For Recipients:
Working With a Known Egg Donor directory of egg donor programs


A known egg donor is one which you find on your own. She might be a friend or relative, or you might advertise for an egg donor.

There are pros and cons to working with a known egg donor.

With a known egg donor who is related to you, you share some genetic material, and your child will have some genetic similarities to you. This is often what drives the desire to have a relative (such as a sister) be an egg donor.

Whether it's a relative or a friend, you most likely know the prospective donor well enough to not wonder about her looks, personality, interests, intelligence, health, and so on, and this can be a comfort.

Because there are so many issues surrounding the use of a known donor, emotional and otherwise, it is imperative that you are aware of these before you decide to embark on this all important journey.

Some things to think about

  • Although you may feel you can relate more closely to the child if the child is, for example, from your sister's egg, how will that change your relationship with your sister (or other relative) going forward?
  • If a friend offers to be your egg donor, might that put a future strain your friendship?
  • What is your expectation of the donor's role if a child is born? Will you worry that your child is getting too close to your egg donor? Will you feel threatened?
  • What will the child be told? What will others be told?
  • Does your donor have children of her own? How does this factor in now and into the future?
  • If you don't provide cash to the donor, how can you make her feel appreciated?

Some things to ask your prospective donor

  • If you have a husband/partner, how does he feel about your interest in donating eggs?
  • Would you be willing to participate a second time if we desire siblings for our child, or if a pregnancy didn't result from the first transfer?
  • Are you aware excess eggs may be fertilized and may be frozen as embryos?
  • How do you feel about the possibility that embryos may be frozen for a long time, perhaps for years?
  • How would you feel if we decide to give any extra embryos to another couple, or make them available for scientific research?
  • Would you be willing to participate in a counseling session with us to discuss relevant concerns? Are you willing to continue counseling indefinitely if the need arises?
  • Do you have health insurance in the unlikely event of post-surgical complications?
  • Do you understand the risks associated with the procedure and the medication?
  • Are you aware that we may have multiple pregnancies (e,g, twins, triplets)? How do you feel about this possibility?
  • What are your feelings about selective termination or selective reduction?
  • Can you accept the unlikely prospect that we might choose or need to abort a fetus?

Who can become an egg donor

Not all women are qualified to become egg donors. The donor program at your fertility clinic will have criteria for minimum requirements.

In addition, all donor candidates must be thoroughly screened before being accepted as a donor. Screening could take from one to two months to complete. Your fertility clinic will advise you about this. Types of screening are:

  • Medical screening
  • Genetic counseling
  • Psychological counseling

It is valuable, and often required, for you and your potential donor (along with your spouses) to meet together with a counselor, as well as separately.

You should select a mental health professional who specializes in fertility counseling. It is important that you identify, and try to work out, any current or future issues that may arise and that you get your agreement in writing.

Legal consult

You should consult with lawyer who specializes in reproductive law who knows the "ins" and "outs" egg donation, and should put all your agreements in writing.

 Additional information from external websites: