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Donating your embryos

Gifting the incredible gift of parenthood

Helpful tools

What is embryo donation?

Some couples who undergo IVF treatment may have remaining frozen embryos, patiently waiting to fulfill their potential. However, not every couple requires all of their embryos to complete their family. This is where the magic of embryo donation comes into play. By selflessly donating their remaining embryos, these incredible couples create an opportunity for another couple or woman to experience the incredible journey of parenthood.

Socially, it is a bit more complex than other donor treatments because donation often results in full siblings, forging an unbreakable bond between two families – the recipient's and the donor's family.

Most of the work associated with embryo donation involves preparation of donors and recipients for the key ethical issues they might have to contend with. They are:

  • minimising any potential harm to children involved
  • children having information about their genetic origins and their siblings
  • ensuring everyone is fully informed about the psychological, social and ethical issues before they go ahead, so there are no regrets or surprises later.

Regulation of embryo donation

Embryo donation requires an application to ECART. ECART has set rules around who can consider embryo donation and who can receive the donated embryo. Because of the ethical issues, embryo donation has some extra requirements beyond what is needed for sperm or egg donation. For instance;

  • The donors and recipients have joint counselling where they meet each other, and children may need to be included in counselling in a way that is appropriate to their age.
  • Recipients need to have a police check in the same way as before adoption. The donors will be able to see the police check, although the recipients’ names will be removed.
  • Like other types of donation, there is also screening for sexually transmissible diseases, and disclosure about the donors’ health and the health of their children.

The journey to donating your embryos

Throughout our clinics, we offer a comprehensive and supportive process helping you to donate. Here's a look into our step-by-step journey:

  • Start by contacting us to inquire about donating or receiving embryos. We're here to answer all your questions and guide you through the process.
  • Book a counselling appointment for an initial discussion. Our expert counsellors will provide valuable insights and support to help you make informed decisions.
  • As recipients, attending our education and preparation sessions is crucial. These sessions, held regularly at Orangi Tamariki Adoption Services, will equip you with essential knowledge about raising a child who is not genetically related to you.
  • Consent to a police check is an important step for both donors and recipients. Ensuring the safety and well-being of all parties involved is our top priority.
  • Our clinic will then apply to the Ministry of Justice for a copy of the police check, ensuring a thorough screening process.
  • Donors and recipients will complete a non-identifying profile, which will be forwarded to our dedicated counsellor. Rest assured, your privacy is of utmost importance to us.
  • A second counselling appointment will be scheduled to delve deeper into the issues involved and review the profiles. We're here to address any concerns and ensure a comfortable and transparent experience.
  • Donor couples will have a medical appointment with a Fertility Associates doctor. This step includes checking medical history and completing infection screening.
  • Recipients will also have a medical appointment to assess their health and physical suitability for treatment. We prioritize your well-being throughout the process.
  • Our team will coordinate donor and recipient requests, ensuring smooth communication and understanding between all parties involved.

If you are thinking about donating embryos, the donor needs to pay for the initial counselling consultation. After that, the costs are covered by the potential recipient.  To find out more please read helpful links below or contact your local clinic.


Further info and FAQs for embryo donors

How long does the donation process take?

Embryo donation is a complex process that may take 6–9 months to complete.

Do donors have to undergo treatment?

Apart from tests, the medical consultation and counselling, there is no medical treatment for the donors. 

Are there any costs for donors?

If you are thinking about donating embryos, you’ll need to pay for the initial counselling consultation and the embryo storage fee until the consent form for embryo donation is signed . After that, the costs are covered by the potential recipient.

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The Biological Clock

This tool indicates:

  • Natural conception per month if you have no fertility issues
  • IVF success rate at the same age
  • When to seek help after months of unsuccessful attempts

If you are concerned at any stage – we recommend booking a doctor appointment or a free nurse consultation. The sooner you make a plan the better your chances in the long term.

When to seek advice early

  • If you have polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, or have been through a cancer diagnosis; we recommend you get in touch quickly so we can talk you through all your options and give you the greatest possible chance of success.
  • If you’re a single woman considering motherhood in the future; it’s best to approach us early and consider egg freezing as this can be an option for you while you have a higher ovarian reserve and healthier eggs.
Set your age and the months you’ve been trying to conceive
Your chance of having a baby per month for fertile couples
Your chance of having a baby per IVF cycle (if experiencing infertility)

Body Mass Index calculator

Being overweight or underweight can reduce fertility, so it is important to keep your body weight within the normal healthy range.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is an indication of your body weight and can be calculated by dividing weight by height. You should aim for a BMI of between 20 and 25, as this will optimise your chances of conception.

Woman’s BMI below 19

Even in these modern times, nature knows best. If a woman's BMI falls below 19, the body senses famine and ovulation is switched off to prevent the risk of having a baby with malnutrition. Excessive exercise can reduce body fat and increase muscle mass to a point where periods cease for the same reason. Risk of miscarriage is also increased in women with a low BMI.

Being underweight

If a woman's BMI falls below 19, the body senses famine and ovulation is switched off to prevent the risk of having a baby with malnutrition. Excessive exercise can reduce body fat and increase muscle mass to a point where periods cease for the same reason. Risk of miscarriage is also increased in women with a low BMI.

BMI’s greater than 30

This can reduce fertility by 50%. Pregnancy for women with a 30+ BMI is often associated with problems such as maternal diabetes, high blood pressure, big babies and increased risk of caesarean section.

Add your height and weight to calculate your BMI