Picking an Egg Donor – 6 years later

As I stare at a picture of my beautiful son who is almost 5 years old, I see a unique, one-of-a-kind human.  I see the makings of a wonderful man whose constant growth astounds me.  I see a child who is so much a part of my heart that it sometimes feels as if it will explode.

What I don’t see is an egg donor.

That’s right, 6 years ago before we were pregnant, picking an egg donor felt like the most important decision we would ever make in our lives.  Like many of the couples I have worked with, my husband and I spent hours looking at and discussing profiles.  And, today, I would not even know the egg donor if she walked up and said hello!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to minimize the importance of picking a donor.  What I am trying to say is that the angst and drama that can often go with it really are not necessary because as your child grows up, you’ll realize that they are the only one like them in the entire world.

Here’s some advice that I think will help when selecting a donor:

  1. Always look together with your partner.  Picking a donor is both objective and subjective and will really live in the conversation you have together.
  2. Start broad and look at everyone in the program.  We’ve seen it many times where someone starts out with one set of preferences only to pick a donor much different.  Something about that particular donor just moved them.
  3. Look at the whole family.  My son is in the 99th percentile for height and our donor was only 5’4” and my husband and I are only 5’9” with no taller people in our families.  But, in looking back, the donor’s father and brother are over 6 feet.
  4. Remember, your child will not be the donor so don’t feel as if you need to pick someone who will be the exact clone of your future offspring.  Your child will most likely be an unrecognizable version of you and the donor combined.

I hope this helps and I also hope that you’ll get to stare at a picture of your almost 5-year-old someday and thank God for how blessed you are.

Stuart Bell is the co-owner of Growing Generations, the largest surrogacy and egg donation company in the United States. Prior to joining Growing Generations, Stuart spent over a decade in executive level positions in both profit and not-for-profit companies. As a writer with a strong emphasis on gay rights issues, his work has appeared in numerous publications over the past 20 years. He is the author of Prayer Warriors, a memoir published in 1999 by Alyson publications. In February, 2008, Stuart and his husband welcomed their son into the world who was conceived through surrogacy and egg donation. He is active as a donor and volunteer with local and national organizations including Human Rights Campaign, Family Equality Council, LA Gay & Lesbian Center and Los Angeles Youth Network. He served for 10 years on the board of the American Fertility Association, 4 of those as co-chair. A native of Tennessee, Stuart holds a degree in Communications from Middle Tennessee State University, and has lived in Los Angeles since 1992.