Today’s blog post is written by Delcie Adams, our Donor Coordinator at Intend. Delcie has extensive experience working with donors and knows what makes potential donor candidates successful. Here, Delcie details some of the most important qualities.
Non-drug user or smoker
If you smoke cigarettes, vape, or use marijuana, or any other drugs, you are not a good candidate for egg donation and will not qualify. Potential donor candidates will have to pass a drug panel (twice throughout the process) — and it’s likely you won’t pass a drug panel if you’ve used marijuana within in the last three months — or any other drugs, including nicotine.
Until you can commit to a drug- and nicotine-free lifestyle, you should wait to apply to become a potential donor candidate. If you’re already on our donor database and matched with an intended parent (IP) — and you don’t pass your drug screen — the match will likely be nullified. Please bear in mind: An invalidated match is not only devastating for the IPs, but also for the donor.
Stay free of cigarette and drug use, and the process will be a lot smoother for all. And, of course, appreciated by our staff who are diligent in seeing successful matches fully realized.
Being on time for a clinic appointment or Zoom with your agency is not only professional, it also shows respect for the staff working to help you through the process. Please heed this advice: If you’re running late, call the clinic and let them know. It’s a gesture that goes a long way. In fact, neglecting this common courtesy can influence whether or not a clinic (and our agency) will work with you again — for a potential second cycle.
Regular communication between your donor coordinator, as well as your case manager/nurse coordinator after a match are important to the success and ease of a donation.
If it takes more than 12 hours to hear back from a donor via phone call, email, or text, the process is delayed. Remember: We are all working assiduously in order to get you to your egg retrieval successfully.
Lack of communication also results in our IPs becoming anxious. And, if there’s anything these last couple years have taught us, it’s that we could all use a little less anxiousness in our lives.
So, please be available to communicate and respond to directives in a timely manner. It will make the donation process smooth. The less: Why haven’t they gotten back in touch? we have to ask, the easier it is on all parties involved.
Honesty and Transparency
At Intend we pride ourselves on being honest and transparent with our donors throughout the eligibility phase, as well as the donation process. We expect the same from our donors in return. Applying to another agency is absolutely fine, but we want to know about it up front.
It’s possible your other agency could match you before Intend — and it’s difficult to learn from a donor you’ve recently matched, that they’re already in-cycle somewhere else. In that case, you should not have been listed as “available” on our database in the first place.
And so, if you are working with another agency or clinic, it’s best to be up front with us. It’s also important to keep your profile up-to-date (for example, if you’re already matched or not currently available). This will help keep things organized and crystal clear with both agencies.
We also want to know if something in your medical history (or family medical history) has changed, too. Medical history is a big part of eligibility — and we know this can change over time. That’s why this is so important: Please be honest about your personal and family medical history while active on our donor database. Anything less could become an obstacle after you’re matched with a family. And obstacles, as we say, are barriers we’d rather not have to jump over.
If your main motivation (as an egg donor) is to help a family realize their dream of parenthood, excellent! If you’re motivated solely by compensation (and we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with that), you’re bound to get somewhat frustrated and impatient with the process.
It can take time to match a donor with the right family — sometimes months will pass before we have an official match. During the height of the Covid pandemic, for instance, it was taking much longer for matches to occur.
In my experience, the donors who do best are the ones who are focused on helping a family first, and not solely focused on their compensation. At the end of the day, we’re all working to change the lives of our IPs. That should be top of mind and the driving force to move you through the process with patience, grace, and a true giving frame of mind.
Be professional and treat others with respect. From your donor coordinator, case manager, nurse coordinator, doctor — and the hotel front desk person — everyone deserves to be respected and treated with kindness.
This is another “common sense” idea that many people forget about. This is also a time to be gentle and forgiving of yourself, too.
Being kind to yourself, and to others, isn’t only a wonderful practice during the donation process, it’s a life skill that has infinite, even immediate, benefits. I think we could all agree that giving and receiving kindness, as well as empathy, is something to cherish more in our lives. It will also inspire and excite people to want to work with you again.