Every year, hundreds of couples in Michigan, like tens of thousands of couples around the world, achieving their dreams of having a child with the help of women who donate their eggs. Becoming an egg donor in Michigan is very similar to becoming an egg donor anywhere else in the United States, except that governmental monitoring of every step of the process can be very intrusive. Recent legislation in Michigan requires:
- Tracking of every egg and every embryo at every assisted fertility clinic,
- Reporting to State of Michigan whenever a woman miscarries, and
- Public record of the decisions of parents on the disposition of embryos not used in in vitro fertilization.
Michigan law also defines surrogacy as contrary to public policy, and allowed a surrogate mother to have the twins to whom she gave birth removed from the homes of their genetic parents by the police when she learned the mother was receiving psychological counseling. The severity of Michigan laws for egg donation and surrogacy makes it likely that egg donors will not be able to direct their donations in any way, and to waive all parental rights over the resulting child. More often than in other states of the United States, egg donations are anonymous.
Apart from legal considerations, the medical procedure for becoming an egg donor in Michigan is very similar to any other state. A prospective egg donor calls assisted fertility centers for applications. Women are expected to have been non-smoking for at least three months, at least 21 years old but not yet 30 (for first-time donation), normal body mass index, and not be on Medicaid, because of medical billing issues. Women who take antidepressants are not allowed to donate eggs, and prospective donors will probably be asked to take the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, often at their own expense. Egg donors will also be tested for syphyllis, gonorrhea, HIV, and Chlamydia.
After prospective egg donors are screened and approved, they are matched to recipient families. This process considers the recipient family's desired donor characteristics and the donor's family medical history. Donors who have health problems in their families are likely to be rejected at this point. If approved, however, then they undergo two months of hormone treatments to stimulate the maturation and release of 10 to 20 eggs--their own insurance paying for the costs of the procedure. The actual harvesting of the eggs requires a day off from work, and a procedure done under sedation. The drugs used to sedate the woman undergoing the procedure wipe out any memories of pain. Unlike some states, such as Florida, egg donors in Michigan are paid for completing the process of donation, although they are not compensated for travel expenses or time off work. If the egg donor completes about eleven scheduled appointments and goes through the collection procedure, then there is compensation, usually in the thousands of dollars. Failure to go through the entire process, of course, cancels any potential payment.