How to Find an Egg Donor

Selecting an egg donor is an intimate and personal choice that can cause emotional and physical angst for intended parents. But, it is a major milestone in your journey toward building or growing a family. When you’re ready to begin the process, it will be important to consider what characteristics and qualities are most important to you and discuss those with your partner and/or social networks.

You’ll also have to decide whether to find an egg donor through personal connections, an agency or social app. Here are a few attributes that many intended parents consider while going through egg donor profiles at Growing Generations.

Considerations When Choosing a Donor

Before creating your checklist, remember that no one is perfect. Keep in mind that it is highly unlikely you will find one donor who meets all of your specifications in every area. Just as with all things in life, choosing your ideal egg donor is a balancing act, so it’s helpful to decide what the most important attributes are in your ideal egg donor and which are more secondary or optional.

Will the egg donor remain anonymous?
Decide whether you prefer an egg 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. Others prefer an anonymous donor that an agency or fertility center helps them find. The latter option provides greater confidentiality and simplifies some of the legal issues.

What is her medical background?
In order to do your part in having a child that is healthy and not at risk of hereditary diseases, make sure to have a full medical analysis and screening performed before confirming your egg donor.

What are her physical characteristics?
For many intended parents, choosing a donor who shares their physical traits is important. When going through an agency, you will have a wide selection of women to choose from, so narrowing your preferences can save you time and stress. Factors such as ethnicity, skin tone, height and hair and eye color are common considerations.

What personality traits does she have?
It helps some intended parents to know a little bit about the kind of person their chosen egg donor is. This makes it easier to create a birth story that is empowering and interesting for their child. Your egg donor’s profile will help paint a picture of who she is, including her reasons for becoming an egg donor. This knowledge can help you decide between multiple candidates. IQ test scores are also often shared if the egg donor has taken the test.

Does she have a history of donating eggs?
Are you willing to work with a first-time donor, or do you prefer someone who has been through this process before? When working with a previous donor, you may be able to see if she produced a strong amount of viable eggs, and if they resulted in a successful pregnancy.

Working with an Agency
When you search for an egg donor through Growing Generations, we are hard at work behind the scenes to help you find the right donor. Before an applicant can become an egg donor, she will answer many questions about herself including information on her health history, her family’s health history, if she’s on medication and if she is a tobacco user. Growing Generations’ egg donors meet strict criteria for acceptance including:

  • A BMI lower than 26
  • Between the ages of 21-30
  • No history of inherited cancers
  • No familial history of multiple family members with heart disease or heart attack before age 55
  • Must pass Sexually Transmitted Infection Screening
  • Must pass drug screening
  • No psychiatric hospitalizations

Learn more about the egg donor matching process at Growing Generations here.

Dr. Kim Bergman

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 Fertility Counseling Services and 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 upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.