Known (Altruistic) Egg Donation in Canada

If you have identified an egg donor in Canada, it is important to remember that the donor cannot be paid  for donating her eggs.    There are a number of steps for you to consider when embarking on a known egg donor cycle

For an egg donor to be accepted at the Ottawa fertility Centre, the egg donor must:

  • Be over 21 and under 36
  • Be a good candidate for hormone stimulation and egg retrieval (good ovarian reserve and healthy)
  • Have a BMI under 35
  • Have completed her family or have had her own children previously – successful pregnancy
  • Have completed a history and medical exam and testing to satisfaction of the fertility specialist at the Ottawa Fertility Centre
  • Attend a counseling session with a health psychologist
  • Obtain independent legal counsel and sign a legal agreement with the commissioning couple
  • Sign all appropriate consent forms at the Ottawa Fertility Centre
  • It is also important to consider the relationship between the egg donor and the recipient couple. There should not be an imbalance of power between the parties (E.g.: the egg donor is an employee of the recipient couple)

Both the recipient couple and the egg donor and her partner are required to undergo counselling. Each couple will spend one hour with a counsellor trained in the psychological aspects of third party reproduction in order to explore the psychosocial ramifications of donating and receiving gametes but especially as this may relate to children conceived through treatment. Our centre has an independent consulting psychologist who can provide this service, Dr. Patricia Gervaize. Dr Gervaize can be reached at her office in our centre at

We require both the donor and the recipient couple to obtain legal counsel before embarking on an egg donor relationship. While we do not endorse any lawyer or legal firm in particular, the following lawyers have experience with assisted reproduction.

Erin Lepine, LLB – Nelligan, O’Brien, Payne (Ottawa)
Sara Cohen, LLB – Fertility Law Canada (Toronto)
Sherry Levitan, LLB – Fertility Law (Toronto)

  1. Review all treatment options with your fertility specialist  and determine that egg donation is the right treatment option for you.
  2. If you have found an egg donor who is willing to donate her eggs to you, make sure she meets criteria for egg donation set by the Ottawa Fertility Centre
  3. Meet with the health psychologist
  4. Arrange for the recipient couple to  meet with the health psychologist
  5. Arrange for the recipient to undergo a medical consultation with the fertility specialist
  6. Meet with a lawyer to draft legal agreement between the egg donor and the recipient couple. The egg donor must have separate representation
  7. Sign consents with the fertility specialist prior to the start of treatment


There a number of agencies or consultants in Canada that work with couples to find an egg donor. However, couples need to be aware of the laws pertaining to the purchase or sale of eggs in Canada and fully understand the role of the consultant or agency prior to proceeding. We recommend starting with a reproductive health lawyer who can guide your decision to use an agency or consultant. We do not recommend or endorse using a particular consultant or agency.

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