The Egg Donor Waiting List: Family Deferred

As the founder of Donor Concierge I have had the privilege of helping many intended parents through the pitfalls of third-party fertility and into a successful pregnancy.  One of those pitfalls is the egg donor waiting list. You may ask ‘What is an egg donor waiting list ?’ and ‘Why shouldn't I wait for the perfect egg donor?’

First, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ egg donor.  There are many different candidates who can help you to reach your goal of building a family and the only perfect egg donor is the one who enables you to achieve a pregnancy. That said, finding an egg donor is difficult enough without setting yourself up for disappointment.  There are already many uncontrollable issues when building your family through third-party fertility and this is one that can be avoided.

It isn't that egg donors never follow through on future cycles, they do.  Unfortunately, just as often things occur beyond anyone’s control so that a future cycle with the perfect egg donor never occurs.  The reasons a donor might decline to do a future cycle are many and varied and, in the long run, the reason isn't pertinent since the effect is just as devastating to you, the intended parent.

If that ‘perfect’ donor declines to do a future cycle, parenthood has once again been deferred by someone that you have no control over.  You are left to mourn yet another loss on your way to parenthood.  It can often be difficult for another donor to measure up and seem as ideal as the donor that slipped away.  I have seen intended parents try to bargain and plead, offer to pay the donor double her fee, anything, if she would just reconsider.  It has been my experience that once a donor decides she doesn't want to do another cycle there is nothing you can say or do to change her mind.

You are already dealing with so many factors that you cannot control.  I recommend that you have a game plan:  choose 3 – 5 candidates who are listed as available.  Don’t even look at donors who are currently cycling, on hold, or under consideration.  It is just a waste of valuable time. Though it may be difficult to find 3 – 5 egg donors in any one agency that you like, it is not difficult when you have access to 70 egg donor agencies to find at 20 – 40 donor candidates, 3 – 5 of whom you could feel might fit into your family.

Remember that your child will, like you, be an amazing blend of characteristics.  Think about the differences between you and your siblings.  You may have come from the same parents but you are each unique.   Do yourself a favor and avoid putting your name on a waiting list to work with a specific egg donor.  In my world, there are 14,000 egg donor options available to you at any give point in time.  If you do choose to put your name on a waiting list, be wise about it and continue to look.