Donor Embryo FAQ

Welcome to our Embryo Donation FAQ Page for Intended Parents. If you have a question that wasn't covered on this page, please feel free to reach out and we will be happy to assist you!

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Getting Started →

What is Donor Nexus? »

Donor Nexus is an international embryo donation agency located in Newport Beach, California, working with donors and intended parents worldwide.

At Donor Nexus, we believe that any couple or individual who dreams of growing their family should have the opportunity to pursue that dream. We support the right of all loving families to access care, including traditional married couples, unmarried couples, same-sex couples, and individuals seeking a single-parent family.

Why choose Donor Nexus? »

At Donor Nexus, we are passionate about helping create families and are honored to be a part of your journey. We understand the importance of establishing trust as we support you throughout this monumental time in your life and we're proud to share a few benefits of choosing to work with us:

 
  • Proven track record of success (over 1,100 babies born through our programs)
  • Success rates above national averages
  • Access a diverse range of egg donors for fresh cycles
  • We can ship frozen donor eggs worldwide
  • We offer an affordable embryo donation program
  • We can coordinate a gestational carrier (surrogate) when needed/requested
  • Receive free access to our comprehensive donor database through our website and app
  • As a boutique agency, we provide personalized care and support throughout the entire process

 

With over a decade of experience, we are well-versed in the intricate process of donor egg IVF (DEIVF) and we work right alongside of you with the same end goal in mind and do our absolute best to help you get there. Don't just take our word for it, we invite you to read through testimonials from our previous intended parents here.

Deciding to use donor embryos »

We know that deciding to use donor embryos isn't made lightly. We've made it our mission to not only help intended parents once they've made the leap to using donor embryos but to also provide support and guidance through the decision-making process. We aim to provide you with transparent information about all aspects of donor embryo IVF -- physical, emotional, financial, and more. We invite you to click around our website to read personal stories from our previous patients and find many other resources on all facets of donor-assisted IVF.

Where do I start? »

To get started, register to our online donor database to begin browsing donor embryo profiles. You will then receive an email from Donor Nexus with more information about our embryo donation program. We are available for consultations in person, over the phone, or via Zoom. Visit our Embryo Donation Process page for a more comprehensive overview of what happens after you select an embryo or embryos. 

Embryo donation vs. embryo adoption »

The terms "embryo donation" and "embryo adoption" are often wrongly used interchangeably. Understandably, it's easy to assume a donor is on the "embryo donation" side and a recipient is "adopting" the embryo. However, there are important differences in the process of embryo adoption compared to the process of embryo donation. Below, we share a quick overview:

  • Similarities: In both embryo adoption and embryo donation, patients can use donated frozen embryos in hopes of achieving a pregnancy.
  • Differences: Embryo adoption views the embryo as a child, typically requiring the recipients to go through a comprehensive legal process to “adopt” the embryo. Embryo donation views the embryo as a gift that is being donated and the recipients are accepting ownership. Embryo adoption is typically a more expensive and longer process.

At Donor Nexus, we offer embryo donation. However, the flexibility of our program allows for open ID embryo donation, which offer many similarities to embryo adoption.

If you have additional questions, we provide a more comprehensive comparison on this page: Embryo Adoption vs. Embryo Donation

Embryo donation vs. traditional adoption »

There are a multitude of reasons why a patient may prefer to go the route of donor embryo IVF rather than pursue a traditional adoption. The three most common reasons are as follows:

1. Unless a gestational carrier is being used, embryo donation allows the recipient mother to experience pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, if she wishes.

2. Next, embryo donation is more affordable than traditional adoption.

3. Lastly, couples who have undergone IVF and chosen to donate leftover embryos are more educated and more affluent than the general population. Often, the donating couple was in a stable marital relationship and financially stable enough to afford IVF at the time the embryos were created. They are less likely to have serious drug or alcohol issues than the general public and are less likely to have been incarcerated.

 

 

Donor Embryo Program and Process →

How many embryos do I get? »

It depends on the stage at which the embryos were frozen and whether or not they have had full 24-chromosome genetic screening. We will thaw until there is one viable embryo when the embryo is a blastocyst that has been genetically tested, two viable when they are unscreened blastocysts, and all of the embryos that are available from the batch when they are frozen on day 3.

Do you offer a guarantee? »

In the rare chance that the embryo(s) does/do not survive the thaw, we will either thaw additional embryos from the same profile or we will provide you “backup” embryo profiles to select from. If there is no other embryo profile of your liking and you do not complete an embryo transfer, you will receive a partial refund/credit.

The embryo transfer »  

To complete the embryo transfer, you must be able to travel to Southern California for a total of four days. The donated frozen embryos are stored in our laboratories at HRC Fertility Newport Beach and HRC Fertility Encino, California, and cannot be shipped to other clinics.

Anonymous vs. open ID embryo donation »

In an anonymous embryo donation, there will be no identification or contact established between the donors and recipients. We will share non-identifying information about the donors on the donor embryo profile for interested recipients to see. Please note that although our team adheres to the highest standards to maintain donor and recipient confidentiality when facilitating the cycle, with advancements in commercial genetic testing, we counsel our egg donors and intended parents to understand that we cannot guarantee permanent anonymity in the future. 

Open ID embryo donation relationships vary from yearly phone calls and photos to contact for medical necessity, depending on the agreement between the donor(s) and recipient(s). In an open ID donation, the embryo donor(s) may request to have contact with the embryo recipients once an ongoing pregnancy or live birth occurs. The intended parent(s) will be required to sign an addendum that gives the agency consent to provide their contact information to the embryo donors once a pregnancy is achieved.

Learn more in this blog post: Understanding Open ID vs. Anonymous Embryo Donation 

Additional Options for an "Open ID" Embryo Donation:

While most of our embryo donors choose anonymous donations, we are proud to provide flexible "in-between" options to ensure that our program can be tailored to fit the specific desires of all couples and individuals donating embryos and all loving recipients. For instance, we will be happy to facilitate a Zoom meeting between both parties to allow them to get to know one another without sharing identifying information. Depending on the situation, we may have other opportunities available. If you find a donor embryo profile you are interested in, feel free to contact our team with any questions.

How long does the process take? »

The length of time is dependent upon a few factors. Once funds and your contract are complete, the time is dependent on the amount of time needed to prepare the recipient mother's uterus or the gestational carrier’s uterus for the embryo transfer.

Learn more:

 

 

About the Embryo Donors →

Who are the embryo donors? »

Embryo donors are patients who have completed IVF and have frozen embryos left over. Once they have completed their family or no longer desire to keep the embryo(s) in storage, they choose to donate their unused embryos to help another infertile couple or individual. The ages of a donating couple most typically are in the 30s, an age by which debilitating mental diseases like schizophrenia would have become evident. Lastly, patients who have undergone IVF are generally more affluent than the general population.

Why would people donate embryos? »

Many possible factors contribute to why a couple or individual decides to donate their embryos. Many of our donors have had their own long journey overcoming infertility and donate their embryos to pay it forward and help others build their families. Additionally, many donors believe in the sanctity of life and wish to provide their embryos with an opportunity to exist.

How are the donors screened? »

All couples undergoing IVF have had infectious disease screening completed prior to the creation of the embryos. Infectious disease screening tests for HIV 1 and 2; HTLV 1 and 2; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; Syphilis. If an egg and/or sperm donor was used in the creation of the embryos, FDA labs were drawn prior to the creation of the embryos as well. If we have access to the egg or sperm donor profile we will share that with the recipient. Most couples will not have had genetic screening.

What will I know about the donors? »

The available information about the donors is usually basic and somewhat sparse. Here is the information you will be provided with:

  • Basic health information
  • Donation type (anonymous or open ID) and any additional preferences the donors have for the recipient(s)
  • General physical characteristics of donors, including height, weight, hair color, eye color 
  • Ethnicity and ethnic background
  • Their ages at the time that the embryos were frozen
  • Whether they identified any past medical or surgical problems
  • Whether they specified any family history
  • Donor background, including occupation, state, and education (when provided)

 

 

About the Donor Embryos →

What will I know about the embryos? »

All available information will be listed on the donor embryo profile, which may include the following:

  • Embryo grading
  • Years the embryo(s) were frozen
  • Gender, if available
  • The outcome from other embryos in the batch, if available
  • Whether sperm or egg donor was used
  • The stage at which the embryos were frozen
  • Genetic carrier results, if donor(s) completed screening

Please note that the available information varies. We recommend all medical records be reviewed by your IVF physician.

Can I request genetic testing? »

Yes, visit this webpage to learn more: PGT-A Testing

Securing extra embryos »

Can I secure extra embryos from the same profile?

Yes, if there are multiple embryos from the same profile, you can secure additional embryos for an additional charge. You will be responsible for the yearly storage of additional embryos.

Can I secure extra embryos from different profiles?

Yes, if you would like to secure embryos from a different profile, you can for an additional cost. However, we have limited the number of additional embryos that can be secured at one time from different profiles. This allows us to provide all intended parents with the opportunity to find the donor embryo profile most suitable for them.

Can I select the gender? »

Yes, gender selection is possible when using donated embryos. Typically, there are several donated embryos listed on our donor embryo database that have already had genetic testing done and the sex of the embryos has been determined. If this is the case, you will be able to see the sex of the embryo listed in the profile!

What does the grading of an embryo mean? »

The grading of an embryo is determined by the embryologist at the time the embryo is frozen. It is a method used to evaluate the quality of the embryo.

At HRC Fertility, the embryo grading is as follows:

Fully Hatching Blastocyst (FHB)Hatching Blastocyst (HB) BB or better = A

Expanding Blastocyst (XB) BB or AA = A-/B+ X

Blastocyst (B) BB or AA = B/B-

Early Blastocyst (EB) AA or BB = C+/C

Compacting (Comp) = C-

We recommend this helpful article: Complete Guide to Embryo Grading and Success Rates

Donor Nexus can provide you with an overall grading of the embryo. The exact embryo grading and success rate will be discussed with you by your physician during your initial consultation.

 

Financial Considerations →

How much does embryo donation cost? »

At Donor Nexus, embryo donation starts at $13,200 USD per cycle, excluding pre-testing and medications. This includes the frozen embryo cycle, which includes all cycle coordination, embryo thawing, embryo transfer, and monitoring at HRC Fertility. Your fee also goes toward the outstanding storage and cryopreservation fees and administrative costs relating to the creation and maintenance of the embryo bank and embryo bank database.

Can I use a loan? »

We work with CapexMD to help intended parents cover treatment costs. CapexMD specializes in fertility loans, offering a variety of options. Visit their website to learn more and apply

Do you accept insurance? »

No, Donor Nexus does not accept insurance. However, our partnering clinic, HRC Fertility, does accept insurance. If you think you have infertility coverage, HRC Fertility can run a benefits check to determine if your frozen embryo transfer cycle, medications, and/or pretesting are covered. Depending on your coverage, we will remove the frozen embryo transfer and medication costs from your cycle fee. HRC Fertility will then bill your insurance directly for those services.

Do I receive a refund if I back out? »

Yes, you will receive a partial refund if you decide not to move forward with your Donor Embryo Cycle. If you do not receive medical clearance from the physician at HRC Fertility, you will receive a 100% refund. If you decide not to move forward for other reasons before your cycle medications are ordered, you receive a full refund minus a $1,500 administration fee. If you decide to cancel your cycle after you start medications but before the embryo(s) is/are thawed, you will receive a 50% refund.

 

 

Embryo Donation With Surrogate/Gestational Carrier (GC) →

Can I use a surrogate/GC? »

Yes, we have many recipients who transfer donor embryos into gestational carriers/surrogates.

Surrogate/GC process »

HRC Fertility requires every GC to undergo a medical evaluation before starting medications. The medical evaluation is more in-depth than the pretesting that is required to transfer the embryos into your uterus. HRC Fertility charges for the medical evaluation, regardless if you have some or all of the testing done at an outside clinic. Because of this, we recommend the GC travel to Southern California for the one-day medical evaluation. The GC will need to travel a total of 2 times to Southern California, once for medical screening and once for embryo transfer.

 

 

Specific Questions - Cycle Details  →

HSG test vs. uterine cavity evaluation »

I previously had an HSG (hysterosalpingogram) completed, can I use the report for my uterine cavity evaluation? No, an HSG test is performed to determine if your fallopian tubes are open. A uterine cavity evaluation (sonohysterogram/mock transfer/hysteroscopy) is performed to check for any uterine anomalies such as polyps, septums, or fibroids that could impede the embryo from implanting.

Can I ship the embryo(s) to another clinic? »

No, we are not able to transfer embryos to an outside clinic.

How do I know that I am getting the correct embryo? »

How do I know that I am getting the correct embryo profile that is being thawed and transferred?

On the day of your embryo transfer, your HRC consent forms will include your donor embryo profile number. Please be sure to write down your donor embryo profile number in advance.

How long is my pre-testing valid?

Generally, pre-testing is valid for up to 12 months.

Do you have age restrictions for recipients?

Each physician has his/her own age limits when treating patients. Generally, if a patient is over 45 years old, the physician will order additional tests to ensure the patient is healthy enough to carry. The additional testing includes a stress test, EKG, chest X-ray, mammogram, and pap smear. Most of these tests can be completed by your primary care physician.

How long until I can try again after success?

If you had a vaginal delivery, you need to wait at least 9 months. If you had a c-section, you need to wait at least 12 months. If you are breastfeeding, you must stop breastfeeding and have 2 normal periods before you complete your pretesting.

What if I am not successful and want to try again? »

If your donor embryo cycle does not result in a positive pregnancy, you will receive $1,000 off each subsequent cycle. Discount is only valid for 12 months from transfer day. *Limitations may apply.*

 

We Have Resources Available for You

We know that intended parents are faced with a multitude of tough decisions on their family-building journey, and we’re here to help. We have tons of resources available throughout our website and blog – feel free to click around and don’t hesitate to reach out to our team if you have any additional questions.

Get in Touch

We are always here to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to start your journey!