Choosing an egg donor is one of the most challenging decisions you will ever make. My best advice–developed over ten years of experience–is to look for someone who you like on a personal level, rather than someone who looks just like either intended parent. Look for someone to whom you feel drawn, someone who feels ‘familiar’. These feelings should be reinforced by what the potential donor has to say about themselves in their essay responses.
You will want to find an egg donor who is healthy, bright, and looks like she could fit into your family while resisting the urge to look for a replacement for yourself. We are each as different as snowflakes and will never find an exact physical match. While that may be your goal when you begin your search, it can be a frustrating and futile exercise. Look at each egg donor as an individual and appreciate the unique characteristics she may contribute as well as the things you have in common.
Recommendations for Choosing an Egg Donor and an Egg Donor Program
- Give yourself time to grieve your loss of a genetic connection to your child
- Give yourself time to move forward and appreciate the options available through the miracle of medical progress
- Take the time to realize that you and your partner are creating a child who is unique to your family and would not be created if not for your love for each other
- Remember that God blesses you with the child that was destined to be your part of your family
- Remember that blending the genetics of any two people will bring a wonderfully unpredictable outcome in a child, a child you will cherish regardless of their hair color or their ability to play pro sports
- Read what the egg donor has to say about herself and choose someone who you can relate to
- Choose an egg donor who you would be happy to call your friend or daughter
- Choose someone who seems like a fit with your family
- Choose an egg donor between the ages of 21 and 30: donors younger than 21 may not be emotionally mature; egg donors older than 30 are not at peak fertility
- Follow your Reproductive Endocrinologist’s advice regarding the egg donor’s ideal age
- Try to replace yourself; you can’t. You are unique, just as every egg donor is unique
- Fixate on any one or two “must have” characteristics such as blue eyes or a 4.2 GPA. This may cause you to miss your “ideal egg donor”
- Set arbitrary time lines or ages by which you must become pregnant. It will only create stress for you and everyone around you.
Recommendations for Choosing an Egg Donor Program
Choosing a program is egg donor driven. In other words, most couples choose the program guided by the availability of a particular egg donor that suits their needs. Nonetheless, there are some Dos and Don’ts to consider before you become emotionally invested and allow your desire for the “ideal egg donor” to outweigh your financial abilities.
- Choose an egg donor program that takes the time to find out what your individual needs are
- Make sure you are comfortable calling them and don’t feel rushed Remember that no matter how beautiful, intelligent, or talented an egg donor may be, there is no guarantee your child will have those traits
- Avoid egg donor programs that charge up-front fees before they will allow you to view their donors
- Fall into the erroneous belief that if you pay a premium price, you will necessarily get a premium egg donor
- Believe that paying a higher fee for an “ideal egg donor” will produce any better quality ovum or improve your chances of parenthood
However your child comes to join your family, you will love your child no matter what; they are the child you were destined to have.