Donor & Surrogacy Solutions

Donor and surrogacy solutions are also known as “third-party reproduction” solutions. Some individuals or family groups need an egg donor, sperm donor or gestational carrier to have a child. Olive has extensive experience and expertise in guiding prospective parents through every stage of the process.

Choose a Solution

Donor eggs

Donor Eggs can be from an anonymous egg donor or from a known egg donor.

(Non-Identified) Anonymous Donor Egg Program

Olive works with Donor Egg Bank USA, Pacific Northwest Fertility and Asian Egg Bank, which provide eggs from healthy donors throughout the USA and abroad. These programs will either ship frozen eggs to Olive where they are fertilized, or we will ship sperm to their clinic for fertilization and have the  embryo(s) shipped to us at Olive. In all cases, the embryo transfer happens at Olive Fertility.

The Process

Choosing a Frozen Egg Donor

Egg donors are selected by reviewing an on-line bank of donors. Many different ethnic groups are represented in the egg bank, and donors undergo a rigorous medical, genetic, and psychological screening process. When you review an egg donor profile, you learn about the donor's education, medical history, and personal interests. You can also see pictures of donors to choose one that bears a close physical resemblance to your own family.

 

Before an Egg Donor is Chosen

We make sure your uterus is healthy, your hormones are balanced, the sperm is healthy and you have spoken to a reprodutive counsellor. Then you will choose your egg donor.

 

Once you choose your egg donor, we will make sure she is a good candidate and a genetic match.  You will then pay for you eggs and embryos are made.  It will take around 4-6 weeks until the embryos are ready before you can start a frozen embryo transfer cycle. 

 

You then take estrogen tablets for about 2 weeks. We check the lining of the uterus with an ultrasound, and if the uterus looks ready, we add progesterone (injections and vaginal tablets). The embryo(s) is then transferred into your uterus a few days later. Two weeks after the embryo(s) is transferred, we find out if the cycle was successful.

 

Success Rates

If you are concerned about the viability of using fresh vs. frozen donor eggs, know that our pregnancy success rate with frozen donor eggs is about the same as with fresh egg cycles.

 

The live birth rate is about 50% per embryo transfer and most women get more than one embryo transfer from a single “lot" or group of eggs. The donor egg programs we work with have programs where you can buy individual "lots" of eggs (6-7 eggs), or you can pay a higher fee and get up to 6 lots, with your money back if a successful pregnancy does not occur. These programs are called Assured Refund programs (DEB) or Guaranteed Live Birth (PNWF). If you choose the Assured Refund Program, there is a greater than 90% chance you will have a baby.  For More information please contact Sue McKeachie our egg donor nurse coordinator.

Directed Donor Egg Program

One for individuals who are unable to achieve a pregnancy with their own eggs is to use eggs from a directed egg donor (DED). The egg donation process has worked for many families. It could very well be the right choice for you if you are able to secure the right donor.

The Process

The Directed egg donor comes to an Olive Centre for medical, genetic, and psychological screening. Health Canada requires we complete specific screening for your donor within a time frame in relation to the egg extraction/retrieval. This includes: physical examination, blood and urine testing, and an extensive health and family history questionnaire. This will require two trips for out-of-town patients: one for screening and one for the egg the IVF and egg retrieval process.


The known egg donor then goes through an IVF process where she injects hormones to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs. The eggs are retrieved, then fertilized with sperm from either the intended parent(s) or from donor sperm. The resulting embryos are grown in the lab for 5-7 days until they reach the blastocyst stage.

 

The blastocysts are then either frozen for a future transfer into your uterus, or biopsied for PGT-A (chromosome) testing, and then frozen.

 

In Canada, known egg donation must be altruistic (payment of a directed donor is prohibited beyond reasonable expenses related to treatment).  Counselling and a legal agreement are completed before starting any medications.

 

In order to become a directed egg donor at Olive, the egg donor must:

  • Be a non-smoker under 36 years of age
  • Have a BMI under 40
  • Have an adequate ovarian reserve as determined by an Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) blood test, and/or an antral follicle count (AFC) ultrasound

 

 

  1. Intended parent connects the DED team with the donor.
  2. Screening phone call with a nurse
  3. Referral from a family doctor to Olive Fertility Centre in Vancouver, self referral required if donor does not have Canadian health care (ADD LINK to self referral page HERE)
  4. Blood work, including AMH blood test (cost around $100)
  5. Optional genetic carrier testing
  6. Phone call with an Olive physician to discuss the process and treatment
  7. Review of the treatment plan with the DED team, review of educational videos and consent forms.
  8. Counseling session and legal contract are organized
  9. Directed Egg donor comes to clinic to complete questionnaire, physical examination, injection teaching and medication purchase.
  10. Start the IVF-egg retrieval process!

Next: Gestational Carrier Program (Surrogacy)

Gestational Carrier Program (Surrogacy)

Olive is experienced in helping family units who require a surrogate to have a child. A surrogate is also called a gestational carrier (GC). The GC carries and delivers a child for a couple or person, called the intended parents. The GC does not use her own eggs and is therefore not related to the child she is carrying.

The Process

Once a gestational carrier is identified, they are screened to be sure they are healthy and psychologically ready for the process. If they pass the screening, then a legal contract is completed and an embryo is transferred into the gestational carrier in a simple procedure at Olive. The screening process and legal both take approximately one month to complete, then the embryo transfer takes 2-3 weeks.

 

Payment of a GC for surrogacy is prohibited in Canada, though her expenses can be reimbursed.

 

In order to become a GC at Olive, the GC must:

  • Have had uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery (born at term)

  • Be a non-smoker under 40 years of age

  • Have a BMI under 35

  • Be healthy

A gestational carrier can be someone known to the intended parents or someone they get to know through an agency. Here is a list of agencies to consider:

 

Anu Fertility

 

Canadian Fertility Consultants

 

Canadian Surrogacy Community

 

Canada Surrogacy Options

 

Ja Surrogacy

 

The cost is approximately: $5000 GC screening, $8000 legal contract, plus $3000 for the embryo transfer. The cost of IVF is in addition to this as the embryos need to be created prior to embarking on surrogacy.

 

To get started reach out to our surrogacy nurse coordinator

Next: Donor Sperm

Donor Sperm

Donor sperm insemination is the process of placing sperm from an anonymous or known sperm donor into the intended parent’s uterus at the time of ovulation.

When to Consider Donor Sperm

Donor sperm can be used by:

  • Single women
  • Family unit or couples where sperm is absent (such as lesbian couple or couple where intended sperm provider has issue with sperm quality or quantity)
  • Family unit where intended sperm provider has a hereditary disease

 

Donor sperm insemination is the same as intrauterine insemination, except that the source of the sperm is a donor rather than someone within the family unit.

 

There are two options for donor sperm: Directed Donor (a person you know) or Anonymous Donor.

Directed Donor

If you are using a directed or known donor, the potential donor will need:

  • Infectious disease testing
  • Semen analysis
  • Consultation with a counselor to discuss the implications of donating sperm.

 

A directed donor may have parental rights and obligations, so these implications should be considered seriously. Legal consultation is required.

Anonymous Donor

Anonymous sperm donors are extensively screened for infectious disease, medical problems, psychological problems, and diseases that can run in families (e.g. genetic disorders).

 

Sperm banks provide information on the sperm donor's race, height, weight, personal history, academic performance, and many other demographic details. Also, depending on your preference, you may choose to see photos of the donor and read an essay they have written about themselves.

Can the Child Contact the Donor or the Donor Contact the Child?

There are two types of anonymous sperm donors: open and closed. An open donor, also called identity disclosure donors, will allow the child to contact them once they reach the age of majority (18). Closed donors do not permit this contact.

How Long Can the Sperm be Stored?

Sperm can be stored indefinitely. Healthy babies have been created from sperm stored for over 20 years.

How Successful Is It?

It depends on your age and fertility status but success rates are between 5%-25% per month if you are under the age of 45.

How to Get Started

After your Olive physician has assessed your fertility, you will see a reproductive counsellor and our donor sperm nurse to get started. Depending on the results of your testing, your doctor will suggest a treatment plan, ranging from simple intrauterine insemination (IUI) to IVF-ICSI.

 

It takes about one month of preparation to get started with donor sperm insemination.

LGBTQ2SIA+ Family Building

The physicians and staff at Olive Fertility Centre have been helping LGBTQ2SIA+ family groups and individuals grow their families for over 20 years

Inclusion of all gender and sexually diverse people is an important value of Olive Fertility Centre. We are continuously striving to create an environment of compassionate belonging where all of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community are supported, valued and respected.

Olive Fertility Centre resides on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Tsleil-waututh Nations (Vancouver and Surrey clinics), of the Lekwungen people (Victoria clinic), of the syilx/Okanagan people (Kelowna clinic) and of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation (Blossom Fertility clinic in Prince George).

© 2022 Olive Fertility Centre. All Rights Reserved.