obtain AMH results for most donors before they match. Most importantly, we meet 1:1 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.
When does the donor undergo genetic testing?
Upon matching, we will work with your clinic to run a genetic screening for your donor. Their results, along with the intended father or sperm source’s genetic testing results, will be evaluated by a genetic counselor to ensure there is no genetic issue or mismatch between the two.
When does the donor undergo a psychological exam?
After your donor has passed her medical screening, we will coordinate with your clinic to schedule a psychological exam for your donor. The psychological exam ensures that the donor understands the egg donation process and the implications of her decision to be a donor and that she fully consents to the Split program’s rules and requirements.
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.
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.
How many times can an individual donate?
We follow ASRM guidelines that limit an individual to six donation cycles across her lifetime.
Are the eggs that I receive fresh or frozen?
At this time, all of our cycles are “fresh” and we do not have any previously frozen eggs. If you are hoping to move quickly, we have many donors who are ready to cycle immediately and we can work to expedite the screening and retrieval process shortly after matching.
If you want the eggs to be fertilized immediately upon retrieval, the donor can do her retrieval at your clinic, you can go in person to her clinic on the day of the retrieval, or you can ship frozen sperm to her clinic. If fertilization occurs at her clinic, they can freeze the embryos and have them shipped back to you. We can also freeze the eggs immediately upon retrieval and ship them to your clinic or a long-term storage facility if you’re not looking to fertilize them right away. 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.
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.
At Cofertility, the average number of mature eggs a family receives and fertilizes is 12*, but worth noting that every case is unique. Some intended parents want to do two egg retrievals with the donor which is definitely possible. 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!
You can see how many eggs are retrieved in the first cycle and go from there. If, for any reason, the eggs retrieved in that round do not lead to a live birth, our baby guarantee will kick in and we’ll re-match you at no additional Cofertility coordination fee.
*Note: this number is updated periodically based on cycle outcomes.
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 $3,500. 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.
What if I want all the eggs from the round?
We work with some families that want as many eggs as possible to increase the chances of having more than one child. In these cases, we can work with the family, donor, and clinic to arrange two egg retrieval cycles. The family can either split both cycles, or agree to an arrangement in which eggs from the first cycle go to the family while eggs from the second cycle go to the donor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
A journey with Cofertility will cost around $12,700 plus any medical expenses associated with the screening, egg retrieval, and embryo creation processes. If your donor needs to travel for any part of this, you will be responsible for covering those costs..
Match deposit: $500
Cofertility’s Coordination Fee: $6,500
Cycle administrative fees: $5,700
Medical expenses associated with the donor’s screening and retrieval: varies by clinic
*estimate based on Cofertility’s recommended service providers
If you choose to do a second cycle with the same donor, the estimated cost is $5,000 plus any expenses from your clinic associated with the donor’s medication, egg retrieval, embryo creation process, and travel expenses (if applicable). The reduced costs reflect the fact that her screening will have already been completed and a second legal agreement may not be required.
Reduced Cofertility Coordination Fee: $3,500
Reduced administrative fees: $900*
Medical expenses: varies by clinic
*estimate based on Cofertility’s recommended service providers
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.
Is the deposit refundable?
The $500 deposit is refundable if the donor declines the match or if your doctor determines that she is not a good fit for the Split program. Unfortunately, this fee is not refundable if you have a change of heart about moving forward.
How do you handle payment?
Payment will depend on the type of expense incurred. Cofertility’s fees are paid directly to Cofertility through credit card or wire transfer. Administrative fees and travel fees are paid through an escrow account managed by SeedTrust, the nation’s leading egg donation escrow fund manager. Medical fees are typically paid directly to the clinic or pharmacy.
Can I use FSA/HSA dollars on donor eggs?
When donor eggs are deemed medically necessary by a doctor who has provided a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN), related expenses may be eligible with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). If you work with Cofertility, you will get a receipt that you can submit for reimbursement with your plan. We recommend consulting with a tax professional in advance.
Are donor eggs tax deductible?
When it comes to donor egg IVF, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers it a medical expense, which means it may be tax-deductible under certain circumstances. We suggest consulting with a tax professional to determine if you qualify for a deduction and how much you can deduct. Some states offer tax credits for fertility treatments, so be sure to check if your state offers this benefit.