South African Egg Donation from a fellow Aussie
From a Fellow Aussie ….
I highly recommend Gift Ov Life http://www.giftovlife.com/ all I can say is A MAZ ING. I spent A LOT of time researching overseas ED agencies, I found South Africa to be THE best. Cape Fertility Clinic is the ivf clinic we used, Dr Le Roux. I researched many egg donor agencies and found Gift Ov Life to be the only agency who actually cared and did everything to help me choose my donor angel. One of the other donor agencies actually said to me “do you want to get pregnant, choose a donor” but none of their donors really had what I was looking for.
My fertility specialist has had a few girls use Gift Ov Life/CFC and all came back pregnant first go (including me). I found Gift Ov Life absolutely wonderful and without a doubt can highly recommend them. I was dealing with a few other agencies but found Gift the most helpful. Tami even suggested I send her a picture of myself and she came back with the donors who best suited me, it helped me out a great deal. It does get very overwhelming, choosing a donor it’s not like choosing a hand bag or a pair of shoes on line! I wanted THE best and the most suited to me and Gift Ov Life had a greater selection than any other agency I had looked at. I also felt the “other” agencies were rushing me to chose and didn’t have the best suited to me.
The process to my surprise was actually fairly easy. Once you choose your donor Gift Ov Life offers to get in contact with Cape Fertility Clinic for you, you then receive an email from CFC which clearly outlines everything you need to know including test results, costs and the process. Some bloods they required we already had, just make sure yours are up to date ie within 12 months, if not you just have to get a few more jabs.
All communication is done via email, you get assigned an IVF nurse as well as an IVF doctor, the IVF nurse responds to your emails almost straight away (given time difference) 80% of their business is from international clients so they are extremely professional and have done this for a long time.
You need to be in South Africa for a total of about 10-14 days.
I chose a SA donor agency as for me I didn’t want to see any adult photos, it is illegal to see adult photos of SA donors.
I can honestly tell you it was the most wonderful experience. going through Gift Ov Life and Cape Fertility Clinic, I can 100% recommend. Tami and Dawn from Gift Ov Life are truly angels. Dr Le Roux from CFC is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. CFC seemed so be even more advanced than my clinic, my husband and I were quite surprised.
Using the 2 agencies is no problems at all, Gift Ov Life is affiliated with CFC, they are also affiliated with numerous other wonderful fertility clinics, CFC is just who I chose. Once I chose my donor I was really only dealing with CFC. Everything was done via email, even Dr Le Roux would reply to our emails, it was so straight forward. I chose my donor in November and went over in January, so very quick.
We actually used our frequent flyer points to save a bit on the flights. We got a cheap flight to Sydney and used Qantas from Sydney to J’Burg then we got cheap flights to Cape Town. I can recommend Mango and Kulula, cheap airlines that travel from J’Burg to Cape Town and vice versa. The great exchange rate really helps.
Attached is info on where to stay, car hire if you want it, things to do while you anxiously wait for your donors egg pick up/waiting for your blastocysts to grow. It can feel a little daunting at first but it is really a very simple process. Especially when you arrive to SA, it’s really simple, I got scanned the next day, then we dropped off a fresh sample of my husbands swimmers as we froze them just in case we needed them for the future and only I had to go back, the next time was the day of the egg pick up to drop off the swimmers for ICSI then 5 days later for the transfer, so you do have a bit of time to fill in while waiting to do.
With Cape Fertility Clinic Dr Le Roux’s nurse emails you a medical questionnaire which also asks for tests results like HIV, syphilis, day 3 fsh, rubella, hepatitis, tsh, prolactin as well as a scan of your pelvis (the image you get when your fs checks your lining.) My DH and I emailed our fs the tests that were required and she emailed them to us which we forwarded on. The tests needed to be within 12 months, not all of mine were so I had to get a few more jabs.
It is 100% totally anonymous in South Africa, it is illegal to see adults photo’s, and I definitely did not want to see my donors photo. You do see photo’s although they are of the donor as a baby/toddler or photo’s of their child or children. You get a very detailed bio on all donors which I found fantastic. Right down to their personality traits.
I wanted blonde hair, blue eyes, a non-smoker, young and a proven donor (whether she had kids of her own or had done a donation previously) My donor was in her late 20’s
I never in my wildest dreams thought that my first embryo transfer would result in a positive pregnancy let alone both embryos taking (we transferred 2) Our SA fs recommended it. To get to SA – home it took 6 flights in total and a bit of extra money is spent than if you did a donor cycle in Australia, it was worth the gamble for such a small percent of success 20% where in SA it’s 70%!!!
The cost for CFC is about $7k and about just over $2k for Gift Ov Life. My DH had a look into whether we can claim any of this on tax and apparently we can, obviously not flights and accommodation (which you will need to factor in) and we used frequent flyer points to save some costs.
My fertility clinic told me it is about $6k for ED in Australia. For me I wanted the ED to be anonymous, hence why I didn’t advertise for an ED here in Oz. To me it was worth the extra money spent going o/s.
And in case I forget, a tip for anyone traveling to SA. The flight to J’Burg (for us going over and on the flight home) was about 90% full, I suggested to my hubby to try and book our seats on line before leaving and to try and get a seat between us to be empty. We booked seats not too far from the back, we got a row of three then booked a window and an isle seat. We thought our chances were low and if someone traveling alone would be allocated this seat then we would just offer them which seat they wanted so we could sit together but to our surprise my idea paid off…. on both flights!! This allowed me on the way home to stretch out and get some rest to allow the beautiful embies to snuggle in tight. Also I suggest looking into seatguru.com it’s a great website to find your flights plane and recommended seats.
I hope this info has helped you.