How Do You Pick an Egg Donor? Part 1

August 16th, 2013
Oocyte Donor Egg Bank USA

How do you pick an egg donor? Is there a formula, a mathematics equation? Maybe a spread sheet, or pros and cons, perhaps?

The truth is that any of these could work for you or maybe none. After 10 years of working with donor egg recipients, I think I’ve seen it all.

Yes, a spreadsheet can work, if you are the spreadsheet type. I’ve also seen folks choose their donor because the donor shared the recipient’s love of horses. My recommendation is to keep an open mind.

There is no one quite like you, but you’ve got friends and family. Do you like a donor who doesn’t look anything like you, but looks oddly like your niece, your sister? What if she also shares your love of spicy food and the ukulele? Sometimes it is just that simple. Try not to overthink it.

For others, it may be the personal essay section. In some instances, recipient patients have bonded with a donor over skills and abilities or volunteerism.

I recommend that you not limit your search criteria too much. Searching by race is a good place to start. If the donor seems too short or too tall, look closely at the rest of her family. Perhaps there is hidden height within the donor’s family genes. Could the donor blend easily into your family?

I’m a big believer in your “gut.” I've found when you are drawn back again and again to a donor, then she just may be “the one.”

I once had a recipient who called me to express her extreme frustration regarding her lack of guidance in the selection process.

“I need someone to help me pick my donor,” she insisted repeatedly during the course of the conversation.

My first question was to ask what she was looking for. This yielded, “someone who resembles me,” followed by a physical description and personality traits and interests. That is a great place to start. But when a donor presented who met 90% of the criteria, with exception of two inches of height, I thought… maybe, but no.

Height was a deal breaker for this recipient. Later, I received three frantic voice messages about a donor who looked perfect. I called her back.

“Let me guess, which donor you’re talking about,” I said. “That’s the one, she’s great, musical, thin, brunette, etc…” she said. “But she’s two inches shorter than you are,” I said. “It doesn’t matter. That’s what you want and that’s what we want for you too."

About The Author

Alethia Woodley

Alethia Woodley has spent more than 15 years helping others to build their families. Before coming to Donor Egg Bank USA, she served as a Recipient Liaison with Shady Grove Fertility's internationally renowned donor egg program. In addition to helping patients at Shady Grove, Alethia became a fertility patient herself. A little more than a year later, she and her husband were blessed with a little girl. Alethia is a member and chair publicity for her local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group.

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