Once a person decides to make an egg donation, she will be put through a battery of medical tests to prove she is disease free and to measure other variables.
If she passes all these tests, the egg donor is then placed on fertility drugs to induce egg production. This is usually administered by the donor herself via a syringe at home. These medications force her body to produce many more eggs than she normally would. The process from start to finish varies on how the clinic decides to run their office, but it is typically 4-8 weeks. During this time, the egg donor is not allowed to drink alcohol, take drugs or medications or even to have sex.
Once the eggs have been harvested they are taken to a lab where they are investigated for viability, and healthy eggs matched with sperm or frozen for later use. Once a couple of eggs have fertilized, they are then inserted into the uterus of the recipient woman.
Note that the egg donor may have residual issues, such as side effects from the fertility drugs taken, and the emotional impact of wondering or even knowing that she now has children somewhere in the world. An egg donor must come to terms with this.
Egg Donor Law in Canada
Egg donation is legal in Canada, so long as it is done altruistically, and not commercially for payment. The only compensation that the egg donor is permitted to receive is reimbursement of expenses due to the egg donation.
Egg Donor Agreements
Although not strictly required by law, egg donor agreements are strongly recommended and in fact most fertility clinics require them. They cover issues such as donation and use of the eggs, health risks and disclosure of health information, ensuring that the donor is not a legal parent of the child or required to pay child support, future contact between the donor and the child, and other important issues.
Typically, the egg donor agreement is prepared by the intended parents, and the egg donor takes the agreement to a lawyer for what is known as independent legal advice. The lawyer informs the egg donor agreement about the law, the agreement, how the agreement impacts the egg donor’s rights and obligations. The lawyer answers any questions the egg donor may have, and proposed amendments to the agreement that would be beneficial. The lawyer ensures that the egg donor agreement is being entered into voluntarily by the donor. The costs of the independent legal advice are part of the expenses incurred by the egg donor that are reimbursed by the intended parents.
Note that independent legal advice for egg donor agreements should not simply be treated as a formality or rubber stamp of the agreement. An egg donor agreement is an important agreement with a big impact on many lives, and it is important that it be tailored specifically to your situation.