Egg Donor: Known versus Anonymous

An egg donor is a vital part of family-building and surrogacy for many people. There are egg donor options available for you as intended parents. However, what kind of relationship do you want to have with the donor who provided the egg you are using?

Anonymous Egg Donor

One option is to choose complete anonymity. You’ll be able to select an egg donor based on specific genetic traits and physical characteristics.  However, you won’t know who the donor really is, and she will not know who you are. Anonymous donors give you the separation and distance that you and the donor both want.

Of course, this arrangement comes with some unknowns. You won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of full knowledge about your donor’s medical and family history. If you use a reputable agency, you can trust that the donors are all pre-screened for a range of genetic issues; but there’s always a chance of something turning up in the future. Also, imagine a scenario in which your child needs a transplant of some kind, for which the ideal match would be a biological relative. It may be difficult to track down any blood relatives if your donor is totally anonymous.

Known Egg Donor

In the case of a known donor, you know the woman who is giving you her egg. Perhaps she is a friend, a coworker, or a relative. No matter how you made the arrangement, you did it with the full knowledge of who this woman is, what she looks like, and her medical and family history.

On the flip side, having a donor whom you know could significantly impact your relationship with that person. If you see her frequently after the birth, you may feel awkward as you care for and parent the child that is legally yours but biologically hers. Before you choose a completely open donor situation, consider how the emotions on both sides may affect your future.

Semi-Known Donor

You may have an arrangement in which you have some partial knowledge of or contact with the donor. Perhaps it isn’t someone you know personally, but you have a name and contact information in case a medical issue arises. Talk to the donor agency and to your ART attorney about your wishes and concerns. Together, you can create an arrangement that is beneficial and comfortable for everyone involved.

About Attorney Nicole K. White

As a mother by gestational surrogacy and as a surrogacy lawyer, my goal is to help you experience the joy and fulfillment of starting or growing a family of your own through third party reproduction. Because I am a mother by gestational surrogacy, I know firsthand what you will need – answers to your questions, support and guidance – and, I know what you will go through when starting your family. My experience as a surrogacy lawyer helps me guide you through the financial, emotional and legal aspects of surrogacy and third party reproduction. I can say with confidence that few (if any) attorneys deliver the unique insight I can bring to your surrogacy journey.

The struggle to overcome fertility goes on, even if you have achieved your dream of having a baby. So, please forward this information to someone you know who is struggling to overcome fertility.

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