How to find the perfect egg donor By The Egg Donor & Surrogacy Program on June 27, 2019
Third-party fertility services, like egg donation and surrogacy, allow many same-sex and straight couples to bring a baby into the world.
When intended parents must turn to another woman, most often look for a stranger, who will play such an important part in the makeup of their child, they are anxious to stack the genetics in their favor, believing in the likelihood that traits of the donor will show up in their child.
If one or both partners have difficulty becoming pregnant due to egg quality, the couple may use donated eggs from another woman. Choosing a reputable egg donor agency helps match patients with a wide variety of donors from diverse backgrounds.
How to select your egg donor
Some intended parents throughout this process are scientific, exacting, and detailed in choosing an egg donor. Some even use spreadsheets and percentages, but we always recommend choosing a donor you feel good about in your heart.
Remember, genes are a bit like playing roulette: You can tip the odds, but you do not know where the ball will land. This goes for all types of intended parents throughout the process, so remember to trust in the process and your doctors.
Let’s jump into our best tips for selecting your egg donor!
Tip 1: Take your time
Just like you wouldn’t marry a person on the first date, you don’t need to commit to the first donor you see.
You may not find the perfect donor right away, and that’s okay. We recommend taking your time by reading through the donor’s profiles thoroughly. Spend time getting familiar with the donor’s information and determine if you think a connection could be made. This way, you’ll be able to make a more well-informed decision.
Tip 2: Set realistic expectations
Remember: No one is perfect. While you may have a list of requirements that your donor must have, you need to be willing to compromise.
With your partner, make a list of non-negotiable traits and then be willing to compromise on the rest.
Some critical questions to consider include:
- Do you want your child to resemble you or your partner? It is entirely natural that parents would want their child to resemble them. If you and your partner are tall with brown eyes, maybe you want to find a donor with similar traits. Often intended parents choose donors who look similar to them or their partner.
- Are skin color, eye color, and hair color important? To some intended parents, the race of the donor is very important. For example, some couples are willing to pay more for an Asian or a Jewish donor. This is because they want their child to have the same traits or background as they do.
- Is it Important that the donor have a high IQ? Everyone would like a donor who has a doctorate from Harvard, but you’ll need to consider how important an advanced degree is to your lifestyle. While it’s crucial the donor is motivated and has goals, higher degrees don’t always equal the best choice for your family. Maybe you’d rather have a donor who is artistic and creative or one who loves to travel. Just keep in mind there are other ways to be successful besides going to an Ivy league college.
- Does the donor need to be athletic? Are you and your partner active? Do you want to raise a basketball player? Maybe find a donor who is tall and athletic to increase those chances.
There’s nothing wrong about having hopes and dreams for your child, but just remember that every child comes with their own unique traits -- regardless of who their parents are.
Needless to say, there are a lot of traits to consider when choosing a donor. The best advice we can give is to pick a donor who would fit into your lifestyle and then go from there.
Tip 3: Review Medical and Mental History
This is probably the most critical aspect of choosing a donor -- the medical history.
As part of the donor application process at Hatch, egg donors have strict requirements and must pass an extensive series of medical and psychological tests before donors can begin looking for recipient parents.
These tests include ensuring that each donor’s medical history is available for recipient parents on their egg donor profile, and passing a psychological evaluation to protect the mental of every party involved. At Hatch, all donors must be non-smoking, be clean of any STDs, and be free of drug addictions.
Additionally, this step is to ensure that any donor you select will be healthy and willing to donate. Because many egg donation agencies have inactive or unavailable egg donors across their database, it’s important to check with your egg donation agency that your desired donor is available.
Make sure you talk to your fertility specialist and doctor about certain parameters or circumstances needed for your fertility treatment, and align your selection with their recommendations to increase your chances of a successful pregnancy.
Tip 4: Known Vs. Unknown Donation
Patients can decide to choose a donor who is anonymous, semi-known, or known.
An anonymous donor is one you will never meet, a semi-known donor is one who shares limited information, and a known donor can be a friend, relative, or stranger chosen through an agency, but will meet within agreed-upon boundaries. However, most donors will be anonymous. Some donors may be open to future contact or meeting. Others may want pictures or cards while the child is growing up. Is that something you’d be comfortable with?
Many donors would rather not have updates on the child and would like to remain anonymous to both the intended parents and child. As a couple, you’ll need to decide what is best for you and your family. There is no wrong answer, just whatever you are most comfortable with.
Next Steps: Find an Egg Donor
It’s gratifying that advanced reproductive technology can help so many different people who aspire to be parents. However, the process can be both complicated, emotional and expensive.
Our best advice is to consult experts and gather information for informed decisions. Your doctor can discuss the different types of treatment that may work best for you. It is also important to understand the various success rates and know what your insurance will or will not cover.
If you’re looking for the perfect egg donor to start your family, don’t hesitate to contact us. It may take some time, but we are confident we can find an egg donor that is perfect for you.
Note: This is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information provided is for general educational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. Speak to your doctor directly with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any information contained herein does not replace any care plan as determined by a physician.