Choosing an Egg Donor

Selecting an egg donor can be a difficult decision because there are many different factors to consider during the process. It is important to consider what characteristics and qualities are most important to you and to discuss these with your partner or support network if necessary. Here are some key considerations when choosing an egg donor.

Anonymous or Known Donor

You will be appreciative of the woman who is donating eggs for your pregnancy whoever she is, but one important factor to consider is whether you prefer a donor you know, such as a friend or family member, or an anonymous donor. Some intended parents prefer to choose a known donor so that the child will be able to form a relationship with her, whereas other parents prefer an anonymous donor that is found through an agency or fertility center. Choosing the latter can provide greater confidentiality and can make the legal issues simpler.

 Medical Background

Your egg donor’s medical background is very important because you want to have a child that is healthy and not at risk of hereditary diseases. Whether you work with a known or anonymous donor, a full medical analysis and screening will be performed on your donor before she can complete the egg donation.

 Physical Characteristics

For many intended parents, physical appearance is an important factor. For example, if all the family members have blonde hair and blue eyes, choosing these qualities in a donor may be very significant to you. Skin color and ethnicity may also be important depending on your own background. This is an area where it helps to determine the most important physical characteristics to you. You will have a lot of women to choose from, and so narrowing your preferences can save you time and stress.

 Personality Traits

If your egg donor is a friend or family member then you will already be well aware of her personality. If you are choosing a donor from an agency, you will be able to examine the donor profiles to gain insight into their personalities. Most people tend to think that personalities aren’t heritable, but for others knowing something about what kind of person the donor is makes it easier to create a birth story for their child that is empowering and interesting.

The egg donor selection process is different for everyone. Other factors you may need to consider include location, which can influence cost, or whether the donor is an experienced donor with proven success. Just remember to take the time to figure out at the beginning what are the most important attributes in your ideal donor and which are more secondary or optional

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.