Choosing an Egg Donor: A Delicate Balance
I find that there is often a delicate balance to be struck between being absolutely ready to build your family via egg donation and taking a leap of faith so as not to miss the opportunity to cycle with an egg donor who may seem ideal. It's a big decision and time can be both healing and the enemy. While intended parents need to allow themselves time to grieve what might have been, the other side of the balance is to make decisions in a timely manner so that in-demand donors can be secured.
The quest for the perfect egg donor may prove to be frustrating since, if perfection is what you crave, you may never be able to move forward. When you choose an egg donor you are choosing the raw material from which your child will be created, not the finished product. Your child will not be any more like the egg donor than you are like your own mother. Your child, biological or via egg donor, will be like you because he or she is being raised by you and will emulate you because you are the parent.
In order to keep yourself sane you have to be willing to let go of any one particular donor. There are many reasons an egg donor may fall through: they may be unavailable, they may not pass your RE’s screening, she may change her mind, or any one of a dozen other reasons I have seen a donor fall through. If your first choice in an egg donor doesn't work out, it was not meant to be. Move on to the next choice. While it may be difficult to let go of a donor that you thought was perfect, in the end the only perfect donor is the one who enables you to have a child.
In the years I have worked in third-party fertility, I have identified several things I believe contribute to a good egg donor candidate:
- Someone who looks physically like they would fit into your family
- A family that has both a good physical and mental health history
- Reasonably attractive
- Reasonably intelligent
- Not currently in cycle with another couple and available to cycle with you now
- Someone who you like for her own unique characteristics, not because she is just like you
Having worked with thousands of couples over the past 16 years, I know that it can be a challenge to find someone who fits the criteria from even this seemingly simple list. That's why we do what we do at Donor Concierge to help you to find the best options and to help you to think through those options and find the right donor for you to build your family. We want to help you strike that delicate balance between perfection and reality.