Choosing A Donor
Until recently all egg donation was done in a fresh IVF cycle which required both the donor and recipient to have their cycles suppressed over a lengthy period of time so that they will be in sync. Fresh donors are available at some IVF centers or egg donation agencies which recruit and initially screen the donors and charge a fee for their services.
Now, thanks to technology that allows eggs to be frozen, frozen eggs are available which can be used in a much quicker and easier process for the recipient couple. Reproductive Partners is fortunate to have partnered with Donor Egg Bank USA which has frozen eggs from prescreened donors available immediately. The lack of a need to suppress the recipient’s cycle and coordinate with the donor’s cycle and schedule makes the process much quicker, often completing the embryo transfer within three weeks of the recipient’s last menstrual period. The efficiency of being able to use one donor’s frozen eggs for several potential recipients makes the process much less expensive.
There is no one right way to choose a donor. Choosing a donor is an individual journey and each person or couple will make choices based on their family building goals. You are likely to have physical, mental and emotional preferences in choosing a donor. Do speak with your doctor or donor coordinator if you have questions or feel strongly about a preference. Our advice to you is to make the time in choosing a donor a positive experience. You are in control. There are few times during the treatment process that you have an opportunity to have control. This is one of those times, so embrace it.
You will forever remember making such a big decision. You are choosing the DNA of your future child. If you choose to tell your child, you will want to share how you looked for the right donor to provide you a perfect gift. Your positive recount of the experience will instill upon your child self-esteem and a sense of being perfectly chosen.
Here are a few items to contemplate when choosing a donor:
- There is no perfect donor. You are unique and have qualities and idiosyncrasies that only you possess. You can expect to match most of the items that are important to you, However there are very few donors who may meet every criteria you may have.
- Current psychological research recommends that children of donor egg be told of their origins while young and in an age appropriate way. Matching a blood type is not medically necessary or important if you plan to divulge your baby’s genetic source. As the parent of your child, to tell or not to tell will be your personal decision. You may wish to consult with your physician for more information on blood type.
- Consider choosing a donor that looks like you or complements some of your characteristics. People are inherently nosy and occasionally make insensitive comments. Many people will share with you their unsolicited thoughts as to who they think your baby looks like. While looking at the donor’s characteristics also review her entire family. Is she the short one in an otherwise tall family or perhaps, the only brunette amongst all blonde siblings?
- Even in cases in which a child is not the mirror image of a parent, the child will take on the parent’s characteristics. You may want to watch the story of Allegra – an Egg Donor Child who tells her story on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTgHRV8g1Fg
- Choosing a donor is an opportunity to play to your strengths or weaknesses. You may be very athletic, enjoy sports and want children that may have a genetic aptitude to the same. You can look for these qualities in your donor. Or you may not be able to carry a tune or dance a step in rhythm; this is a perfect opportunity to give your child a genetic edge in musicality.
- Review the medical history of the donor closely if you want to off‐set any genetic history of your partner providing the sperm. If your partner has a history of skin cancer in his family, you may want to look specifically for a donor with an absence of skin cancer in her history. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or for advice.
- Level of formal education will vary widely amongst donors. Some donors have had greater access to a formal education while others may have found the endeavor financially challenging or perhaps pursued other goals. While a higher level of education may afford some recipients peace of mind, it doesn’t necessarily point to the level of intelligence of the donor.
- Once you narrow your choices based on the traits you desire, take time to read the personal statements. Perhaps one donor’s statement will connect with you more than another. Your donor, through her gracious gift, will forever become connected with you. Her personal comments will give you a glimpse into the heart of your donor and her desire to help you become a parent.
Choosing your donor is a wonderful step in your journey to parenthood; a step that will move you down the path to treatment and hopefully on to parenthood. While each person’s experience in choosing a donor is different, we hope this helps guide you in the selection of your donor.