What Are Known Donors?


In simplest terms, a known donor is a person who is familiar to the parents before the matching process. In many cases this person will be a close friend or family member. These deep bonds make choosing to help a loved one embark upon the journey of surrogacy seem like a natural fit.

Growing Generations rarely works with donors who are fully known to the intended parents. Occasionally intended parents will come to us with a donor in mind and, in these rare cases, we are willing to facilitate a known match. We help with the legal paperwork as well as the medical cycle but do not attempt to manage the relationship once the retrieval is completed.

More frequently, a “known donor” within Growing Generations is a donor who agrees, at the time of the contract phase of donation, to allow any child born of her donation to seek her out once the child turns 18 years old.

As a donor, you should note that this agreement does not guarantee that any future children will seek you out, and therefore is no guarantee that you will ever see a child resulting from your donation. Even if you are sought out in the future, you will still maintain the option to deny that future meeting as it is entirely possible for your views and life situation to change dramatically over 18 years.

As of early 2015, Growing Generations does not have any children who have reached 18 years of age. We do not have statistics on how frequently our egg donors are likely to be sought out by the children of their donation(s).

If you are a friend or family member considering donating to a couple considering surrogacy, we commend you on the amazing gift you’re considering. You’ll certainly want to consider the long term implications of your donation as, in these cases, you are often able to watch your genetic offspring grow up.

If you’re a young woman considering the possibility of someday meeting a child resulting from your donation, we applaud your vision for the long term impact of your donation.

In either situation, the emotional considerations of known egg donation is certain to lead to more questions. Our admissions staff is happy to talk with you about these questions or concerns as you progress through the screening process.

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.