Ethical Business Practices Among Agencies
This SEEDS Ethics Principle is intended to refer specifically to ethical business practices among agencies in which donors are being shared between programs, are registered with more than one agency, or have personal information online that could be accessible to competing agencies within the industry.
There are situations in which a donor has registered with more than one agency in order to optimize her chances of becoming an egg donor. This is not illegal and the donor has a legal right to do this, so competing agencies will often present the same donor to intended parents. SEEDS Ethical Standards would suggest the following business practices be applied:
1.) Whichever agency has matched the donor first, inclusive with paperwork confirmed by both the egg donor and the intended parent(s), has the ethical right-of-way to continue with this cycle first. The second agency may work with the donor for the subsequent cycle should the donor confirm her desire to do so.
2.) Should a donor apply to a second or third agency and is honest about having previously applied to competitors, the agency(ies) should not tell the donor she is currently matched, when she is not, in order to keep her from being matched elsewhere.
In order to maintain good business practices among agencies on behalf of the families we work with, SEEDS Ethical Standards suggests that the following business practices among agencies should not be used:
1.) Offering a donor who is currently matched with another agency a higher fee if she switches agencies;
2.) Creating a “bidding war” between intended parents for the same egg donor to see who is willing to pay the highest fee;
3.) Encouraging a donor to request or accept a fee higher than other agencies she has applied with.
Agencies should not visit sites of their competitors or work with intended parents who have access to competitor donor profiles with the intent of finding information out about the donor and contacting them independently. This includes but is not limited to:
- Finding the donor(s) on Facebook or other social media sites with the intention of having them donate with their agency.
- Obtaining access to competitors’ websites, either by legal or illegal means, in order to obtain personal information about specific donors with the intent to contact them regarding egg donation.