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Anonymous and Known Egg Donation
There are two main types of egg donors: known donors and anonymous donors.
Known (or non-anonymous) donors are donors you know on a personal level. They can be relatives, friends, or any woman who has been contacted in some way by the recipient family.
Anonymous donors are those women who donate their eggs without revealing their identities or contact information to the recipient family. These donors usually provide their eggs through an egg donation program at a clinic or an independent agency. The clinic or agency then distributes their eggs to the recipient family. In this case, only very basic, non-identifying information is given to the recipient family, such as educational level, ethnic background, and personal attributes.
Known Donor or Anonymous Donor?
Many mental health professionals recommend pursuing a known donor if at all possible. Using a known donor ensures that more information about the donor’s medical and personal histories is available. Also, it provides more information about the child’s genetic connections and background — information your child will want to know as he or she gets older and starts asking more questions about his or her own history. The amount of interaction and openness between the donor and recipient family can vary greatly depending on individual needs and comfort levels.
However, most egg donation programs offer only anonymous donation, especially if you are relying on them to help match you with an appropriate egg donor. Many families feel more secure knowing that their egg donor will not be involved in the pregnancy and will remain completely unknown to both themselves and their child.
Regardless of your choice to use a known donor or an anonymous donor, it is a critical decision that can have a long-lasting impact. Carefully consider all your options and select an egg donation program that best meets your needs and shares your views. Make decisions you will be comfortable with not only for now, but for the rest of your life and your child’s life.