Why “Tinder” for Donors is a Bad Idea

Technology has changed the way we all live. You can shop for homes, book travel, order dinner, and pay your bills all without even leaving your couch. And, of course, there are dating apps. They make it very easy to browse people allowing you to “swipe right” when someone catches your eye. The swiping phenomenon has caught on even beyond the dating world, and recently has found its way into assisted reproduction. It is a fun concept, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right way to go about your egg donation journey.

 

These apps work by allowing a variety of users to sign up for a free account and then create profiles about themselves, not unlike dating apps. These profiles are then made available to hopeful parents, egg donors, sperm donors, and surrogates to browse quite easily. Then, if you’re interested, you reach out and open a line of communication.

 

On a surface level, we completely understand why apps and programs like this would appeal to potential egg donors. It’s quick and easy to sign up, and in a matter of hours, you can go from considering egg donation to staring at hundreds of faces of hopeful parents all vying for your help in creating their family. This approach is fast, simple, non-intrusive, and offers pretty immediate positive reinforcement.

 

However, the very ease of access that makes these apps appealing is the very reason we don’t advocate using them. When you become an egg donor or surrogate with a respected agency, you have to go through a strenuous application and screening process. While we acknowledge that this procedure is time intensive and can feel overwhelming by comparison, the outcome is that only donors who are ideal both medically and psychologically are advanced to be matched. This safeguards everyone involved.

 

Additionally, when using an agency, the intended parents that you’ll match with are not just “window shopping.” They’ve talked with lawyers, psychologists, and doctors before they talk to you. They’ve got their funding in order and they’re ready to move forward. When you find your match through an agency, there is less wasted time, even if it takes a bit longer to get started.

 

As an egg donor, you will undergo hormone therapies as well as a minor surgical procedure. While we are not saying that these things cannot be done without the assistance of an agency, to do so opens you up to the potential of increased complications. If you need continued medical follow-up, will the individuals you meet through a social app be there for you? Who pays your medical bills? What happens if you encounter a problem and have no mediator to help facilitate a resolution? When you work with an agency, you are represented by professionals who have seen it all, done it all, and helped to create thousands of families already. You benefit from their experience and commitment to comply with ethical standards established by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

 

Finally, as a donor working with a respected agency, there are additional benefits for you. All of our donors receive medical examinations and genetic screenings that can provide you with a valuable look at your own health and reproductive future. This is done at no cost to you.

 

Donating your genetics is a big decision. It deserves careful consideration and a team of professionals to ensure that the experience is a positive one. If you’re ready to seriously consider egg donation, our team of knowledgeable, dedicated admissions specialists are ready to talk with you.

 

 

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.