Asian going through DE process

(71 posts)(18 voices)
  1. I don't know how many out there going through similar situation to ours.

    Both my husband and I are Chinese living in the United States. I am 41.3 and my husband 45.9 years old. We've gong through hell in the past four years pursuing a live child of our own, so far, no luck. With my age being the major issue of our infertility, we really don't have many choices left.

    Adoption: we actively tried the international adoption (In China), but just found out the law here pretty much prohibits us from adopting an alien child since our status is still just legal permanent residence (green card holders). So that is a dead end, at least for the next several years.

    We can continue try IVFs using my own eggs, but with the low odds we are given, we just could not keep throwing $$ in this number game.

    The last option is DE. While we are actively seeking this route to complete our dream, there are some practical problems we have to face.

    (1) not too many Asian donors out there. We browsed a couple databases, and found there almost non Asian donor, not alone proven donors.

    (2) accepting donors from other ethnic groups. It was a big obstacle for me to overcome at first, because clearly my future children will look very "different," and using my sister words, "101 out 100 people would ask me questions about the origin of my child." But after going through the adoption hell, I realize I can live with the fact that my child is not genetically mine. The fact of DE can have my DH's link is certainly a plus. We sometimes talk about how cute and maybe smart our babies can be coming from mixed ethnic backgrounds. I know it is silly, but I am afraid I will always have this feeling that my husband and his family would have more claim of our children than I would, especially if my baby does not look like me at all, while in fact, I am the one who wants children so badly. I am also afraid my children will have to face scrutinizing and confront many "innocent" questions from very earlier on. It is just too much for a child to carry.

    (3) cycling in Asia. I did not find much promising information so far about using an unknown donor in any of Asian clinics (such as in Korea or Hong Kong). I would certainly hope to hear if you have any information.

    Meanwhile, we are trying on our own until we are settled. I hope this thread can generate some discussion, and I will share mine once we have made any progress.

    Winter

  2. ferda, sorry to hear you've been through all this cr@p. having had to select two donors myself, i'm well aware that Asians are poorly represented. i also have a sister who is Korean and about to research donor egg, having the same problem. what about advertising for a donor in a big, heavily Asian university? Berkeley, for example, or UC Irvine are two that come to mind. there are plenty of attorneys who will help with the contract (if you pm me, i'll send you the contact info for the one we used- we were very pleased).

    i seem to recall that some of the west coast agencies had better representation than others- like creating new generations in oregon or washington-

    hope this helps

    pilma

  3. Thank you! pilma, for this new information. I have PMed you.

    I have never thought of adversing for a Donor, and I would really hope anyone can share information here on this. I hope the price is not outrages as we are stretched thin already with this DE procedure itself.

    Winter

  4. hi winter, sorry to hear that. we are in the same situation but had gone through many cycles with mine and none worked. the only thing it would help us would be going through egg donation. we had used 3 different donors before and still none worked. we are now going for the last attempt this summer. if that doesn't work, we are not sure what we are going to do. maybe adoption but not sure yet....$$$ is the problem. we are not in our 40's yet but worrry every day. this whole infertility is a very stressful process.

    i can recommend you a few agencies that have asian donors if you decide to move on to donor for help. if you live in the west coast, there are many donors located there and can save you alot from traveling. we live in the east coast and the donor we pick is located in west coast. we have to pay for traveling but the medical parts are paid by our insurance (it helps alot). The agencies are:
    1. asian eggdonation (asian donors only and currently we are using them. the agency fee is reasonable and the owner is very nice. you need to call them in order to get the donor lists. this agency is located in the east coast)
    2. the donor source (used them before. they are responsvie but expensive. most donors are in the west coast) the password to get in their database is spring (username) and bloom (password)
    3. Extraordinary Conceptions (never use them but talked to them. they are responsive to my message.. you need to call them for password and most donors are west coast)
    4.The Egg Donor Program & The Surrogacy Program (never use them but had talked to them. very expensive unless you live in california. most are west coast donors. call for password
    5. Jacquelyne Gorton, Nurse Attorney, (never use them but they seem very nice and direct. they post the donor's result online and the price is reasonable too. we like them but didn't find a donor we like.

    best of luck to you.

  5. Hi, Baby 2006,

    I am so sorry to hear that you've been so much! I cannot image how much pain and frustration undergoing 3 DE cycles. This whole IF thing is simply a torture.

    Thank you very much for the information on the agences with Asian donors. I will start to look them these days. Do you mind if I PM you if I have more questions?

    Just a vent...

    I had a breakdown yesterday and cried my eyes out (still have this big headache now). This DE thing is a big leap of faith for me, as the dream of having part of me to live dies with the process. I do fear that I may not succeed even with DE, which happens to many. My other fear is that, even with a suceess, my future child(ren) will look very different from me and she or he will have to face others' scrutinization from the very beginning of her/his life. How am I going to protect my child(ren) when the community that I live in still can not accept the whole idea of DE.

    Winter

  6. hello winter, yes you can send me pm if you have questions. yes with the iF things, i have been through so much. the good thing is that my dh and I are keeping this a secret. this whole process no one is aware of it not even my family nor his family. the only person knows in my family is my sister who i trust to keep secret. if this cycle works, we do not plan to tell but not sure the future. we do not think too much now because it's too complicated to solve the problem. the more i think the more problem it gets. therefore, i have learned alot to relax now. i do understand how you feel about losing the genetic link but at least the baby still have your dh's gene. please don't feel bad. i am not sure if you have open up with everyone about the de process. for my opinion, i would not want to tell anyone unless someone i can trust. we are doing a cycle now. if the cycle doesn't work and if we plan to adopt in the future then we will tell our family about adoption only.

    please don't put too much pressure on yourself. you need to stay strong and don't give up hope. i am still hanging here and hoping for the best. stressing yourself is not a soluation so you need to see the bright side. i see some women become mom in their 50's. i am not sure if you are aware of this site, "looking to be a mom thru egg donation". this site is all about women going through de cycle now. most women there are in the 40's and up and some are like me in the 30's. this is a wonderful site for questions and answers. check it out.

    take care and with regards ()

  7. Hi, Baby 2006,

    Thanks for your words. Obviously you have thought all these issues already. I also talked with one person (my sister) only about what we are up to. She seems supportive.

    I tried PM you but your PM is not set up as open. I have contacted with the Asian eggdonation, and yes the owner seems very nice. She is also quite honest by telling us majority of Asian donors don't come back after donate once so it is extremely hard to find a proven donor who also matches our criteria. Also browsed the Donor Source database, and glad to see their Asian pool is larger than I thought. Your information does bring light to us. There are a few we like and potentially work with. Cannot bring my hope too high though.

    I truly hope you will have success this summer!

    Winter

  8. Good luck in your search....we found several Asian donors at gracefulconcetion.com. You do not need a password....you may want to take a look.

  9. hi winter. i don't know how you set up the pm here. i don't post or reply often. i usually lurk here to see others' posting and to see if any related to my issue. i post it once in a while. my e-mail is kacmm05@gmail.com

    hmmm..i don't know if i have thought through all the issues but all i know is that being through so many disappointing cycles, i think i am numb now. life is still going on no matter what route we are in. think of it, there are so much poor people in this world and we are nothing compare to them.

    yes, it is very difficult to find the right donor becuase only fewer asian donors out there. we are not aiming high so we go with donor we both agree and most importantly has a healthy family background.
    there are many agencies out there may have a few asian donors. you can go online and type in the search for asian egg donors. you will find plenty agencies pop up.

    thank you for your wish. i wish you the best too.

  10. ferda,

    I\'m sorry for what you are going through. I am first-generation and think I can relate to the importance that family places on biological ties. I was fortunate to have conceived DS on my first IVF try. From my side of the family, only my sisters know. I chose not to tell anyone else for fear of them treating DS like a freak or looking for reasons to do so.

    DH & I have been TTC #2 for the last 3 yrs, paying mostly out of pocket, and I don't have it left in me to keep trying. Our infertility is also because of me. We are pursuing simultaneously international adoption and DE IVF - at this point, we want to be parents more than anything. I admit it took me 3 years, 5 IVFs, and probably DS' college fund to grieve over my loss and get here. But now that I am here, I am so relieved and I actually look forward to putting my efforts into expanding my family, one way or the other.

    Who to tell about DE IVF - DH & I plan to take the same approach. No one on my side, except my sisters, will know. DH is caucasian and his family is very accepting, so they will likely all know and instructed not to tell my family. We would also tell our child.

    As for Asian donors, not sure where you're located, but the West coast is by far the best option. There are many more multi-generation Chinese and there are many top clinics (OSU, San Diego, SRM Seattle). You may want to check with them on either in-house donor pools or have them recommend agencies with Asian donors. I know SRM has an in-house Chinese donor. Not sure how you feel about crossing race, but donors of other similar Asian races(Korean, Japanese) are also available. This is what I plan to do because a donor with my same race is more rare. I've also checked overseas, having returned from living in Asia. Singapore & Malaysia have decent DE programs and stats. They also have a good pool of Chinese donors. Not sure how much effort you want to put into it, but when I looked into it, I know it's not uncommon for women to go overseas for medical treatment. Perhaps check out the Asia boards and email some of the clinics people mention. The one I checked in Malaysia (sorry can't remember the name) was very good at responding and providing information. I was under the impression they were accustomed to working with overseas patients.

    Lastly, as far as having your DE child looking like you, I think you could try to select someone with the same physique, blood type, etc. But I don't know that it would matter because biological offsprings don't always look like their parents. If you choose not to tell your family & DH's family, they would not likely know and therefore cause some of the issues/concerns you've raised below.

    Good luck on your journey.

  11. Hi, maya,

    Thank you for your deep understanding to my fear and also thank you for sharing me your experience and the information about west coast and oversea infertility clinics. I have set up a couple phone consultation with a couple clinics in the west coast, and meanwhile contacting with donor agencies with larger Asian population. We finally see some lights now that we may be able to find a match if we have enough patience.

    The good news is that my DH has come to accept the idea of having a DE child and we are actively pursuing this route. Researching clinics and agencies is my full-time job now, and I have been procrastinating everything else for the past few weeks (a few weeks ago, all my time was consumed by searching China adoption. Oh, well, when will I have my life back). We decided not to tell anyone, for now. I am not used to the idea of holding a secret, so I don't know how long it is going to last.

    Good luck on your new journey of DE too.

    Winter

  12. ferda,

    I can only imagine how difficult it is to find that specific a donor, but when I was researching donors, my clinic seemed to have a few Asian donors, even a few that were of Chinese descent. I go to Genetics & IVF Institute, right outside of D.C. and their website is www.givf.com. I know it's a tough time, but they provide a lot of information and even adult photos, so it made me feel much better about moving forward with DE.

    nadiafilipfa

  13. It has been almost two months since my last post. I think I should come back to contribute what I have found so far (thanks to those who PMed me).

    (1) Asian donor agencies

    Initially, I found very few agencies with Asian donors; but I have received so many helpful tips on how to find these agencies. One particular is from this woman's website: worrierwarrior.wordpress.com. She composed a list of donor agencies, and made notes herself. Notice the list is a little dated right now (last update is Feb 2008, but she generously asked people to leave comments on her website or email her with updated information so that she can also update her list). I tried to contact several agencies through the list, and to my surprise, there are quite several agencies with a decent amount of Asian donors (20+) in their database. Most these agencies are located in the west coast, but there are a couple located in the east coast, such as aed-web.com. It really gave me new hope that with persistence and determination, I can find the one donor that fits our criteria.

    The downer is that most of these Asian donors are not proven. Some agencies told me that because of the cultural issues, most Asian women don't repeat cycling, which makes "proven" harder.

    (2) Clinics with in-house Asian donors
    I only contacted two clinics: The first is the Center for Women's Reproductive Care at Columbia University (CWRC) in new York. I was told there are 20-30 Asian donors in their program, and the wait is not longer than for donors from other ethnic group (approximately three months from initial consultation to the real cycle). The drawback is that you cannot browse pictures of donors and choose on your own, but to wait for their matching for you. The second is the San Diego Fertility Center (SDFC). There are a few Asian donors in this program, one to three, depending on when you browse their database. Yes, you can view their files and pictures once they decide to have a consultation with them.

    Both clinics have a pretty high successful rate (sart.org. They are also quite expensive, $28k-$32k for everything excluding traveling and lodging if you use their in-house donors. Of course, the cost is even higher if you cycle with them and use a donor through an agency.

    (3) Shared cycle vs. Full cycle
    I don't know anything about a shared cycle using Asian donors. I personally would not choose a "shared cycle." I've heard from several sources, an average Asian women donor in her 20s produce 10-20 eggs in one cycle. Not a lot for undergoing a shared cycle. I think.

    (4) Cycle oversea
    I did not actively seek this route, but heard from other people, paying DE compensation is illegal in many Asian countries and regions such as China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and perhaps Korea. So not so much luck there.

    That is what I have known so far. Will come back to write more once I make a significant progress.

  14. ferda, you are kind and helpful to post this. i printed it off for my sister. best of luck to you in your De cycle

    pilma

  15. ferda - I am asian and my husband is caucasian. Have you considered donor embryo? We are going the donor embryo route. Normally, would be a little more difficult to find, but right now there are some Vietnamese embryos available at Snowflakes. Snowflakes is a Christian adoption agency that treats embryo donation as an adoption, so more paperwork and steps to go through, plus an agency fee, but worth it for us as we were able to find an ethnic match for us there! You have to apply, but may be worth a shot.

    nightlight.org

    Renee

  16. Winter-Where do you live? I'm in LA and it's still difficult to find an asian DE. I've been looking for a DE who is either chinese, japanese, or korean (part or 100%) who do not have a history (family included) of diabetes, mental illness, and migraines. I want someone who is attractive and has a bachelor's degree or is pursuing one but is still under 21. Despite the fact that I'm open to other ethnic groups, I haven't found one and it has been over three months. I've checked out the sites mentioned below with no luck. I'm so frustrated. How are you doing?

  17. Hi, Renee, Thank you for your Donor Embryo information. It is something worth checking out. We will see how it goes with our upcoming DE cycle.

    Hi, Lacy, I live in Connecticut, but am open to travel for a best clinic and the right donor to cycle. Our criteria for donors are (1) East Asian origin, (2) healthy, and (3) proven. Initially, I checked donor profiles from various agencies and focused primarily on look and education, and then realized we will never be able to find one because those good-looking high-achieving Asian women either ask for ridiculously high compensation (one asked for $30k) or hardly meet our three primary criteria. So we pretty much just go by these three criteria. We are going to cycle with SDFC this summer with one of their two 100% Chinese in-house donors (both are proven). We are happy with our choice so far, but still on the fence because we are yet to overcome some hurdles to find out the exact cycle date. I am optimistic right now and will report back how my cycle goes afterward.

    Also, Lacy, love your posts on August DE cycle buddy thread -- I was a frequent lurker there because my cycle date could be in August but am too afraid to post -- had too many bad lucks in the past. Finding a donor is such a challenge, and I think it worths the waiting to find the right one. I know you will have a better luck in the West coast finding an Asian donor. I wish I could be that much open in terms of donor's ethnic background. Both my husband and I intend to keep it to ourselves so we focused only on East Asian donors. Good luck on your search!

  18. Winter-Is it me or a lot of the asian DE are, how shall I say this, appearance-challenged? hee hee.

  19. You are certainly not alone, Lacy!

    Also, it is striking to see how much different it can be in judging beauty in Asian women between Asians and others. That is why we cannot go to a clinic that would not allow IPs to see pictures of donors. I am just so afraid that they will pick someone for us they think the prettiest -- well, let's say, turns out to be someone I want to run away from.

    Judging beauty in Asian men, on the other hands, is quite universal. For example, who don't love Chow Yun fat!

  20. Winter-When I first met my DH, I needed glasses but didn't know it. So when we went on our first date, I squinted my eyes and looked at him closely to make sure he wasn't ugly or deformed. I'm glad he turned out dashingly handsome.

    I'm curious if you have you thought about using a caucasian DE? I did that the last time but won't anymore b/c I blame my hyperemesis for it. Asians tend to be smaller maybe my body just isn't used to working that much. However, you might not be a weakling like me.

    I am built for lounging, ha ha. When I go to the beach I dislike touching the sand and water, when we go walking I draw the line on hiking (soil is dirty), I'm not allowed to jog b/c of my right knee, and I think sweating is overrated. How about you?

  21. We did think about looking for a Caucasian donor, and this is my dream kid if we end of finding one. cbs.com. I loved him so much and had so many laugh with him when we watched Kid National last year (I am a big fan of KN).

    You can be the twin sister of my DH -- who likes water but does not walk on the sand. Hates hiking, gardening, or any exercises dealing with dirt or resulting in excessive sweating. I am okay with all these as far as I don't have to be exposed to the excessive heat -- Connecticut in July is hooooot!

  22. Winter-He's cute and he articulates himself very well, doesn't he? Is he a child prodigy or something?

    I found a new DE! She's not bad to look at, photogenic, good in school (you know how important that is!), her parents and both grandparents are either hardworking and/or educated, she doesn't have any serious diseases. Her family history is clean except for one of the grandparents has diabetes. I like the personality that she exudes on her profile. She's half-half and she lives in San Diego. Did you mention that was where you'll be cycling? What's SDFC?

    Ooooh, I know how hot and humid CT can get. I lived in Manhattan NYC for two years and the heat was stifling as much as the cold was freezing. Was fun while it lasted but I missed living in LA and having a heatwave during Christmas.

    Our temps is in the 80s with dry heat. Nice. I have a pool too. Super nice.

  23. SDFC is San Diego Fertility Center, one of the top DEIVF clinics nationwide. Since your donor is in San Diego (she sounds wonderful!), you may consider doing the cycle with them -- they have a lot of long-distance patients and so far my experience has been good. You only need to find a local RE who is willing to do the monitoring. You will like SDFC. They do screen outside donors to meet their own criteria, which may take extra time, but should be a good thing to have a top clinic thoroughly examine her (and you) before the cycle. Good luck on everything!

  24. Winter-How are you doing on your cycle? Have you decided on a DE?

    We'll be doing our cycle locally b/c our DE is willing to accomodate us with that. We added another $1,500 to her travel reimbursement, which is reasonable given the time, increased gas prices, and some more for motivation. I'm waiting for the agency to send us the paperwork so I can get this process started, but we can't begin until my RE returns from his vacation next week anyways. I'm just being impatient b/c I have been waiting for three months to get to this point.

    Did you find a surgeon to remove your fibroids?

  25. Hi, Lacy,

    Wonderful news on finding a donor that you like to cycle soon locally. $1500 is well spent considering you and your DH can spare the trouble of traveling and lodging. Hope the rest of the process goes uneventfully!

    I had a surgical hystereoscopy last Thursday, and nothing major (knock on the wood). I don't have my calendar yet but it is highly unlikely we will have transfer in August. Hope it is not too long for us to wait to start.

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