Future Contact Between Donors and Families

Choosing an egg donor is an exciting and important decision. Intended parents consider many attributes before coming to a final decision and among them are a donor’s thoughts and feelings about future contact with any offspring created from their donation. An openness to future contact most often stems from a parent’s desire to provide their child with access to current medical and family history information. In addition, many intended parents are interested in making sure their child has access to information that will allow them to understand who they are and where they came from.

Growing Generations has created our donor profiles with this in mind-to help supplement the need for future contact as the only way by which donor conceived people can understand who they are and where they came from-it’s why we offer extensive photo galleries and videos of each donor. However, some intended parents have a strong desire for their donor to be open to future contact from offspring in addition to the profile they’ll have. Many donors are comfortable with the concept but like intended parents, they want to understand how future contact is managed.

Thanks to The Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) we’re able to refer our intended parents and egg donors to an independent registry where future contact can be initiated without revealing full contact details for any party. DSR is a website facilitating safe, direct contact with an egg or sperm donor. It was created to bridge the gap between seeking information and forming genetic connections for those conceived via assisted reproduction. Not only does DSR give people the potential to ask questions about where they come from or characteristics they’ve inherited, but it can also serve as a tool for those desiring information about family medical history. Modern-day DNA tests can only supply a limited amount of information. Obtaining answers to donor-specific questions can be reassuring, especially when the questions are so personal and details may feel unattainable.

Using DSR is simple. Users create a profile they use to post to the database or search for potential connections. There is also a search engine where people can look for connections using keywords, donor information, and facility information. If a connection occurs among the 78,000+ registered members, users have the option to upgrade their membership. Paid members can interact and communicate with connections they’ve made. The best part? All parties can do this without sacrificing personal privacy, because DSR works like a virtual post office box. It’s a non-intrusive option for those looking for answers to interpersonal questions.

If intended parents and their chosen egg donor agree to future contact, most often a provision will be added to their legal contract in which the donor agrees to register with DSR. If you have questions, we’re here to help!

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over 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 Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 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 Emeritus 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’s is the author of the book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019) as well as the children's book You Began as a Wish (Independent Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. She has two adult daughters.