Top 3 Criteria When Choosing An Egg Donor
A recent study released in the Journal of Women’s Health, revealed that Intended Parents are increasingly focused on the educational and academic achievements of an egg donor rather than physical beauty. The team here at Donor Concierge certainly hears echoes of these desires as we work with our Intended Parents to find the right match for their fertility journey. With nearly 18,000 possible donors within the agency databases that we work with, we have to be persistent, diligent and have a unique eye to find the donor that is going to be that ‘special someone’. Our experience at finding these great traits comes with learning what to look for in an online donor profile.
While there are many factors that make a donor a good match for an intended parent, the following is the top 3 criteria most commonly requested by our clients.
1. Spark or Drive: Intended Parents commonly come to us asking to find that egg donor that has a little something extra - a spark or drive are the common adverbs for describing someone that is ambitious and resourceful, much like our clients. While common indicators of drive can be concrete like an excellent college GPA or a fantastic SAT score, we find that’s only part of the puzzle. We look for other indicators of gumption, goals, and a sense of self. Often this is evident in the donor’s personal essays. Even if a donor isn’t currently enrolled in school, she may be doing lots of exciting volunteer work, traveling abroad, or doing something unique that makes an IP recognize something reminiscent of their own lives. Most importantly, these goals are clearly written and expressed in her profile so that the Intended Parent can hear her voice or that “spark.” Nothing is more disappointing to us and Intended Parents than finding a potentially great donor but seeing a poorly or hastily written profile that does not give her the opportunity to express who she really is.
2. Physical traits: While beauty is nice, it is not necessarily the main physical trait our Intended Parents are focused on finding. More important to our Intended Parents is a good photographic representation of what the donor looks like now and in her younger years. The best online profiles showcase the egg donor with a few good headshots, a full-length body photo to see if she is a physical match, and some childhood pictures. In most cases, the Intended Parents are looking for physical similarity to them and so all ranges of beauty, height, and build are open so long as the egg donor keeps in mind that the people who are viewing these photos are hopeful parents to be. As such, profiles that have less than 3 photos, show too much skin, are blurry, or don’t show good physical consistency across photos often times may not get the Intended Parent’s attention for consideration. Our clients are also interested in seeing some pictures of the donor’s immediate and extended family (although that is something that is at the discretion of the egg donor herself).
3. Health: It’s a given that good health is one of the top priorities for intended parents seeking an egg donor. It is important for intended parents to have a full account of a donor’s health history and that of her immediate and extended family. Remember, the online profile may be the only information Intended Parents have should any future health issues arise in their child. A good profile will not only give detailed information about the donor’s health history, but will also allow space for the donor to give an explanation of some health issues that may seem worrying to IPs. For example, if a donor ticks the box for ‘asthma’ it is also helpful to write a little bit about how that impacts her daily life such as “I have asthma but it is only seasonal related to spring pollens.” Sometimes, that little bit of health information can help an Intended Parent feel more comfortable in choosing a particular donor and in understanding what they may need to consider in their child’s health history.
Once IPs decide to go the route of egg donation, choosing an egg donor can be an overwhelming and emotional process. Their main criteria is usually finding someone that they can relate to, that reminds them of the person they once were when they were younger, and more fertile. By working with a Donor Concierge Case Manager, finding that special young woman is a much more straightforward task.
Anne Cheever is a Senior Case Manager at Donor Concierge.