Interviews & screening

The egg donation process generally begins with your participation in several screenings, an interview, and a background check. Later on in the process you will undergo a medical screening.

Questions to ask:

What are egg donation agencies and clinics looking for in prospective donors?

Some agencies or clinics are looking for specific physical traits that meet the demands of their clientele.  More specific criteria differ from agency to agency, but in general egg donation programs are looking for women between the ages of 21 and 31 who are in good mental and physical health, and who have healthy families.  Because egg donation relies heavily on the genetic material of the donated eggs, agencies are looking for donors who are in optimal health and whose families are free of serious medical conditions, particularly those that are linked to genetic markers.  Many agencies will not accept donors with family medical histories that include issues such as Tay-Sachs Disease, Sickle Cell Anemia, Cystic Fibrosis, and other genetically-caused disorders.

Consideration: Donor traits and demand for eggs

Donors should be aware that the demand for egg donors might differ, depending on her traits i.e. race, height etc.

What kind of questions will be asked?

During the initial screenings, you will be asked to respond to a detailed questionnaire that may include questions about your interests, goals, and achievements, as well as family and individual health history. Some agencies also ask specific questions about your and your family’s mental health.  These questionnaires serve to help programs look into the life of the woman considering egg donation, and generally have no identifying information.

Part of this screening may also assess your motivation for donating your eggs.

Consideration: Information disclosure

Another conversation worth thinking about is how much information women should be required to disclose and to whom; i.e. should egg donors be required to submit a credit report? If so, who has access to this information? (See related information under Privacy.)

Do I have any questions that I would like answered during this time?

Feel free to ask the agency any questions that come to your mind.  You need to feel comfortable with the process should you decide to move forward if you are accepted as a donor.  Familiarize yourself with related topics such as standard compensation, health risks involved, and the way(s) in which your donated eggs could be used.  If there is anything that feels uncomfortable or that you are unsure about, ask questions until you feel you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

What is the psychological screening for?

You may also be required to complete a psychological screening by a licensed professional such as a psychologist or social worker.  The purpose of the psychological screening is to determine that you are psychologically prepared to commit to the egg donation process and understand the details of that commitment.

Does my screener have any kind of license/expertise?

In the United States, there is no standardized methodology for psychological screening egg donors. Thus, some psychological screenings are more thorough than others. For example, in some cases a licensed psychologist will meet with you one on one, and will administer the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) to assess your mental health. Other agencies will assess you by general questions such as “What is your favorite color?” and “Why do you want to donate?” Generally, egg donors are not required to submit medical records to verify your psychological background.

If you have any doubts about the credentials or licensure of the person assessing your mental health, you can always ask questions. The individual who conducts the psychological screening should be licensed to do so, but ask your clinic or agency if you have any doubts or questions about this process.  Also be sure to ask for a confidentiality agreement that stipulates precisely who will receive the results of your psychological screening.