Receiving an infertility diagnosis can be a devastating experience. Jumping straight into making decisions about egg donation in such unfavorable conditions is probably not the best of ideas. What you should do first is take a deep breath and come to terms with the state you found yourself in. Choosing an egg donor is probably one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your life and you don’t want to be making it in a negative state of mind. So give yourself time, if you have mixed or negative feelings, you can try to talk to a fertility coach or therapist.
How to choose an egg donor – first things first
Your first decision will be choosing whether you want your egg donor to be anonymous or not. Some of the future parents prefer to get to know the donor and hope she could meet the child in the future and establish a relationship with them. Others choose anonymous donors and they do not want the donor to get involved in any other way besides providing her eggs. This is a more confidential and transparent way.
So how to choose an egg donor? Firstly, find websites of the nearest donor egg bank or an online bank with the largest egg donor database. Browse the available donors and take a close look at the chosen donor profile. Read the information the donor has given about herself but also think how she delivered it, what words she used and how she presented herself in general. It is important to have a good “vibe” about a donor and to feel like you can relate to her. Imagine this person fitting into your family or if could she become your friend.
Overall important qualities worth considering:
- Aged between 21 and 30. Below 21 is too young and could not be mature enough. On the other hand, 30 is past the fertility peak.
- Mature, dependable, responsible
- Physically and psychologically healthy with a documented medical history
- Proportional body
Choosing an egg donor- characteristics
One of the first things that comes to mind when figuring out which egg donor to choose is the physical appearance. It is natural that most parents want the child to have a similar physical appearance. If your family members mostly have brown eyes and pale skin, it probably will be important for you that the donor has such attributes. It is also very common and rather normal that most infertile couples want the donor to be attractive. Can you see pictures of egg donors? Yes, in some countries. At some IVF clinics and egg banks egg donor photos, donor as a baby photos or photos of their children are available for browsing. Unfortunately, not all clinics can provide such photos as it is not allowed by the local law. If you get access to such pictures, you may be able to imagine what your child could possibly look like. If you do not care about the physical appearance that much, it makes things a lot easier and broadens your selection.
Other tips on choosing an egg donor
Of course none of this matters when contrasted with medical history. You must remember that a young, healthy-looking and attractive college student does not immediately make a suitable donor. All egg donors are medically tested physically and psychologically, including tests for sexually transmitted diseases and genetic conditions like sickle cell disease. Blood type is also an important matter when selecting your egg donor. If you want to go for an anonymous donor, it would be good if your blood types are matching. If something ever happens to your child and blood transfusion is needed, you will be able to provide your own blood for the child. It also works the other way round: if you are in need of blood transfusion, your child, once over 18, will be able to help you. It is worth adding that if the child does not know that they were conceived using donated eggs, then if blood is needed, they could find out the hard way that you are not genetically related.
As we said earlier it is a good way to feel a connection with the donor. That is why personality is also important when you are choosing the donor. You can check what the donor’s hobbies and interests are, what sports she likes. It is recommended that you find someone who shares your interests and to whom you can relate to.
Keep in mind that various egg banks have different policies on what information they give on their donors.
Parents via egg donation – what else?
When you already narrowed the number of donors of your choice, it is fairly important to get an idea where they are based. If the donor is local, you can save up hundreds of pounds on flights and hotels. So if you have a limited budget, try looking for local donors and then when this does not work, start searching on a bigger scale.
It is important not to focus on a specific trait, just go with your instincts. People who choose their donors more “lightly” and who feel “just right” are usually happier with their choice.