Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Heartfelt Egg Donation Announces Redesigned Website and Blog

I'm excited to announce Heartfelt Egg Donation, LLC has a redesigned website! From now on all of our blog posts will appear within our website on the Blog page and not here on Blogger. If you have been following us please be sure to follow us here instead:

As well if you have been following us on Networked Blogs on Facebook, please be sure to update your notifications for the new site.

Thank you for following us!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Value of an Egg Donation, by Robyn Nazar, R.N., B.S.N

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

IVF Use in America: State IVF Rates and Rankings (Map), by Abbie Waters

Here is an interesting article by Abbie Waters of Fertility Nation in IVF
Americans love in vitro fertilization.

Despite the fact that IVF is expensive and most insurance plans don’t cover it, more than 50,000 American children a year are born using the procedure. That works out to more than 1 percent of US births annually!

The people of Washington D.C. use IVF more than any other state and almost twice as much as the second-ranked state (Massachusetts), while those in Maine, Montana, and Wyoming don’t use IVF treatments at all — at least in their home states.

Scroll down for the complete rankings.

Via: Fertility Nation

The United States of IVF: State IVF Rates and Rankings

Rank State Per Capita IVF Rate
For Every 100,000 People
1 Washington D.C. 227.1
2 Massachusetts 127.9
3 Maryland 98.3
4 New York 92.6
5 New Jersey 90.9
6 Connecticut 90.1
7 Illinois 67.4
8 Rhode Island 62.9
9 Delaware 58.1
10 Hawaii 55.4
11 California 44.1
12 Nevada 42.3
13 Colorado 40.5
14 Minnesota 37.0
15 Virginia 33.9
16 Washington 33.3
17 Florida 31.6
18 Kansas 31.4
19 Ohio 31.1
19 Utah 31.1
21 Texas 30.9
22 Pennsylvania 30.5
23 Michigan 29.5
24 Oregon 29.2
25 North Carolina 27.6
26 Nebraska 27.2
27 Arizona 27.1
28 Iowa 26.6
29 Missouri 26.1
30 Georgia 25.7
31 North Dakota 24.0
32 Indiana 22.9
33 South Dakota 22.1
34 Idaho 20.5
35 South Carolina 20.1
36 Louisiana 19.2
36 Vermont 19.2
38 Alabama 19.0
39 Wisconsin 18.1
40 Oklahoma 17.3
41 Alaska 16.0
42 Tennessee 15.7
43 New Hampshire 13.1
44 Arkansas 11.3
45 New Mexico 11.0
46 Mississippi 8.6
47 Kentucky 8.3
48 West Virginia 5.3
49 Maine* 0
49 Montana** 0
49 Wyoming** 0

* Maine had one fertility clinic fail to report its success rates.
** Montana and Wyoming have no fertility clinics.
States That Use IVF the Most
All of the top five and eight of the top ten states for IVF are located on the east coast (Washington D.C., Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware).

It’s also interesting that all of the top ten states have lower-than-average percentages of people without health insurance coverage (the national average was 15.8).

States That Use IVF the Least
The ten lowest-ranked states are spread over more regions, tend to be located in low-density states with low populations and low average household incomes.

This helps explain why so few IVF procedures are performed in these places. Because IVF treatments cost a lot of money out-of-pocket, people in these states can’t afford as many procedures as their top-ranked counterparts.

How I Created State IVF Rates and Rankings
Using 2008 data on fertility clinic success rates from the CDC and 2008 state populations from the US Census Bureau, I created per capita IVF rates for each state. Per capita IVF rates tell us how many IVF cycles were started in each state for every 100,000 people living there.

These statistics count the total number of IVF cycles started using a woman’s own fresh and frozen eggs. Some IVF cycles may include additional fertility treatments such as GIFT, ZIFT, ICSI, and blastocyst transfers.

These statistics don’t count IVF treatments that used donor eggs, nor do they indicate states’ IVF success rates (live birth rates).

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Miracle of Nature - Eggs

Eggs, precious no matter who they come from. Found these in my rose bush, the mama sat on them and hatched 2 of the 4. Sadly, they didn't make it. She'll try again no doubt, and I look forward witnessing the miracle of nature.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Birth Announcement - Welcome baby girls!

It is with great joy that I announce the birth of Sophia and Abigail. Aren't they absolutely gorgeous?! When I received the announcement, my eyes welled up with tears and I felt tremendous happiness for proud parents, Cindy and Mike.

Cindy, wrote a post on Heartfelt Egg Donation's blog back in September describing their journey to parenthood. I would encourage anyone who is feeling discouraged about getting pregnant or building their family to read Cindy's blog post by clicking here.

Congratulations to the happy family and may sleep come your way sooner rather than later!

Friday, May 20, 2011

British Columbia (Canada) judge says anonymity for sperm, egg donors is unconstitutional

Olivia Pratten poses for a photo outside the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010. Pratten, a woman born as a result of donor insemination, has won her lawsuit seeking to end the anonymity of sperm and egg donors in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Original Story: By Dene Moore, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — A woman born as a result of donor insemination has won her legal battle seeking to end anonymity for sperm and egg donors in British Columbia.

Olivia Pratten was born in 1982 as a result of donor insemination.

After fruitless efforts to obtain records about the sperm donor, Pratten launched the lawsuit against the provincial government, arguing that the province's adoption laws discriminated against donor offspring like herself because they don't allow them the same ability to learn their genetic roots as adopted children.
In a ruling released Thursday, B.C. Supreme Court Judge Elaine Adair agreed.

Anonymous donation, she wrote, "is harmful to the child, and it is not in the best interests of donor offspring," Adair wrote in her ruling, which found sections of the B.C. Adoption Act and Adoption Regulations unconstitutional.

The law was revised in 1996 to allow adopted children the right to information about their biological parents, but it does not include children born of reproductive donations.

Adoptive children and donor offspring are similar in their need to know and have a connection to their biological roots, the judge said.

The ruling gives the B.C. government 15 months to amend the law to address donor offspring and grants a permanent injunction against the destruction of donor records in the province.
"I'm thrilled," Pratten said from Toronto. "It's finally validation of what people like myself have been saying for years."

The decision won't help Pratten to find out the identity of the donor whose sperm allowed her parents to conceive.

But the 29-year-old journalist, who works for The Canadian Press, said that's not why she pursued the long legal battle.

"I've always known that my records were probably destroyed. It was more about changing the policies going forward," she said.

"It was never just about me. It was about helping other people and using my situation, that was a negative, and turning it into a positive so no one else would have to experience having their records destroyed.
"I felt a responsibility to be public with this."
Pratten had the support of her mom and dad, who accompanied her to court every day for the hearings last fall.

"I'm not related to my dad but he's my dad," she said. "This is a victory for them as well because finally what they were saying 20 years ago has been heard and recognized as being accurate."
Pratten's lawyer, Joseph Arvay, said the end result of the decision is that anonymous egg and sperm donation will no longer be permitted in B.C.

"This case represents a monumental victory for our client, Olivia Pratten, and all the donor offspring she represents who have for too long been disadvantaged by their exclusion from the legislative landscape which has promoted and perpetuated prejudice and stereotyping and caused them grave harm," he said in a statement.

The ruling has no weight outside the province, but Pratten said she has been contacted by other donor offspring who have declared their intention to pursue similar legal action to force change elsewhere.
The Attorney General of B.C., the defendant in the case, had no immediate comment on the ruling.
"The court just delivered the decision today on this very complex matter. We will need time to carefully study the decision, decide what its implications are and what the next steps should be, including whether we will appeal," said a statement from the ministry.

Lawyers for the government argued that practices have changed significantly since Pratten was born. Today, a woman seeking donor insemination in B.C. can get detailed social and medical information on the donor even if the donation is anonymous.

There is simply no constitutional right, the government argued, for a person to know their origins or genetic heritage while there is a constitutionally protected right to privacy.

The judge noted that anonymous donation remains the choice of many would-be parents who want control over what their child knows, when they know and who might be involved in their child's life.
"But, based on the evidence in this case, I have concluded that anonymity is not in the child’s best interests," Adair wrote.

"Strong and positive relationships with social parents do not satisfy or eliminate the desire and need of donor offspring to know where they came from, and their need to know their origins is just as powerful and real as those of adoptees."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

10 Popular Sayings that Hurt People with Infertility - Infographic: Fertility Nation, Abbie Waters

10 Popular Sayings That Hurt People With Infertility – INFOGRAPHIC

When was the last time someone gave you instructions on how to reproduce?

If you answered “never” I’ll bet you’re not dealing with infertility.

If you answered “last Tuesday”, I’ll bet you’ve got a fertility doctor on speed dial…and are familiar with the dual frustration of coping with infertility and the rude comments of others.

By itself, infertility is an emotionally painful disease. But throw in the “well-intentioned” comments of friends and in-laws offering “advice” and that pain and hurt swells up like a water balloon straining to burst.

I made this infographic because I want people to know that the things they say to couples struggling with infertility ad undergoing fertility treatments like IVF — even “helpful tips” — can cause hurt feelings.

Supporting people with infertility is easy: all you have to do is listen and try to empathize.


Number of Eggs Retrieved Helps Predict IVF Success: Study - US News and World Report


WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Retrieving about 15 eggs from a woman's ovaries in a single in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle offers the best chance of achieving a live birth while avoiding complications from fertility medications, according to a new study.

Researchers analyzed more than 400,000 IVF cycles in the United Kingdom between 1991 and 2008 and found a strong association between live birth rates and the number of eggs retrieved in one cycle.

The live birth rate rose with an increasing number of eggs up to about 15, leveled off between 15 and 20 eggs, and declined steadily beyond 20 eggs.

The study appears online in the journal Human Reproduction. "Our data show that around 15 eggs may be the best number to aim for in an IVF cycle in order to maximize the chances of a live birth while minimizing the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which is associated with a high number of eggs, usually over 20," Dr. Arri Coomarasamy, a clinical reader and consultant in reproductive medicine and surgery at the University of Birmingham, said in a journal news release.

"Mild stimulation protocols aim to retrieve less than six to eight eggs; a standard stimulation should aim for 10-15 eggs, and we believe this is what is associated with the best IVF outcomes," said Coomarasamy. "When the egg number exceeds 20, the risk of OHSS becomes high."

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome can occur when women are given hormone drugs to stimulate the production of eggs for collection for IVF cycles. Abdominal pain, swelling, nausea and vomiting often appear in mild or moderate OHSS. In rare, severe cases, OHSS can be a life-threatening medical emergency.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Take: Catholic Church should reverse opposition to in vitro fertilization - CNN blog post

My Take: Catholic Church should reverse opposition to in vitro fertilization

 Editor's note: Sean Savage is coauthor of "Inconceivable: A Medical Mistake, the Baby We Couldn't Keep, and Our Choice to Deliver the Ultimate Gift" and a cradle Catholic who lives in Sylvania, Ohio, with his wife and three children.

 By Sean Savage, Special to CNN

According to the Roman Catholic Church, the only moral route to conceiving a child is through sexual intercourse. As a Catholic, I find the church's position to be discriminatory against couples who have medical conditions that prevent them from conceiving in that manner.

I never intended to challenge the church when my wife and I pursued in vitro fertilization in an effort to expand our family after a decade of unsuccessful infertility treatments. We loved our two boys and we'd always wanted a big family. After a successful IVF procedure in 2007 brought us our daughter in 2008, we tried again so that we could fulfill our commitment to give every embryo we created a chance at life.

When a fertility center made a critical error by transferring another couple's embryos to my wife, we were thrust into an unusual pregnancy and eventually found ourselves at the center of an intense media storm. On September 24, 2009, the day Carolyn gave birth to a very loved baby boy, who was immediately turned over to his genetic parents, the Catholic Diocese of Toledo released a statement to The Toledo Blade condemning IVF as "morally unacceptable."

Because we were the focus of the news, we felt as though the diocese was really condemning us.
The statement hurt Carolyn and me tremendously. We had hoped for the church's support and prayer on one of the hardest days we've ever faced.

Carolyn and I have always believed in our stewardship responsibilities to the church. I'd given thousands of hours over the years to coaching youth through my local parish, have raised funds for Catholic churches and schools and have given charitably to church causes. Carolyn had dedicated her career to teaching and working as a principal in Catholic schools.

Instead of support, the church branded us in a very public way with the apparently shameful letters IVF. Why couldn't the church recognize our journey for what it was - an affirmation of the sanctity of life? Their negative response motivated me to look closer at the issue.

I believe there is an ethical path a couple can take when pursuing IVF and I ask the Roman Catholic Church to consider adopting a new doctrine that provides moral guidance for Catholic couples on how to do so.
While I share many concerns with the Catholic Church about abuses within the science of IVF, I disagree with a number of points the church makes on the issue. The church spelled out its stance in Donum Vitae, a 1987 doctrine on biomedical issues released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - an office then led by Cardinal Joseph Ratziner, who is now Pope Benedict XVI - and in 2008's Dignitas Personae, another influential church document.

The original doctrine states that "even if it (IVF) is considered in the context of 'de facto' existing sexual relations, the generation of the human person is deprived of its proper perfection; namely, that of being the result and fruit of a conjugal act." Dignitas Personae echoes this position by stating "human procreation is a personal act of a husband and wife, which is not capable of substitution."

I am personally opposed to the intentional destruction and discarding of unwanted embryos and understand why this is condemned by the church. But to state that a child born of IVF is less perfect than a child created through sexual intercourse is absurd. Is the church truly claiming that our beautiful and innocent daughter, conceived through an IVF procedure, is somehow "less" because of how her physical life began? In her, Carolyn and I see God's precious creation.

Of course, the creation of a child through a conjugal act is the preferred method because it is the most natural, least expensive and least stressful. But that shouldn't mean it should be the only acceptable route to conception.

What about Catholic men and women who have legitimate medical conditions, like endometriosis, which Carolyn has and which caused infertility despite efforts at surgical intervention?

Carolyn and I would have been happy to save thousands of dollars and a decade of emotional ups and downs by conceiving the "old-fashioned way," but that wasn't possible. We turn to medicine for a litany of medical maladies and impairments, but infertile Catholics are supposed to avoid treating a medical condition which prevents them from building or expanding their family?

Yes, adoption is a wonderful option for the couples who decide it's right for them, but adoption should never be forced on anyone.

The Donum Vitae doctrine also states that "in vitro fertilization is in itself illicit and in opposition to the dignity of procreation and of the conjugal union even when everything is done to avoid the death of the human embryo."

The term "illicit" has such a grave connotation and to use it in this context seems quite out of place. Should a couple that seeks a child through IVF, and that does so with a commitment to allow every embryo a chance at life, be considered to be participating in an illicit activity?

The most perplexing and pejorative language from Donum Vitae is that "marriage does not confer upon the spouses the right to have a child... the child has the right, as already mentioned to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents and has the right to be respected as a person from the moment of conception."

Babies born of IVF are here because their parents loved, respected and longed for these children well before conception. These children could not get here through the conjugal love of their parents and it took a very deep love, respect, and commitment to pursue the medical treatment needed to conceive through IVF. There is no doubt in my mind that God is working through loving parents and ethical doctors to allow these children to come into this world.

Now for the ironic in Donum Vitae: "Scientists are to be encouraged to continue their research with the aim of preventing causes of sterility and of being able to remedy them so that sterile couples will be able to procreate in full respect for their own personal dignity and that of the child to be born."

So although there are solutions for sterile couples today, those should not be sought because they are outside of the conjugal act? If Carolyn and I were to wait until the scientific advances described in this statement before pursuing additional children, we would not have our daughter - or the opportunity to welcome two more children into this world this August.

If science can advance to the point that all procreation can happen within the confines of the conjugal act, that would be incredible. But what do couples do while waiting the years and probable decades before these advances come to fruition?

The challenge for the church is to see the beauty in the science and that there is a path within IVF that is worthy of God's grace and approval.

The church's presence in this field could help limit abuses and disregard for human life through advocacy, education, and support. Perhaps it could provide counselors as couples pursue IVF and face many technical and nuanced decisions. And maybe the church could help couples navigate even more complex situations, like embryo adoption.

Carolyn and I were victims of the worst IVF mistake on record. But we remain proponents of the science and understand the good that is done by God through ethical physicians in this industry. We value and support the sanctity of life, even if it's created with the help of IVF.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Sean Savage.

Posted by: The Editors - CNN Belief Blog

Monday, April 18, 2011

2 Sets of Twins for North Carolina Couple - ABC News

This story just warmed my heart! Any baby conceived is a miracle and then to find out twins are on the way is truly a double blessing. Can you imagine finding out the two embryos you transferred during IVF split and identical twins are expected. Holy moly! Take a look at this couple from North Carolina. I especially love the fact that they are nurses and have their daily routine down pat. I sure wish my husband and I had that background. It was not easy in our house with our 1 set of twin babies. Kudos to them!

Click on the link below to view the video:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Celine Dion and her miracle twins

I don't usually like to get too caught up in celebrity baby watches but did anyone see Oprah's show with Celine Dion the other day? Celine introduced her twins from her home in Florida. Those baby boys are just precious and I couldn't be happier for Celine and her family. I've been following her story since she announced her difficulty with conceiving and like many others have been wishing her the best outcome. I knew she was going to be successful because of her determination and positive outlook. I loved seeing her in her jammies, without make-up along side her babies; her gratitude for her blessings was truly apparent. I wasn't able to embed the Oprah clip but here is a link.

Monday, February 21, 2011

AFA Telephone Support Group: Dealing with Miscarriage and Early Pregnancy Loss

AFA Blue Banner

Dealing with Miscarriage and Early Pregnancy Loss 

Many of us have persevered and stayed the course, became
pregnant only to be followed by loss with major set-backs,
sadness and disappointment. 

This FREE AFA TELECOACHING group will explore the
aftermath  of miscarriage, while managing our grief and healing.

During this one hour group conference call, you will receive 

information on:
  • getting the support you need
  • be present for ourselves and our partners in healing together and apart
  • communicate with family and friends
  • effectively return to work and routine
  • accept, let go, and move on
WHEN: Wednesday, February 23rd  
WHERE: Telephone Conference Line (call-in information will be 
given at time of registration)
TIME: 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern time
FACILITATORS: Emily Laitmon, LCSW and Joan Winograd, LCSW  

For further information and to register contact:  
Emily Laitmon,, 212-988-2054, 914-633-4224 
Joan Winograd,, 212-362-4003

Emily Laitmon, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice in NYC and
Westchester specializing in women's issues, couple counseling, relationships
and family building.  She is also a bereavement counselor and offers support
to several hospitals and genetic depts. She is a group facilitator and coach
for AFA.  Ms. Laitmon has written articles and led seminars on emotional
challenges of infertility and couple therapy.  She has experienced 
repeated IVFs resulting in a daughter and adopted a son.

Joan D. Winograd, LCSW, has been a therapist specializing in infertility
issues, as well as pregnancy loss, for the over 20 years, having personally
dealt with such issues.  She practices on the Upper West Side in New York
City, and sees individuals, couples and groups, and has spoken extensively
on the subject. She is a Coaching Support Group Leader with the 
American Fertility Association. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How to Hire a Reproductive Attorney written by Melissa Brisman, Esq.

Heartfelt Egg Donation, LLC provides a legal Services Agreement/Contract for each egg donation cycle as part of our services and is included in our agency fee.  Our agreement is drafted by a reproductive law attorney and is customized for each egg donation cycle. We always suggest that you have a reproductive law attorney review the document and answer any legal questions you may have. Below is an article written by Melissa Brisman, Esq. that will help take the mystery out of how to hire a reproductive attorney.
How to Hire a Reproductive Attorney written by Melissa Brisman, Esq. A version of this article originally appeared in the Winter 2006 issue of Conceive Magazine.

If you’re facing fertility challenges and turning to assisted reproductive technologies, you may need some expert legal advice. To make sure you get the best, you’ll need to do some interrogating. Because reproductive law is still in its infancy (no pun intended!) there are still very few attorneys who specialize in this area. That’s one reason it’s especially important for any prospective parents to research the qualifications of the lawyer they’re hoping will assist them on the path to parenthood. For instance, a family law practice is substantially different from a law firm specializing in reproductive law. Firms advertising themselves as specializing in family law may be willing to take your case, but may not have the expertise to handle it as well as an attorney specializing in reproductive law. Websites and Internet message boards can offer a wealth of information when you start your research. Once you narrow down your search, you should get answers to the following questions before retaining the services of an attorney or firm.

1. How much experience do you have in this specific area?
Obviously your attorney’s professional experience is crucial. You’ll want to make sure he or she has the expertise and qualifications of a reproductive attorney rather than a more general family law practitioner. The subtleties and ever-changing legislation in reproductive law mean you really need someone who specializes in this field and keeps up with all the latest developments.

But once you ascertain professional expertise, personal factors become important, too. The issues that come up in reproductive law can be quite delicate and intimate, and you need to feel comfortable with the attorney who is representing you.

Both factors need to be in place—professional qualifications and a good personality match—before you can be sure you’ve found at attorney who will give you the information and advice you need while protecting your interests and understanding your particular situation in this unsettled area of the law.

2. Does your law firm offer any services other than “legal”?
The list of things to do when you’ve started on the road to family-building through assisted reproductive technology can seem infinite. You’ll ask yourself: How will I find and manage the money needed to pay all these people? What about my insurance? Who will coordinate all the “little things”? How can I find a gestational carrier and/or egg or sperm donor if I need one? It goes on and on. You may wish to consider a “one-stop shopping” approach by choosing a law firm that offers all of these services, and more. By hiring this type of firm you can cut your “to do” list to a manageable size. And while the law firm offering all these services may charge more money than other firms, the cost can still be substantially less than if you were to pay for each of these jobs individually.

3. Do you charge a flat fee or an hourly rate?
Before you sign a retainer agreement with a law firm, you should find out about the way the firm charges for its services. For instance, some attorneys work on a contingency basis—meaning they are only paid if their work is successful—but this is not appropriate in the field of reproductive law, and you should steer clear of any attorney who offers this payment option. Most attorneys charge an hourly rate, which means you’re billed a set amount for every hour (or part of an hour) that the attorney is working for you. But since it’s nearly impossible to foresee the amount of time your case will take (especially in such a constantly changing area of the law), this arrangement means it will be virtually impossible for you to know how much your legal
fees will wind up costing.

Considering all the unforeseeable expenses prospective parents encounter, it’s a great advantage to know up front what your legal fees will be. You can do that if you hire an attorney who works on a flat fee basis. When you retain an attorney for a flat fee, you can budget for your legal fees in advance. Of course, there may be some additional expenses, such as court filing fees, but these are usually minimal.

4. Where are you licensed to practice law?
Attorneys must be licensed by each state to practice law there. As you will discover when you begin your search for legal advice, individual lawyers and firms in this field come from all over the country. It’s a great advantage to have an attorney who is licensed in the states relevant to your case. Your attorney should be licensed in any states in which any medical procedures are being performed. And if you’re using a “third party” (egg donor, sperm donor, surrogate/gestational carrier), you should try to have a lawyer licensed in at least one (and ideally more) of the states in which the individuals reside. Of course, it would be impossible to find an attorney licensed in all 50 states, but it is important to find an attorney licensed in the state(s) where your clinic is located, where your baby will be born, where you live, where any third parties live, and where the IVF procedure will take place, etc.

5. Do you have a knowledgeable and experienced support staff?
When you retain an attorney, you’re not just hiring one lawyer, but the entire law firm. One sign of a good attorney is having a capable and confident staff who can assist you when the attorney is unavailable. Although a lawyer’s support staff can’t offer legal advice, they can ensure that all other aspects of your case are handled in a timely and professional manner. (On the other hand, a “solo practitioner” who has no office staff, or an attorney with poorly trained or inexperienced personnel, can make the entire process more difficult.) If possible, try to find out how long the employees have been working with the attorney; a high turnover rate may indicate some problems in the office itself.

Melissa B. Brisman is an attorney who practices exclusively in the field of reproductive law and is considered by her peers to be a leader in her profession.  Ms. Brisman’s experience and qualifications are unparalleled.  She employs an experienced and qualified staff of legal and administrative professionals and is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and   Pennsylvania.  Ms. Brisman has a practice, Melissa B. Brisman, Esq., LLC, located in Montvale, New Jersey, offering a full range of legal services in connection with gestational carrier arrangements, ovum, sperm, and embryo donation, and adoption.  In addition, Ms. Brisman is sole owner of Reproductive Possibilities, LLC.  Reproductive Possibilities, LLC is an agency offering a donor record-keeping service which maintains contact information for intended parents and their anonymous ovum donors for a period of years following a donor arrangement.  Reproductive Possibilities, LLC also facilitates gestational carrier arrangements.  Ms. Brisman is also sole owner of Surrogate Fund Management, LLC, a company that manages escrow in connection with reproductive arrangements.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Series: Egg Donor Frequently Asked Questions - #8 What Happens Once I'm Selected to be an Egg Donor?

What happens once I am chosen by an Intended Parent and agree to be their Donor?
  • The entire process should take between 6 to 8 weeks.
  • If the Intended Parents and you agree to meet, we will schedule a meeting that will be facilitated by Heartfelt Egg Donation.
  • You will receive a contract and you will meet with an agency-appointed attorney for legal consultation and contract review.
  • We will schedule your initial required psychological evaluation and testing and medical evaluation.
  • The treating physician will counsel you through the process and inform you of your schedule and how and when to begin taking the fertility medication.
  • You will be scheduled for a procedure that will remove the eggs from your ovaries. This procedure usually takes about 30-40 minutes and is done under sedation in an outpatient setting.
  • You will receive your compensation check within 7 days after the retrieval.
How long will it take to be matched?
This is not something we can predict. Some donors have been matched within one week of applying; others have taken as long as one year and some may never be matched.
How much time will I have to take off from work or school?
Appointments are usually early in the morning, so little or no time is missed. You will need to schedule an entire day for the egg retrieval. If your retrieval requires travel to a city where the Intended Parents doctor is located you may have to take additional time off of work or school. All travel and accommodation requirements will be arranged and paid for by Heartfelt Egg Donation on the behalf of the Intended Parents.
How much will I be paid and when will I receive the check?
Heartfelt Egg Donation has signed an agreement with the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) that states that we will abide by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Ethics Committee Guidelines governing the payment of egg donors. The guidelines pertaining to appropriate donor compensation specifically state: "Total payments to donors in excess of $5,000 require justification and sums above $10,000 are not appropriate." Donors will not be compensated over $10,000 under any circumstance. Typically, you will receive your check within 7 days of the egg retrieval.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Testimonial: A Kind Thank You

January is always a contemplative month. Like many, I look back on the previous year and all that's happened and think about the possibilities of the new year not just for me personally and professionally but for the prospective parents and donors I work with at Heartfelt Egg Donation. The most exciting thing about doing what I do is learning that there are successful pregnancies and babies being born to well deserving parents. 

This letter came recently and I truly appreciate the kind words.
Dear Suzanne, 

Lord knows that this letter of thanks is very long overdue but I hope that you will accept my apology for the delay nonetheless. 

At this time of year as we all reflect on our many blessings I am constantly reminded of how fortunate I am that I found you and your agency to help me in my endeavor to create a family. Words cannot adequately express my sincere gratitude for everything that you did for me. 

First and foremost, you are a person true to your word which is a rarity in today's society. You have integrity and to me that is priceless. I would recommend you to anyone going through the donor process. You were reliable, returned every phone call and e-mail in a timely fashion and made me feel very secure during an otherwise stressful time. I never once had to worry about things on your end. I honestly felt at all times that you had everything under control and that you had my best interests at heart. The fact that my husband and I received a refund from you of money that was not spent adds testimony to your honesty. 

I am truly grateful to you and my donor for providing me with this incredible opportunity to form a family that I wouldn't have been able to do on my own. I don't want to jinx anything but I can say that as long as things continue to go well there will be lots of celebrating in the new year on the East Coast. 

I'll keep in touch, 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

25 Reasons to Donate Your Eggs, by Abbie Waters

Provided by: Abbie Waters of

You’ve started thinking about donating eggs. You’ve done a little research online looking at egg donor agencies and programs. Maybe you’ve even made a list of the pros and cons of egg donation. But you’re still on the fence, unsure of what to do. To help you make your decision, here are 25 more things to think about!

25 reasons to get off the fence and become an egg donor
1. It will help you get over your fear of needles.
2. You’ll be making a child without getting stretch marks.
3. You’ll get to witness the wonders of modern medicine first hand.
4. It will make you feel powerful in your ability to make positive social change.
5. Many women and men desperately need eggs to make their families, and you could help them do that.
6. The entire egg donation process only takes a few months.
7. You’ll learn cool words like human menopausal gonadotropin.
8. You’ll learn more about the ethics of egg donation and assisted reproduction.
9. You’ll get to see ultrasound images of your ovaries. If you ask, you can probably get some copies for your wallet.
10. You’ll learn more about your body, your menstrual cycle, and human reproduction in general.
11. Donating eggs will give you an appreciation of the beauty and power of your body.
12. Donating eggs will give you an amazing symbolic connection to a family.
13. The experience will deepen your capacity to empathize with others’ suffering.
14. If your recipient is infertile, you can raise public awareness about infertility.
15. If your recipient is gay, you can raise public awareness about gay parenting.
16. The compensation could help you pay off your debts or start your retirement savings.
17. “I’m an egg donor” makes a great conversation starter at parties.
18. All the medical examinations and meetings with the egg donor agency will develop your communication skills.
19. Going through the entire process shows others that you are a dedicated person who accomplishes your goals.
20. You’ll be able to look back on the experience with pride.
21. The egg stimulating drugs they give you will temporarily make you a living fertility goddess.
22. You’ll have plenty of time to update your Facebook profile while waiting at doctor’s appointments.
23. You’ll be a member of a very small, very unique “sorority” of women who have donated eggs to others.
24. It will be a story you can tell your children and grandchildren.
25. You might be lucky enough to experience the joys of Lupron-induced hot flashes!

So what about you? What reasons would you give to a young woman thinking about becoming an egg donor?