Whether you are an Egg Donor or Recipient Parents, we know that determining the type of egg donation with which you are comfortable is an important and personal decision. Our staff has first-hand knowledge of the pros and cons surrounding the different types of egg donation relationships, and we are happy to discuss our own personal experiences with you.
Closed Donation – The Recipient Parent/s will typically choose an Egg Donor who has similar physical and personal characteristics or perhaps particular traits that are appealing for various reasons. The Donor’s identity will be kept confidential; any information identifying her will not be given to the Recipient/s. The Recipient/s will, however, be able to view all pertinent information including medical and genetic history, physical description, photographs of the potential Donor, and photographs of her child/ren if she’s willing to share them. In an anonymous donation, the Recipient(s) will have important information about you, but you will never meet or know each other’s names. Many Recipient Parents and Egg Donors choose the anonymous route because they are most comfortable with this type of arrangement for many valid reasons.
Semi-Open Donation – This is an alternative that offers somewhat of a middle-ground solution in choosing anonymous vs. open egg donation. Oftentimes, Recipient Parents do not feel comfortable with anonymous donation because they would prefer to have the option of contacting the woman who shared her genetics with their child/ren. Additionally, many Recipient Parents would not feel comfortable with a totally open donation. With a semi-open relationship, the Recipient Parent/s have been given the Donor’s profile information, but do not necessarily know her last name, address and other detailed information. Similarly, the Egg Donor will be given basic information about the Recipient Parents, but will not necessarily know more specific information as she would in an open donation situation. The Recipient/s and the Egg Donor may decide to chat via telephone or e-mail, for example, but there will not necessarily be a commitment to stay in touch after the egg donation has occurred. The benefit to semi-known vs. anonymous, however, is that enough general information is exchanged so that the Recipient Parent/s know their Egg Donor (and vice versa) on a basic level, and can contact her if they have any questions and such. With a semi-open donation, the Egg Donor will most likely be informed about the results of the egg retrieval and whether or not a pregnancy occurs.
Open Donation – In an open donation arrangement, all parties have agreed to completely disclose information about each other, including last names, addresses, occupations, etc. The Recipient Parents and the Egg Donor, in this case, will sometimes decide to meet in person before the egg retrieval takes place, and if not possible due to logistics (location or scheduling conflicts) there will at least be conversations via email and/or telephone. In this type of arrangement, everyone is mutually interested in maintaining contact—potentially throughout the life of the child/ren born via the donation. An open donation may also occur because the Recipient Parents have a friend, a sister, or another relative who has offered to help them. Regardless of whether the Egg Donor is known previously, or whether she is someone the Recipient Parents have been matched with via Family Source, it is most important that all parties have discussed their long-term expectations of the relationship. For example, the Donor and Recipient Parent/s should discuss who they plan to tell and when. Additionally, and even more importantly, everyone must be on the same page in regards to what the Donor’s future relationship will be with the child/ren. There are certainly many issues to consider when going the open donation route, but open (or open/known) egg donation can be a wonderfully positive experience for the Recipient Parent/s, the Egg Donor, and any future children that may result.