One of the more interesting issues with egg donation is how recipients select an egg donor. It’s a real dilemma. Do you go for looks; someone who resembles you, someone with strong academic credentials, someone who shares your interests or someone who has a strong record of effectiveness as a previous egg donor?
A number of years ago there was an agency that claimed to have model’s eggs for $ 50,000. That made a big splash in the media. I was interviewed on TV and said that using a model was no guarantee of a beautiful child. “What if the baby had the father’s looks and the model’s brain?” Most of my patients have taken a balanced approach using all the above criteria to help select an egg donor.
The latest is that now an egg bank in Spain is using face-recognition technology to match prospective parents with donors who look like them. The idea is that they can get a child who resembles them without any genetic connection. The service provides a score of how much the donor resembles the prospective parents. The system works by taking a photograph of the donor when she donates. The recipient provides a picture and they use an algorithm to make the match.
Some claim that you can see a lot of genetic information from faces; the forehead, eyes, nose and chin are under strong genetic control and someone with similar facial features are more likely to create a child who resembles the recipient. If this is true it will also take a database big enough to have a donor with that kind of resemblance.
To me this is a gimmick and will probably go the way of the $ 50,000 model donors. Or maybe it will be one factor that can help with the resemblance criterion. We’ll see. In the meantime I still recommend a balanced approach taking all the criteria mentioned above into account.