Remote Donor Cycles: A Primer

When you are in the thick of it, it often seems that nothing is simple when it comes to a donor cycle. Most intended parents arrive at the door to egg donation after a grueling IVF cycle, or two, or three or…more. Somehow after all of this, the strength, courage and money is found to try again with a donor. After this voyage to the emotionally charged decision to work with a donor, then arrives what, for many, can be the most difficult part of the infertility journey: donor selection. Dizzying lists of available donors are perused for weeks, often months, in what many describe as a completely surreal experience. Then, she appears. Perhaps the same smile, the same almond-shaped eyes, the same love of animals, or the perfect combination of many things. Finally, things seem to be turning in your favor. Except for one small catch. You live in San Francisco, your dream donor lives in Boston. But she is your donor, you just know it. So, thus begins an added complication and expense to an already complicated and expensive endeavor. Ahead are some insights about the particulars of a remote cycle, some things to be aware of and to avoid.

Not all, but most established donor agencies have donors within their pools from multiple geographic locations. When a donor is screened and listed with an agency, she is generally asked if she would be open to a remote donor cycle. One important thing to establish before moving forward or getting your heart set on a remote donor is her willingness and availability to do a remote cycle. Make sure your agency speaks to her about the specifics of the cycle, the timeframe and her current schedule. While travel might have been welcomed 6 months ago when she was accepted into the program, donors are young women, often students, with constantly changing schedules and living arrangements, so it is very important to make certain that the demands (there are many) of a remote cycle are within her ability at the time.