In Search of the "Perfect" Egg Donor

When intended parents come to me with a wishlist of criteria they desire for their egg donor, my response is always "you can find just about anything you want in a donor, but you can’t find everything you want."

Trust me, there are some truly amazing young women out there who have decided to donate their eggs, but it's important to try to understand what's important. You will not find a donor who looks like a supermodel, was a division one athlete, is musically gifted, 5’10” tall, attended an Ivy league university with scores in the 90th percentile and is now working on her Ph.D. in biochemistry. If such a woman existed she would also need to be between the ages of 21 and 30, share your racial heritage, have good ovarian reserve, pass a psych evaluation, have excellent health, be willing to be an egg donor and travel to your clinic.

All of the attributes listed above are desirable, but are unrealistic. The most important factors to consider when looking for an egg donor are:

• Ovarian reserve
• Health history
• Willingness to be a donor
• Availability to travel to your clinic

If you think of desired criteria as ingredients for making a cake then these factors would come next:

• No mental health issues
• No addiction issues
• Resembles to your family
• Reasonably intelligent
• Seems like a good person

All factors beyond those listed above are icing on the cake. You can probably have some but not all:

• Education
• Beauty
• Athletic ability
• Creativity

Finding the “right,” donor is different from finding the “perfect” donor. It’s a balancing act of making sure she has health and fertility, is reasonably intelligent and looks like she could fit into your family. It’s not possible to control every factor. You have to have faith that your child will be who they will be. This is true even if you are not using an egg donor. Every child inherits characteristics from both the male and female side of the equation, but the outcome is wonderfully unpredictable. Nobel Prize winners don’t beget Nobel Prize winners, two unattractive people can have a beautiful child, and the opposite can also be true as well. Genetics is a roll the dice. But I promise once your child is born you will not say I wish I picked the other donor.

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