If the Egg Fits: How To Find the Right Egg Donor For Your Family
From Ivy League Egg Donors to Asian Egg Donors, the criteria you use to choose your egg donor should be personal to you. Read on for TLC’s advice on finding the right egg donor for your family.
According to an article published by the National Institute of Health in 2021, the most current numbers from the CDC indicate that the overall demand for donor eggs increased by 50% during the 11 years between 2005 and 2016. So, if you’re searching for the right egg donor for your family, you are among a growing number of people doing the same thing. Like others, you may wonder how to select the “right” egg donor. Here we will discuss some of the things you might consider and, more broadly, advice for navigating the process of choosing the egg donor best suited for your family.
What information is available in an egg donor database?
Egg donor databases are like treasure troves of info about potential donors. Though different agencies will have different policies regarding what is shared in a donor profile, TLC uses a curated approach with a private platform to assist intended parents in finding their ideal match without having to search through overwhelming amounts of information. Whatever data is available in a donor profile, here are some of the types of information you can expect to find:
Databases typically include basic details about the donor, such as their age, geographic location, general information, and other identification numbers. Information about the donor’s family background, upbringing, and lifestyle may also be included to help you know more about a potential donor. This might include information about their parents, siblings, and other family that the donor and family feel comfortable sharing. Many Intended Parents often find a connection with the egg donor through shared personal information.
A good egg donor database will also offer information about the donor’s physical attributes, such as height, weight, hair color, eye color, race/ethnicity, and other physical and personality traits. Some databases may include photos and videos of the donor at different ages to give potential recipients a visual representation of the donor.
Detailed medical history of the donor and their family members can also factor into your decision. This type of information may include any past or present medical conditions, surgeries, medications, and allergies. Information on mental health history may also be included. Results of genetic screening and testing done to identify any potential hereditary conditions or genetic disorders. Egg donor databases typically include information about an egg donor’s reproductive health, including details about their menstrual cycle regularity, past pregnancies, and any history of fertility issues or testing that has been completed.
Educational and Occupational Background
Details about the donor’s education level, occupation, and any special skills or talents they may possess. Egg donor databases may also include information about potential donors’ hobbies, interests, and activities they enjoy in their free time.
Keep in mind that egg donor databases are managed with strict privacy and confidentiality measures to protect the donor’s identity. Information in these databases is used to match potential recipients with suitable donors based on their preferences and medical needs. Additionally, regulations and practices related to egg donation may evolve over time, so you will want to talk with fertility clinics or egg donation agencies for the latest information.
With all this information available, how can I know what should be important to me in choosing an egg donor for my family?
Finding the right egg donor is a personal and important decision. Here are some steps to help you figure out the criteria that matter most to you:
1. Identify Your Priorities
Start by making a list of what qualities are most important to you in an egg donor. Consider physical characteristics, educational background, personal values, and any other factors that are significant to you.
2. Medical Considerations
Think about any medical considerations that are relevant to your situation. Some recipients may prioritize specific medical histories, genetic traits, or health factors in their donor selection process.
3. Genetic Testing
Decide if genetic testing is essential for you. The majority of fertility clinics will require an egg donor to complete genetic screening in order to identify potential hereditary conditions or genetic disorders.
4. Matching Values and Interests
Consider whether shared values and interests with the donor are important to you. Some recipients may prefer donors who have similar hobbies or cultural backgrounds.
Besides donor criteria, what other things should I be thinking about when selecting an egg donor?
While narrowing down criteria about the egg donor specifically is an important part of your decision process, there are other things you will want to consider. For example, you may want to consider whether you prefer an anonymous or open egg donation process. Some recipients may choose to have ongoing contact with the donor, while others prefer complete anonymity.
Legal and ethical implications of egg donation in your country or state may also play into your decision. You should take time to understand specific rules about donor anonymity and the compensation donors receive.
You will also want to take inventory of resources available to support you through the process. This may mean reaching out to your fertility clinic or egg donation agency, if you are working with one. Their professionals can guide you through the process and help you understand your options. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek their advice.
You may also want to seek support from your personal network, including your partner, family, or friends to have their input on your decision. Having a support network can be beneficial when making such an important choice. And if you still feel overwhelmed or uncertain, consider seeking professional counseling or support from a mental health professional who specializes in fertility and family planning.
Remember, choosing an egg donor is a personal decision, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Take your time, and don’t rush the process. Most intended parents are happiest with their egg donor choice when they search for someone who loosely fits their criteria, but also remain open to the feelings you have as you consider donors who don’t fit all your criteria perfectly but who you feel a connection with or like for an undefined reason. Don’t underestimate the value of allowing your intuition to play into your decision. Balancing checking the boxes on your list while allowing room for your intuition can lead to a positive and successful experience.