Finding the right Egg Donor for you can be a daunting process. There are many things to even consider when selecting your Egg Donor and making sure that the cycle is successful. This is one of the biggest decisions of your life, and you should feel completely secure with the Donor and agency you choose to work with! We encourage potential clients to speak with our competitors, because there are many options out there. Regardless of the Egg Donation Agency you choose, here are some helpful questions you should ask them before you commit.
What costs do your consulting fees cover?
There are many different costs involved in egg donation, and we recognize that the different payments you need to make and manage can be extremely confusing. Our Egg Donor Intended Parent Handbook contains a breakdown of the basic costs you can expect throughout the process, including our fees. But what exactly do your Agency’s consulting fees cover? At Fertility Match, we strive to be as transparent as possible.
Our consulting fee covers our management of the egg donation process for both the Intended Parent(s) as well as the Donors they select. We work with the fertility centre(s) to organize your Donor’s treatment and appointments, as well as her donation medications when necessary. Our fees include the administration of your Egg Donor’s travel expenses trust, as well as booking and managing any of her necessary travel. We are also responsible for the management of your Egg Donor’s general reimbursable expenses trust, ensuring that all expense amounts she submits are permittable under the Canadian Assisted Human Reproduction Act. Finally, our fees cover the organization of your legal referrals for your contract with your selected Donor (legal fees themselves are payable to appointed lawyers), the organization of you and your Egg Donor’s mandatory counselling and troubleshooting any issues that arise during the donation process.
What does “reimbursable expenses” mean at your Agency?
While Egg Donors in Canada are not paid, donating eggs does involve some extra expenses for the Egg Donors and it is important that Donors not experience any negative financial effects from their donation. Any expenses that an Egg Donor incurs related to her donation are eligible to be reimbursed. At Fertility Match, we allow Donors to claim expenses up to a maximum of $8000.00 related to her donation. These expenses include things like a Donor’s missed wages in relation to the donation, child and pet care required to attend appointments, nutritious food and vitamins to ensure that she is as healthy as possible. A Donor’s expenses can also include a companion’s missed wages and meals on the day of her retrieval, as an adult caregiver is required to assist the Donor to get home safely after the procedure is complete. Anything that an Egg Donor has already paid for and cannot make use of during her donation (for example, a gym membership) is also eligible for reimbursement.
How do you make sure your Egg Donors are dedicated to donating?
Signing up to be an Egg Donor should involve more than clicking a link and providing your basic physical characteristics. At Fertility Match, our Egg Donors reach out to us and complete an extensive application that includes the medical and family histories, as well as short essay answers about their personality, hobbies as well as their motivation to becoming an Egg Donor. After this application is completed, we have one-on-one interviews with each and every Egg Donor. Every Fertility Match Egg Donor signs a contract with us stating that they are dedicated to donation and ready to move forward with a donation immediately before their profiles are activated. We accept less than 2% of the Egg Donors who contact us, restricting our program to those who are truly dedicated to donating.
How do I know the Egg Donor I select is qualified to donate?
All Egg Donor Agencies have basic qualifications for Egg Donors – most commonly, age requirements. However, a young woman isn’t necessarily guaranteed to be fertile or have appropriate hormone levels to be an Egg Donor just because of her age. Our Egg Donation Program Director and Co-Founder Liz Ellwood experienced the problem with this first hand: It was the 5th Donor she selected that actually passed screening, and it took over 2 years before creating embryos. This program is based on the flaws she saw first-hand with that processes. So, that is why at Fertility Match, we have Egg Donors medically pre-screened before we collect program fees or trust amounts from Intended Parent(s). We assess our Egg Donor candidates with important medical tests used by fertility doctors to determine if they are fertile. These tests include an Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) level, as well as a day 2-5 Antral Follicle count (AFC), estradiol and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) level. These results combined give us a very good picture of a Donor’s fertility and her likelihood of her donation being successful. Any Egg Donor on our database with a lotus in the corner of the photo has been successfully pre-screened and has hormone levels and an ovarian follicle count compatible with egg donation. If you are interested in a Donor and she does not have a lotus, please let us know. We can let you know the status of her pre-screen and when results are expected.
How can I be sure the Egg Donor I select is a good person?
In Canada, Egg Donors are not paid. Canadian Egg Donors are women making the choice to donate for altruistic reasons – because they have friends and coworkers struggling to conceive, because they family members who are dealing with cancer-related infertility or because they feel for LGBTQ+ couples trying to start a family. At Fertility Match, we ask our Donors about why they want to donate their eggs and make that answer available to you, so you can see what we see in the young women in our program.
How do you make sure my information is secure?
There are a few ways to ensure the security and privacy of your information. At Fertility Match, our Egg Donor database is secured in several ways. Technologically speaking, we ensure that we always have up to date security certificates as recommended by Google and other Internet security companies. This means that our database only opens secure sessions with users, so your information is safe with us. When you register for an Intended Parent profile on our database, we are the only ones who can see that information.
We only work with professionals who are used to dealing with semi-anonymous egg donations. All of the counsellors, physicians, clinics and lawyers we work with are aware of the type of donation occurring at all points in the process at take the utmost care to ensure that your information – and the information of your selected Egg Donor – remains confidential.
How do you choose the clinics your Egg Donors cycle at?
Every Egg Donor Agency should work with clinics where they know that Egg Donors will have a good experience. At Fertility Match, we work with trusted clinics across Canada and find the best solution for your unique situation and the Egg Donor you select. It is typically more cost-effective and easier for an Egg Donor to cycle at a clinic near her home, though many of our Egg Donors are willing to travel within their province of residence or neighbouring provinces to donate. We will work with you to find the best solution for the Egg Donor you select.
An Egg Donor Agency can make a huge difference in your experience of building a family. Whichever Agency you select to work with, you should feel comfortable asking the necessary questions to fully understand the process of starting or growing your family through Egg Donation. At Fertility Match, we are always here to answer your questions!
Learn more about our Egg Donation Intended Parents program today!
Taking the first steps to become an Egg Donor is an exciting time! For most people, egg donation is a completely new experience, and the guidance of an ethical egg donation agency can make all the difference for a new Egg Donor – or someone who wants to donate again! Whatever Agency you decide on, here are four questions you need to ask – and how we would answer them at Fertility Match!
- What steps do you take to ensure your Egg Donor database is secure and private?
There are a few ways to ensure the security and privacy of your information. At Fertility Match, our Egg Donor database is secured in several ways. Technologically speaking, we ensure that we always have up to date security certificates as recommended by Google and other Internet security companies. This means that our database only opens secure sessions with users, so your information is safe with us. We also do not display any identifying information to Intended Parents on our database.
Most importantly – We don’t just rely on technological security. We also restrict access to our database to Intended Parents who we have personally spoken to and accepted into our program. Furthermore, all of these Intended Parents have provided proof from their fertility doctor that they are legitimately seeking an Egg Donor and have provided us with copies of government-issued identification. We make it a priority to know exactly who is on our database, at all times, to ensure your safety and privacy.
- How do you screen Intended Parents to make sure my eggs are going to good people?
Knowing that your eggs are going to good people is so important and we don’t take this responsibility lightly! At Fertility Match, we screen Intended Parents as much as we screen the Egg Donors accepted into our program. We know all of our Intended Parents personally by the time they select their Donor and we take the time to make sure that they are good people. Our Intended Parent application is extensive, and we do not accept anyone that we are not comfortable with into our Egg Donation Program.
- What is the Egg Donor experience like at the clinics your Agency works with?
While specific medical protocols may vary slightly between clinics, one thing that should be guaranteed is a safe and fulfilling experience for all of their Egg Donors. At Fertility Match, we only work with clinics that we trust to provide this experience to every Donor. We ensure that our Egg Donors are cycling in the best clinics in Canada with attentive and professional medical staff. We make sure that our Egg Donors are comfortable with their clinics at every step of the way and always get feedback from Donors about their experience so we can continue to make their experiences better and better.
- What are the benefits to Egg Donors in your program?
Every Egg Donation program is different and at Fertility Match we try our best to be the best. We have the highest reimbursable expenses cap in Canada (up to $8000.00). This means you will be able to claim all of the costs associated with your donation. We make it a point to show our Egg Donors how grateful we are by sending them care packages and making sure that messages of recognition from their Intended Parents are passed along.
Additionally, Fertility Match provides the highest level of support to our Egg Donors of any Agency in Canada. All Donors are provided with our Egg Donation Program Director’s direct number while going through their donation so that any questions or concerns can be addressed, 24/7 – and evenings and weekends, too. We are a phone call or text away while you are going through a donation – in case you need anything!
Becoming an Egg Donor is a big decision! We believe it’s important for every Donor to know that their Agency is there to support them throughout the entire process. At Fertility Match, we take this responsibility and privilege to heart!
At Fertility Match, we’ve always believed that surrogacy is truly the journey of many and effects everyone it touches. The other day, one of our amazing Surrogate Mothers reached out to Lisa to share a beautiful moment.
“This. This is the magic of surrogacy.
Last night my daughter asked if she could snuggle me while we watched a movie after dinner. Of course I said yes! She was just laying there with me, delighted she could finally see and feel baby moving!
Her exact words: “mum this is special, a mom and dad wouldn’t have this baby unless you carried him in your belly. That would be sad because everyone should be able to have babies if they want them. Is this a miracle?”
Yes honey, it is! Women are strong and are capable of anything!
And then she fell asleep. What an incredible journey this is. A lesson in love that my daughter will not soon forget!”
Then, Surrogate S told us that her wonderful daughter tells baby good night every single night, until his Intended Parents are able to tell him themselves. Surrogacy is a beautiful journey not only for one family, but for many.
If you’re interested in experiencing the magic of surrogacy, please reach out to us today.
For Immediate Release – Ottawa, Ontario – Sept 13, 2018
Fertility Match Canada officially launches the most advanced and vetted Egg Donor Database in Canada.
Fertility Match Canada provides fully-customized fertility consulting services to those individuals and couples that are incapable of having children on their own. The company recruits Surrogate mothers and Egg Donors that meet stringent criteria for aspiring parents.
Fertility Match was founded in early 2017 by Liz Ellwood and Lisa Casselman on the premise that all parties involved deserve well-thought out, well-researched, and customized approach to navigating the fertility industry. With their new and innovative approaches over the last 18 months, Fertility Match Canada has become the fastest growing fertility consulting agency in Canada working with the top fertility centres in Canada.
In an effort to help Intended Parents around the country find suitable Egg Donors from a trusted, secure and reliable source, the company is announcing the official launch of the most sophisticated Egg Donor base in Canada: Egg Match.
By creating an account at Egg Match, Intended Parents can peruse the profiles of a highly vetted list of qualified, pre-screened and ready-to-donate Egg Donors from across Canada. The database has a minimum of 5 adult photos of each Donor, as well as access to a wide variety of information to help make a thoughtful and informed selection. With easy-to-use menus and searchable criteria, Intended Parents can make this important decision with the information at their fingertips. No names or contact information of the donors is ever shared. Although most Donors remain anonymous, they are all willing to meet the child someday in the future.
“I’ve been in the fertility industry for 15 years, and it has never been a better time for Intended Parents to find the perfect Egg Donor to build their family”, states Liz Ellwood, co-founder of Fertility Match and cancer survivor. “I only wish I had this type of sophisticated tool to help me when I was in their shoes. It would have saved so much time and heartache!”
With 15% of Canadian couples unable to conceive on their own, Fertility Match is filling a huge gap for those Canadians who want customized fertility consulting services with the added benefits of quality choices for donors.
Lisa Casselman is Ms. Ellwood’s business partner and 2-time Surrogate. “We invested a lot of time and money into our programs to help change how an agency supports aspiring families in Canada. We personally know how hard it is to turn to strangers for guidance, service and support, and we want to deliver the best there is to our clients. The database has been unofficially open since June and we’ve already had an overwhelming response.”
Currently the database has dozens of Egg Donors of varying ethnical backgrounds and personalities. “We have thoroughly screened hundreds of applicants this year and are only choosing the best donors, not just for their physical appearance, but for their hearts, minds and personalities,” continued Ms. Ellwood. “Now all we need is for our government to implement a regulation system that ensures all agencies across Canada are held accountable and meeting the highest of standards”.
Liz Ellwood, Co-Founder, Fertility Match Canada
We know Surrogacy can be confusing to women who are in the early stages of considering this life changing gift. We get so many similar questions, so we thought we would answer them in a blog post! If you have any other questions, feel free to get in touch with us. We’d be happy to speak to you about Surrogacy.
Will the child be genetically related to me?
No, the child will not be genetically related to you. At Fertility Match, we only work with Gestational Surrogates. In Gestational Surrogacy, the Intended Mother, or Egg Donor, undergoes an egg retrieval. Her eggs are then fertilized with the Intended Father’s sperm, or the sperm from a donor. The fertilized egg becomes an embryo. The Gestational Surrogate then undergoes the embryo transfer.
Do I get to choose to work with an OB, Midwife, or Doula?
Yes. By the 12th week of pregnancy, you will be released by the fertility clinic and will get to choose which kind of prenatal care you prefer. We ask you to tell us your preference when you are coming into the program, so we can match you with IP’s that are on board with your care and birth plan. We have you fill out a Surrogate application and learn about your preferences, so that we can select IP’s that would best support you in the pregnancy.
Can I be a Surrogate if I haven’t given birth?
One of the requirements in being a Surrogate is that you have had a least one child of your own. A fertility clinic will not screen you in as a Surrogate if these criteria is not met. At Fertility Match, we ask that you have had at least one pregnancy without complications. Because we want the best for you as the Surrogate and the IP’s baby, we need to see a history of a healthy pregnancy.
Will I have to pay for my pregnancy-related expenses?
No, the Surrogacy journey is at no cost to you. You will be reimbursed for your pregnancy-related expenses up to $30,000. This can include things such as groceries, maternity clothes, lost wages for appointments, etc. Before the embryo transfer, you would be reimbursed for your travel expenses. The amounts may vary, depending on different pregnancy factors (twins, C-section, and any complications that may arise).
Will I see the children after the birth?
The IPs in our program are looking to work with a Surrogate who will be an extension of their family and be a special “aunt” to their children after the birth. It is up to you and the IPs to discuss what you feel comfortable with as contact after the birth. We also ask this question before matching you with IPs, so that the couple you are matched with has a similar expectation of contact after the birth.
Will I have to travel away from home?
We will discuss with you what your desires are for travel related to medical appointments. We understand that not all Surrogates are able to travel due to family commitments. We have Intended Parents from all over Canada, so it is your choice what your parameters are.
Do I get to choose the Intended Parents I carry for?
Absolutely. You can choose to work with a same sex couple, heterosexual couple, or a single man or woman. We have Intended Parents who require a Surrogate for different reasons, such as cancer survivors and those with infertility. We leave it up to you who you would like to work with.
Considering Surrogacy? Do you have any other questions? Click here to contact us and one of our Fertility Consultants would be happy to speak with you.
It’s a question we do get asked often: should I tell my child they were conceived with a donor egg? The short answer: yes. At Fertility Match, we strongly believe that you should always tell your child that they were conceived through egg donation. There are so many reasons – medical, ethical, logical, and practical – that you should tell your child the truth. We’ll cover a few in this post, but one of our Fertility Consultants is always available to chat in depth.
Honestly, one of the biggest reasons to tell your child about the realities of their conceptions is really simple: it’s inevitably going to come out anyways. With services like ancestry.ca and 23andMe, more and more people are releasing their DNA information to the world and finding genetic relatives they never knew – or were never told – they had. In the past, it was possible to keep adoptions and family histories secret enough that no one would ask questions, but with technology today that just isn’t realistic.
Not only do these services now exist, sometimes there are activities in school that might address your child’s familial history. Many high school and university biology classes now discuss genetic inheritance. Your child realizing in the middle of class that their genetics don’t make sense with yours because of their eye or hair colour or even blood type would be the worst possible way to start this conversation.
Medically speaking, telling your child about the realities of their conception (in an age appropriate way, of course – more on that in a future post) is incredibly important. When your child grows up, they may experience things you haven’t because of their genetics are different from yours. This could be something as simple as needing glasses or braces, but no matter what it’s best that your child knows the realities of their medical history so that they can get the best possible medical care throughout the course of their life.
Psychologically, it’s best for your child to know about all of this early on – otherwise, they could be dealing with feelings of betrayal because they were not told the truth, even though you had only the best of intentions, as all parents do.
At Fertility Match, we know that you have the best intentions, hopes, and dreams for your child and your family. We understand that these are hard conversations to have, and we’re here to support you every step of the way. That’s why we encourage all of our Intended Parents to come to us with their concerns and questions about this subject. We are here to talk about these things with you!
If you’re thinking about egg donation to build your family, please contact us today to talk to one of our Fertility Consultants.