Egg Donor Blood Type: What You Need to Know
David and Claire came to us looking for an egg donor who not only looked like Claire, but also had blood type A negative (A-). For this German couple, finding a donor with the same blood type as at least one of them, was extremely important.
“I asked them why they wanted an egg donor with a specific blood type, encouraging them to be a little more open,” says Krystal Lemcke, a Senior Case Manager at Donor Concierge. Krystal emphasized that many donors, especially first time egg donors, don’t always know their blood type. “David and Claire were concerned that because blood type is a common subject for elementary school science classes in Europe. They didn’t want their child to be faced with awkward questions from teachers or friends.”
Gloria Li says blood type is very important to many of her clients, particularly those who come from China. “Many people in Chinese culture feel the stigma of infertility and want to keep their fertility journey a secret from not only their family, but often the child themselves.”
We recognize that finding a donor with a compatible blood type is important to some families, so we’ve broken it down below.
What is Blood Type?
A person’s blood type is a blood classification based on the presence or absence of two antigens – A and B – on the surface of red blood cells. The blood cells also can contain a protein called the Rh factor, which is either present (+) or absent (-). The combinations of antigens A and B and presence or absence of the Rh factor create the 8 most common blood types: A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-, AB+, and AB-.
How is Blood Type Inherited?
Every person’s blood type is inherited genetically. Each biological parent carries two alleles for both blood group and Rh factor, of which only one is passed on to their offspring. The chart below shows the different possibilities of child blood type, based on parents’ blood type.
What Does Blood Type Mean for Egg Donation?
The blood type of an egg donor does not have a medical bearing on the outcome of fertility treatments, or health of the child. Therefore, it is not often considered important criteria for parents seeking an egg donor. Many donors, especially first time donors, don’t know their blood type so trying to find someone with a compatible blood type to you, can add another layer of complexity to your choice. Agencies may require a fee to have a blood typing test, which can delay your cycle. And if the donor has all the characteristics you’re seeking, but isn’t the ‘right’ blood type, you may be left disappointed.
Choosing an egg donor with a different blood type may mean being honest with the child about their unique creation. The child may require future medical treatment where blood typing is necessary.
We encourage parents to look holistically at each egg donor, and keep in mind that seeking a specific blood type will greatly reduce their egg donor options. The conversation around egg donation will often happen naturally, without parents feeling their hand is forced by their child’s blood type, and there are plenty of resources for parents who may be struggling with how to start the conversation.
We know that cultural restraints and each parent’s unique background can play a role in how transparent they are willing to be about their child’s creation. Ultimately, parents will make the decision that is right for their family in choosing how and when to speak with their child about egg donation, and whether their child’s blood type will play a role in that conversation.