How Do You Pick an Egg Donor? Part 2

August 30th, 2013
Oocyte Donor Egg Bank USA

I meet with a couple who thought they knew exactly what they were looking for in their donor -- at least individually. But as a couple, they weren't sure. They actually hadn’t talked about it and had very different opinions.

Another couple had previously recommended making individual lists and than comparing them. “Nope,”they said, “that wouldn’t work for us, we’re that different.”

My recommendation is to each make a separate list and then compare your lists. You may find that there are some of the same donors on the lists for completely different reasons. But if you come up with the same “one” then you’re both where you want to be.

Sometimes, it does in fact, take a village.

Someone once said it takes a village to raise a child. Not only does it take a village to raise a child, sometimes it takes a village to conceive a child.

Yes, sometimes you have to recruit outside help with the selection process too. Some folks decide not to tell family and friends they are utilizing an egg donor to build their family, but others share that information.

These fortunate (or sometimes unfortunate) souls have the benefit (or curse) of the input of not so objective third (or fourth) parties. Use your best judgment when seeking advice. Once you're pregnant, advice will come whether you want it or not.

Sometimes, it takes time.

While everyone would like to find their perfect donor the minute they begin the donor search, sometimes it takes days. Sometimes, weeks. Sometimes, months. That’s okay.

You didn’t buy the first car looked at, nor did you buy the first hat you put on your head. Sometimes, in your selection process, you go through a period of looking that helps to focus and hone what really matters and is most essential to you.

Often, it is the intangibles that really seal the deal of one donor over another. Sometimes, it’s nice to have someone we trust and who knows you to provide the best mirror to your traits and idiosyncrasies.

How do you know the donor is being truthful?

Unfortunately, background checks are not run on the donors. The donors are required to complete a battery of prescreening, with numerous clinical staff members, as well as a written and face-to-face mental health assessment. At any stage of the screening process the donor can be screened out.

In adherence to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine guidelines, great value is placed on the psychological evaluation and assessments. We find that the majority of the donors are very straightforward in their answers. When they are not, this typically is detected in the written assessment or communications with clinical staff early in the donor’s screening.

As donors do not know what will make them “selectable” or what recipients are looking for, they are less able to try and “pad” their answers or attempt to make themselves look better.

Yes, the donors are compensated for their time and effort. No, they are not paid per egg. Yes, someone unscrupulous could think to make a quick and easy buck by donating their eggs. But, as you know from research and undertaking your own IVF process, the IVF process is not quick or easy.

As a recipient, you have a vested interest in being poked and prodded and stuck with needles and sticking yourself. All the donor has to look forward to is a check.

I always say, no one has ever turned down the check, but there are definitely easier ways to make money that don’t involve sharp needles.

When it seems as if all the decisions to make in this process are overwhelming, take a deep breath. All of these little steps can lead to the ultimate destination of having the family of your dreams.

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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I have successfully donated my eggs through an agency. I was fortunate to be extremely fertile and conceive 3 healthy babies on my own very easily. I found egg donation to be a rewarding experience. Unfortunately at 37 I am not able to donate again. I would love to.

Submitted by Kristina 3 years, 10 months ago

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