Potential meetings with parents

Meeting the intended parent(s) weakens the degree of anonymity and confidentiality of your donation.  Before moving forward with a donation cycle, consider how confidential you would like your donation to be.  You may be able to meet with the intended parent(s), but keep your name and contact information confidential.  Or you may decide to allow the intended parent(s) to have your name and contact information.  This is a very personal decision with long-term ramifications that you should take time to consider.

Questions to ask:

Will I meet the intended parent(s)? Will they be able to contact me? Would I or they want an ongoing relationship?

The matter of anonymity will need to be decided by the time you are matched with intended parent(s).  If you decide to be anonymous, the intended parent(s) receiving your eggs may be required to sign a consent form stating that they understand the egg donation is anonymous and that it will not be possible for them or any children born as a result of this procedure to contact you in the future.  Some intended parent(s) prefer an open donation, while others prefer the process to be anonymous.  If you and the intended parent(s) disagree on the matter of anonymity, the intended parent(s) may decide to choose another donor.  However, this should not pressure you to change your stance.

Depending on the program, the decision of anonymity may happen at different points of the egg donation process. Here are some typical program optionsaccording to the ASRM guidelines:

  • Level 1: Non-identifying information

Donor provides non-identifying medical or biographical information

  • Level 2: Non-identifying contact for medical updates

Donor agrees to be contacted with anonymity intact by the program for medical updates and further information if requested

  • Level 3: Non-identifying personal contact

Donor agrees to have non-identifying contact when the child reaches a certain age and both agree to the disclosure.

  • Level 4: Identifying personal contact

Donor agrees to have identifying information shared with the offspring when the child reaches the age of maturity and both agree to the disclosure.

No single type of arrangement is right for everyone, and some programs will not offer these options, so it is important to think about what each arrangement might mean to you.

Controversy: Egg donor anonymity / Relationship with intended parent(s) and child

One of the big debates surrounding egg donation pertains to the risks and benefits of anonymous vs. “open” egg donation.

Those in support of anonymity in egg donation argue that it provides privacy and legal protection for the donors, intended parent(s) and children involved. There is also concern about donor interference in the life of the intended parent(s) and child.

Those in support of “open” donation assert that a donor-conceived child has a right to access information about his or her background, for reasons including health and self-identity.

For more information:

What information can I find out about the intended parent(s)?

How much you can or will learn about the intended parent(s) depends on their agreement with the program.  The parents have the same right to decide their level of confidentiality as you do. Donors may tell their program what level of confidentiality they are comfortable with. Some donors prefer a completely anonymous donation, while others are only comfortable with donating if the donation is an open or semi-open donation.