In Spain, egg donation is regulated by Law 14/2006 on Assisted Human Reproductive techniques, which establishes that there must not be any ties between the donor and the recipient, thus making sure donation is anonymous and confidential.
This anonymity works both ways, that is, the donor will never know if her eggs resulted in a baby being born nor its identity, and the mother and the baby will never have information about the donor, apart from the physical characteristics and information relevant to pregnancy monitoring.
Furthermore, the Spanish regulations state that donation is voluntary and altruistic, and as such, the donors receive no payment for it. However, financial compensation for physical discomforts, travel and labour expenses derived from the donation is contemplated within the legal framework, and it varies between €800 and €1000. In this manner, the Spanish legal framework ensures that no donation is commercial in nature or profit-driven.
Additionally, the Royal Decree – Law 9/2014 defines the quality and safety standards for donating eggs, their procurement, processing and distribution. The European law on traceability and safety of donated samples finds its expression in this norm in Spain. For this purpose, the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality created a platform called SIRHA, which provides the necessary tools to enforce the law.
Spain is a world leader in donations, also in the area of organs and transplants. Our donors, asked about their incentives, driven by solidarity and empathy all mention the need to help other women to become mothers.
Egg donor selection at IVI
Our donors play a crucial role in helping the patients make their dreams come true. That is why at IVI we make sure they receive the highest possible level of health care and that both our patients and donors are always given a central focus during each and every treatment.
To become a member of the egg donation programme at IVI, the donors must undergo a medical and psychological assessment. A thorough gynaecological examination is given as well, which will rule out the presence of irregularities of the reproductive organs and help us study the ovaries to predict the donor´s response to medication and the potential number of eggs.
The absence of transmissible diseases such as HIV, hepatitis and syphilis will be confirmed, and the blood group and Rh factor will also be checked. Finally, a genetic screening will be performed, including karyotype analysis, which gives us information about the chromosomes and CGT, which reduces the risk of transmitting more than 600 diseases. That way, our donors receive extremely valuable information about their fertility, their state of health and their potential to become mothers, which can be of help while planning to become mothers themselves.
Only those candidates who meet all the requirements and are completely prepared to go through the process and ready for the responsibility of being a donor, are accepted. As of today, this means that only one in three women who visit IVI and are willing to donate eggs actually get to donate.
IVI, one of the largest frozen egg banks
Thanks to the gamete donation programme, IVI has one of the largest egg banks in the world. This means we have a great variety of physical characteristics (phenotypes) at our disposal and that we can allocate the right eggs quickly, even when dealing with rare blood types. This way our patients do not have to sign up for long waiting lists to start the treatment with the best guarantees.
In the UK all donors must be between the ages of 18 and 35, fit and healthy, and have no history in the family of inherited diseases or genetic disorders. All egg donation treatment has to be non-anonymous. This is a requirement by the HFEA, the regulatory body of human reproduction in the United Kingdom. Under UK law, once the child reaches the age of 18 they will be able to contact their donor if they so wish. However, it is important to note that the parents have no legal obligation to tell the child how they have been conceived and the donor has no legal rights or responsibilities of the child once it is born.
The identity of the donor will be provided to the child, not the parent. However, when choosing the donor, as a minimum the parents will have been provided with some information about the physical appearance, for example, their height, eye colour and hair colour etc. Also, many of our donors include a short bio including their hobbies and how they would describe themselves, as well as writing a goodwill message to any children born using their donation.
There are two different types of non-anonymous donation in the UK. Regardless of which treatment the patient chooses, the HFEA deem it necessary for all parties to attend a minimum number of counselling sessions. In these sessions, our counsellors will discuss all the implications involved when it comes to an egg donation treatment in the UK.
Donor from egg bank
These gametes will have been donated by a woman who has no connection to the recipient and who has chosen to donate her eggs purely out of goodwill. The women will have only been allowed to donate if they meet the criteria set by the HFEA, this includes the correct BMI, age and medical history.
Patients may choose to use a known donor, which means using the eggs from a friend or relative. There are restrictions when using this method to ensure the eggs do not share the same DNA as any of the recipients and the donor will still need to meet the criteria set by the HFEA to participate.
To learn more about donation in the UK and the egg donation journey, you can visit our IVI UK website.