Working with an Anonymous Egg Donor
An anonymous donor is not known by you, the recipient. With anonymous egg donation, the egg donor's true identity (name and address) is kept confidential in order to ensure privacy and anonymity. Similarly, your identity will not be disclosed to the donor.
The majority of egg donations are anonymous donations. Many intended parents feel better knowing that their egg donor will not be involved during pregnancy, and as they raise their child.
Anonymous donors are compensated for their time and effort during the donation cycle. The compensation is set by the agency/program.
There are two ways to find an anonymous egg donor:
- Review a donor pool and select your donor. You might review
a pool of donors associated with an IVF clinic or from an external
donor agency that works with the IVF clinic.
Typically you will make your selection by reviewing an online list or database of donors that usually includes a profile and photos for each donor.
- Your IVF clinic will find a suitable donor for you. In this case, you don't select the donor (you do not see a donor profile). Instead, the clinic makes a match for you, usually based on matching your physical characteristics and other characteristics that you request. The clinic may provide you with some minimal information about the donor.
Also, the donor will be given no information about you, or about the cycle, other than how many eggs were retrieved, and sometimes, whether or not a pregnancy resulted.
If a women wants to become an egg donor, she must meet certain minimum requirements of that agency/program. It's important to ask the agency/program what are their minimum requirements, as they do vary.
Egg donor programs usually require egg donors to fill out lengthy applications and extensive questionnaires. This information is then usually displayed online in an egg donor database.
Each donor has a profile so that you can read about the different donors that are available in order to make your selection. Often you can search by desired characteristics (e.g., hair color, eye color, race, education, etc.).
Profile information often includes:
- medical history
- reproductive history
- genetic screening
- photos (baby and current)
- written responses to questions inquiring about ancestry
- physical characteristics
- academic strengths and weaknesses
- personality traits
- goals and accomplishments
- and sometimes video or audio files
Exceptions to the rule
While most programs keep the identity of donors and intended parents confidential, there are exceptions. Some programs allow for more openness and may specify donors who are:
- willing to meet the recipients
In some programs, you and the donor can meet to get to know each other and to ask questions once, while still remaining anonymous.
- willing to be identified later
Some donors give permission to be contacted once the child reaches a given age.
- want ongoing relationships with recipients
Some programs specify donors who want to (or are willing to) maintain periodic contact with you, through an occasional written communication or photo. In some cases donors are willing (or want) to play a closer role as a special family friend.
If you are interested in one of these types of more open relationships
with an egg donor, be sure to look for an agency/program that offers this.