LaMothe Surrogacy Consultants offer an entire surrogacy management package. This package is offered to those who have already found their surrogate though their own search be it a family member, friend, or through online classified ads. This Package includes the initial meeting plus assisting in all of the details of a surrogate arrangement without the matching process. This package lasts from the time you pay our retainer, throughout the medical and psychological testing, contract negations, embryo transfers (max 3 transfers with the same surrogate), pregnancy and birth. Attending appointments and birth are included in this service with you only paying the additional travel expenses. Please call us for pricing and further details.
Here is a brief outline of some of the services included in this Full Service LaMothe Surrogacy Consultants Package:
Initial meeting including materials for you and your surrogate
Assting you in finding a psychologist for the mental health screen
Helping with a health, life and disability policies if needed
Finding an attorney for the surrogate and Intended Parents
Being available for embryo transfers and other appointments
Arranging to send verbal/e-mail agreements between parties to the attorney to be included in the contract
Coordinating and/or locating a RE/clinic to work with the surrogate arrangement (in the case of a satellite office if needed)
Assisting with locating a "surrogate friendly" OB office
Coordinating escrow/trust Accounts for the distribution of funds throughout the contract time frame
Assisting with mediation and/or counseling
General case management and support
Attending transfers/appointments and births
(Plus travel expenses)
Call LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting for your FREE 40 minute consultation to learn more about our services. 727-458-8333
If you are considering donation your sperm for the
insemination process, there are many factors to consider. Sperm donation is not a matter that should be
taken lightly. Instead, it should be a
decision that is well researched and thought out. You should know all you can about the
donation process and especially about the legal facts for sperm donors. While there are many legal factors to
consider, perhaps the most important is that of your parental responsibility to
any children born from your sperm donation.
Many clinics have detailed contracts that outline these
responsibilities, and it is wise that you read each contract and understand it
fully before signing your name to it.
Additionally, there are a few ways you can donate sperm, and
not all of them take place in a clinic.
You can complete an insemination at a legal fertilization clinic by
donating your sperm at a donation center, or a home insemination can take
place. The legal responsibilities for
parental rights and responsibilities if a child born from home insemination
vastly differ from the parental responsibilities of a child born from a
clinical insemination process. This
article will discuss three very important legal facts that every sperm donor
through a legal facility
When you donate your sperm through a legal facility or
clinic, you will not be classified as the child’s father and you will not have
any parental rights towards that child.
Many clinics offer what is called an open donor program, which allows
you to provide your information to the clinic should the child ever want to
contact you, or which allows one contact from the child when the child is of
age. However, while these options are
available, they are not considered part of your parental responsibility.
Donating sperm to a
single woman via home insemination
If you donate your sperm to a single woman via home
insemination, it is highly possible that you could assume parental
responsibility for that child, as the woman can choose to name her partner or
the sperm donor as the child’s legal father on the birth certificate. Even though you may have discussed the
decision prior to the birth, the woman still has the power to change her mind.
Donating sperm to a
married, unmarried, or same-sex couple via home insemination
If you donate your sperm to an unmarried or same-sex couple
via home insemination, you could also be in the same position as with the
single woman. The same-sex couple could
choose to name you as the father on the birth certificate. However, you are protected if you donated to
a married couple, as the male will automatically be deemed the father on the
As you can see, the legal responsibilities differ in each
situation, so it is very important to decide what type of parental
responsibility you are comfortable with having before you decide to donate.
About the Author
Michelle Patterson is a nurse with years of experience in
the insemination process. She suggests looking into California Cryobank for more helpful
information regarding the legal aspects of sperm donation.
Last April, Walgreens and CVS began selling the SpermCheck Fertility test, a $39.95 over the counter test that determines whether men have a normal sperm count. Fertility experts share that there are other critical factors such as motility (movement characteristics of sperm) and morphology (appearance of sperm) as equally important which are not tested. Additionally, the test measures a normal sperm count at 20 million or more sperm per milliliter of semen while the industry standard for optimal fertility is 15 million, potentially causing unnecessary concern for men with a negative test result. When taking the test, men who test positive for 20 million or more per milliliter of semen see a reddish line in their test results, while those who have less than 20 million per milliliter do not see a result. The test is 96 percent accurate and will be sold at 7,800 stores across the US in April.
Dr. Ed Marut, Medical Director of Fertility Centers of Illinois, is concerned men will be misguided with their test results. “SpermCheck Fertility exploits the reluctance of men to be evaluated for their fertility properly and may give couples a false sense of hope or cause unnecessary anxiety. The test gives a very simplified result without taking into account additional health conditions. A negative test result may really be normal, while a positive test tells nothing of the other critical parameters of a real semen analysis, such as motility and morphology. Men need to receive a thorough, accurate semen analysis interpreted by a reproductive endocrinologist to accurately maximize chances of pregnancy success.”
In order to understand male fertility, it is critical to understand the main components involved, which are illustrated below. Couples are also encouraged to complete basic testing for fertility if they have trouble conceiving. Fertility Centers of Illinois offers a fertility check-up for couples which includes bloodwork and a semen analysis evaluated by a board certified reproductive endocrinologist for $90.
Sperm Health: What Men Need to Know
It is critical for men to have a healthy sperm count for optimal fertility. Men with at least 15 million sperm per milliliter are well within a normal, healthy sperm count. The average human ejaculate contains about 180 million sperm (66 million/ml), but some ejaculates contain as many as 400 million sperm.
A healthy sperm has an oval head and long tail, allowing for the sperm to be propelled forward effectively. When a sperm has a small, large, misshapen, crooked or tapered head, its ability to fertilize an egg is decreased. Sperm with tails that are doubled, curled or kinky are also unlikely to fertilize an egg. Fertile men have a normal shape and structure to 14 percent of their sperm, but at least four percent is thought to be the lower limit of fertilizing capacity.
The ability of a sperm to propel itself and move forward is imperative to successful conception. Sperm that are immobile, slow or have inhibited motility due to morphology abnormalities are unable to reach the egg for fertilization. Fertile men have 40 percent or more of their sperm exhibiting healthy motility.
Men with a lower sperm count, low morphology or low motility may need the assistance of reproductive endocrinologists to optimize fertility odds. This can be accomplished through a variety of infertility treatment methods such as methods such as semen processing for intrauterine insemination and In Vitro Fertilization using ICSI (the injection of a sperm into an egg.)
# # #
Fertility Centers of Illinois, S.C., is one of the nation's leading fertility treatment practices, providing advanced reproductive endocrinology services in the Chicago area for more than 30 years. FCI physicians, embryologists and support staff are stringently chosen based on educational background, medical skills and their ability to collaborate. With a team of 11 nationally and internationally recognized reproductive physicians who treat thousands of patients each year, the practice has earned a reputation for overcoming hard-to-solve fertility issues. FCI is dedicated to medical and clinical excellence and continues to invest in the latest technologies and research. FCI offers a comprehensive range of fertility treatment options including intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, donor egg, gestational carrier, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis, as well as extensive resources to address financial and emotional needs. Fostering a culture for continuous innovation has made FCI home to the annual Midwest Reproductive Symposium which attracts experts in the field of reproductive endocrinology from around the world. FCI has 10 offices conveniently located throughout the Chicagoland area (Buffalo Grove, Chicago/River North, Crystal Lake, Glenview, Highland Park, Hoffman Estates, Lindenhurst, Naperville, Oakbrook Terrace, and Orland Park). FCI is a member of the Attain Fertility Network which provides discounted fertility treatment programs. For more information visit www.fcionline.com
It has been a little over a year since I visited the Seattle Sperm Bank (SSB) and I was really impressed at the dedication and professionalism that they shared with me at that time. This year my visit showed me that the growth and community outreach had exceeded my expectations!
I met with Eric Kendall who is the Seattle Sperm Banks Clinic Liaison (I first met Eric at this year's ASRM in San Diego) and Angelo Allard who is the General Supervisor. I took my tour (as you can see from the photos) and I was let in on some of their ideas for future growth and expansion. One of the ideas that they are working on at this moment is something called the donor of the month. Basically you can buy one vial of sperm for IUI or IVF and get one free. The featured donor is one who has not donated as much as the others on the SSB data base. They are hoping to post the featured donor of the month 3 months in advance so that clients can plan to take advantage of the donor best suited for them.
Speaking of the amount of times a sperm donor can donate to the Seattle Sperm Bank (SSB) the answer is 25 families worldwide per donor and no more than 10 times in one area of 80,000 population or less.
Quite a few people I talked with before my tour asked about compensation. I think it's quite widely known that Egg Donors are reimbursed for their pain and suffering upwards to $10,000.00 +. Not so for Sperm Donors. After the physical exam a donor can start donating and will receive $60 for each approved donation. SSB approves over 90% of the donations that their sperm donors deliver. $40 is paid in cash to the donor when delivering the sample. The remaining $20 are paid in cash when the sample has gone through the final approval. Of course there is a lot more testing before acceptance and you can go to their website and read all about it: http://www.seattlespermbank.com/become_a_sperm_donor.asp
Let's move on to something that has been a HOT topic in the media lately: Open Identity Donors. At the Seattle Sperm Bank, open identity donors have committed to at least one contact with the child, when the child reaches the age of 18. The contact must be initiated by the child; customer identities are confidential and are never released to sperm donors. There is no requirement that the donor commit to any sort of long-lasting relationship with the child, although the donor and the child may arrange to have further communication. All donors are required to go through a maturity evaluation by the sperm bank’s managing director and donor coordinator to ensure they understand the consequences of their decision to become an open identity donor.
Although prospective parents don’t get to meet a sperm donor before choosing to use his donated sperm, there is a lot to learn about donors through profile information. Often donors will list their reasons for donating along with detailed information about themselves. At the Seattle Sperm Bank, they have found that open identity donors are usually willing to provide more detailed information such as baby photos and extended profile information to the sperm bank. (By the way it a Washington State LAW that all donations be open identity!)
Another item that we discussed was the issue of pediatric oncology patients who are of an age where they could actually preserve their future fertility through freezing and storing their sperm. This is something that SSB wants to do more of and is committed to reach out to local oncologists and share their program with their clients. (as you can see from the photos they do have the equipment !) This is just the tip of what the Seattle Sperm Bank has in store for the future! (A little bird mentioned an upcoming seminar....)
I am very impressed at how smoothly this operation is run and how SSB is always ready toshare their expertise with me.
Medical advances in alternative forms of reproduction are easily outpacing the culture, leaving same-sex couples sometimes facing years of frustration.
Same-sex couples starting families are headed to primetime in The New Normal, a fall sitcom from NBC based on two gay men looking to start a family with the use of a surrogate. It’s one of the first expansive and relatable looks into the process. But a local affiliate station in Salt Lake City, Utah banned the comedy because it worries that this show about families is “inappropriate” to be watched by families.
Even in the show, Bryan and David must contend with the surrogate’s bigoted grandmother. The New Normal might be, as Jonathan Kipp of Oregon Reproductive Medicine, a leading fertility clinic for LBGT couples, “another step in showing Americans that our country’s families are diverse.” But it’s also a hint at what couples who try surrogacy experience when confronted with a culture not yet prepared for a “new normal.”
According to U.S. Census data from 2010, an estimated one-quarter of all same-sex households are raising children. The Census didn’t ask how many used alternative reproduction. But for those couples, the expensive process comes with a host of frustrations and little support during the search for a donor.
Just how expensive — costs associated with alternative reproduction run steep and can prove to be challenging for couples.
• Surrogate fees range from $20,000 to $40,000. • Insurance coverage for the surrogacy cycle ranges from $15,000 to $25,000. • Program coordination fees for surrogacy range from $15,000 to $22,000. • Egg donor fees range from $5,000 to $10,000. • Program coordination fees for egg donation range from $4,000 to $8,000. • Doctor's office fees, labs, medications, and the like range from $13,000 to $20,000 and more. • There will also be incidentals such as attorney fees, psychological and genetic consultations, complication insurance policies for donors and travel expenses that could add an additional $1,500 to $5,000 and up.
April Nelson, 38, an attorney, and Margaret Fiore, 49, a corporate trainer, of Mayfield, Md., began discussing whether to have kids several years into their relationship. The couple of seven years opted for IVF and now have twins, a boy and a girl named Addison and Avery, who are now almost 4 years old.
Nelson and Fiore’s journey began in the summer of 2007 when first exploring how to get pregnant "the old fashioned way," Nelson jokes, referring to simply using anonymous donor sperm for insemination. The couple encountered their first hurdle, however, when it was determined by doctors that Fiore's likelihood of producing a viable egg was minimal because of her age and hormone levels.
Then the couple spent a few months considering options, and with Nelson still midway through law school and Fiore having always wanted the pregnancy experience, they decided to try in-vitro fertilization (IVF) using eggs from Nelson implanted in Fiore.
"The process was exciting and terrifying and exhausting all at the same time," said Fiore. There were periods when both were on injection hormones and making multiple visits each week to the fertility clinic. The couple underwent mandatory counseling sessions to ensure they "knew what they were doing," and Nelson had to participate in even more assessments required for egg donors. The clinic was open affirming, but neither its policies nor the law were truly prepared for how to "categorize" them.
Do you know someone trying to have a Family of their Own? Find out how to make it possible by joining me, Sharon LaMothe of LaMothe Surrogacy Consulting, and get all the information you need to become a family at Family of My Own Fertility & Adoption Conference on Saturday, September 29 at the Wyndham Glenview Suites.
This is the premier event in Illinois that will bring together top medical professionals and industry experts in one room for one day.
Couples who are trying to start a family, but have questions, reproductive health and adoption experts will be available to answer questions on the latest advances in fertility as well as adoption. In addition, the business expo will feature leading companies that will showcase products and services relevant to fertility and adoption. Sponsors of the event to date include aParent IVF, Fertility Centers of Illinois, InVia Fertility and Walgreens and to register for the event visit www.AFamilyofMyOwn.com
Infertility is a challenging and rewarding field of nursing, and one that is evolving rapidly and dramatically, requiring nurses and other healthcare practitioners to constantly remain current with the latest state-of–the ART technology. Those in practice, as well as nurses in transition, accept that this ever changing arena requires an ongoing commitment to pursue new information, techniques, and best practices. And, equal in priority, is the IVF nurse’s sensitivity to parents’ quest to create families and the fragility of early embryonic life.
The Annual REI Nursing Congress: Scientific & Therapeutic Approaches To Assisted Reproductive Technology (STARTARTSM) provides a unique and comprehensive educational opportunity, featuring critical updates on the latest advances in reproductive medicine, from procedures and protocols to psychosocial and legal issues. The goal of this Congress is to provide late-breaking information and cutting-edge techniques to improve ART outcomes - a goal that is matched by the IVF nurses’ skills, compassion, and caring that make this field so remarkable.
This activity is intended for the education of nurses, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare professionals specializing in reproductive medicine and assisted reproductive technology. (It's great for surrogacy and egg donation agency owners too!)
During lunch on both Thursday, August 4 and Friday, August 5, participants will have the opportunity to join accredited sessions of interactive roundtable discussions. Topics will be posted at the meeting registration desk, where participants may sign up for discussions of issues of special interest. A moderator or faculty member will lead each group. (I am, once again, planning to lead a round table on the topic of Gestational Surrogacy.)
You would think that with my long history, over 11 years, in the Assisted Reproductive Technology world I would have visited a sperm bank by now. I mean, I have been invited into surgical units and witnessed egg retrievals, I have been invited into labs and watched eggs being fertilized in a number of ways, I have been present at MANY embryo transfers, and had the privilege to behold the miracle of birth via surrogacy more times then I can remember, so you would think that I would have knocked on the door of one or two sperm banks by now! The Seattle Sperm Bank located near the University of Washington, which is the American division of the European Sperm Bank based in Denmark. Gary Olsem and one of the lab technicians, Christina, was kind enough to invite me to tour the bank and then answered some very pressing questions that I had collected from Facebook and current clients.
I started my tour with Christina whom I had met previously at the ASRM conference that was held in Denver in October of this year. I was brought into a room that had a few tanks in it and instantly started asking questions! They were a lot bigger then I though but had guessed correctly that this was what the sperm was shipped in. So here are the shipping facts: People purchase usually 2-3 vials at a time but the same container can hold 10-25 vials. (not that you would want to order that many and in a moment I will tell you why!) Shipping to the East Coast is $150.00 2 day FedEX and that includes the return trip. There is a $50.00 extra fee for over night. I actually asked if many people need over night shipping and Gary told me that I would be surprised at how many women called needing their shipment yesterday. "Don't they PLAN ahead?" "Apparently not." These containers will keep the sperm frozen for up to 3 weeks and NO, you can not take them out of the container and pop them into your freezer at home. That would be just a waste of money.
New Sperm Samples
The men on the Seattle Sperm Banks long list of eligible donors are between the ages of 18 and 39. Really the 18 year olds are few and far between (to my delight) however no donor is required to have a psychological evaluation. None. Why is this? Apparently because the procedure is no where near as in depth as that of your egg donor. (However it's not only about procedure but that is for another blog). There are 3 hoops that these gentlemen have to jump through. The first is the initial screening and meeting which includes a free sperm analyst and most of those don't make the first cut. Not that they are infertile themselves but if their sperm doesn't freeze well or make the thaw then its just not worth it to take the risk. Some may have some very real male factor infertility and they are told what the issues are and are referred to a mental health professional at that point. So basically these men have had a free semen analyst and it ends there. No, they did not get paid yet.
The second hoop is a meeting that ends with yet another semen sample and a full education of how the program works. This is also unpaid and requires more forms, questionnaires and paper work. FDA guidelines are followed to the T.
The third hoop and last meeting before becoming a "real sperm donor". An Audio Interview is done, a personality test is taken, baby photos are shared, and Blood work is required, STD testing, a sperm deposit that will be kept in storage and this is also when money exchanges hands. How much money you may ask? $40.00. Yes...that is Forty Dollars, American. And another $20.00 in about six months once everything is cleared. So how much can you actually make being a sperm donor? Well, through the Seattle Sperm Bank you are allowed to 'help' 25 families and you can donate up to 3x per week. (Although most just donate once per month.)
Speaking of 'helping families' 25 donations seems like a large number but lets remember that there are no regulations and although the ASRM has guidelines on egg donation of only 6 donations per donor there are no guidelines for sperm donors. (and if there are, they are incredibly hard to find compared to egg donor compensation and donation guidelines which pop up at the touch of a button...) I asked if there were any thoughts to how many families in one location that would could be helped by a single donor and found that it depends on location. If you live in the UK then it would be 10 donations for the entire United Kingdom. Australia, 5 donations and so on. So it seems that each country has its own thoughts on the matter.
A frozen 'cane' with vial of sperm
Lets get down to the nitty gritty...how much does it cost to start your family using sperm from the Seattle Sperm Bank is quite reasonable. Depending on how you are going to do it....IUI (Intrauterine Inseminations) through your clinic the cost is $490.00 per vial (washed sperm) and for at home inseminations its $390.00 ICI (unwashed sperm) and that includes the cost of the insemination kit! Most people order 2-3 vials at a time. So lets see, if you are ordering 3 vials, and live on the east coast AND are doing in home inseminations then the cost would be $1320.00 which would include your shipping and handling charges. Now remember, there are no guarantees that this is going to work the 1st round. (or the 2nd or the 5th) Would it be cheaper to go to a clinic and do IUI under a Reproductive Endocrinologists care? In the long run, perhaps so. You would be paying for IUI's at the clinic however you would be monitored and if medications were needed then you would find that out and, believe it or not, a RE knows what he/she is doing! Plus, timing is everything!
One frozen vial on a 'cane'
Just for the fun of it I asked about directed donation and how much it would cost to store sperm. The storage fees are $75.00 per month and $350 per year. Not to bad if you don't have to wait long.
Remember when I stated that these containers could hold up to 25 vials? I wanted to mention that you do NOT want to order any more sperm then you can use in a cycle unless you have a place to store it near your home. Remember that the containers only keep the sperm frozen at the ideal temperature for up to 3 weeks....after that all bets are off. Or you could have a party and the SSB will ship several different donors sperm in one container and you can share the cost.
I wanted to thank Gary Olsem for all of his time and Christina for answering my endless questions.
If any of my readers would like more information please contact: Gary Olsem Seattle Sperm Bank LLC 4915 25th Avenue NE, Suite 204 Seattle WA 98105 Ph: (206) 588 1484 Fax: (206) 588 1485 Email: [email protected]