For various reasons, you may find yourself needing a sperm, egg or embryo donation for your gestational surrogacy journey. It can be hard enough to choose a surrogacy professional for your journey; how can you choose a sperm or egg donor for your future child?
It all starts with choosing the right gamete donation bank. There are a lot of options out there, but it’s important that you find the one that is best for your family’s needs.
Your surrogacy specialist will always be here to help. Whether you’ve found yourself needing a gamete donation in the middle of your surrogacy journey, or you’re just exploring your family-building options, our team will be happy to provide references to local gamete banks. When your embryos are ready to go, we will be ready to start you on your journey.
In the meantime, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you search for the right gamete donation bank:
1. Start With Your Fertility Clinic.
If you’ve been working with a fertility clinic for previous treatments, start by reaching out to them. Many fertility clinics have partnerships with certain gamete donation banks. You may receive a discount for using that bank, or it can make the back-and-forth process between the donation bank and your fertility clinic easier. Your fertility clinic may even have recommendations on what kind of donor you should be looking for, based on your previous fertility treatment results.
2. Look for Banks that Offer Identified Donations.
There are a lot of things you’ll consider as you decide which sperm or egg gamete to choose, but we recommend one thing, no matter what – that you choose an identified donor. While anonymous gamete donors were popular in the past (and are still an option today), research has shown that choosing an identified donor is the best choice for all involved.
As your child grows up, he or she will naturally have questions about the donor who gave them half of their genetics. These inquiries won’t be a reflection on you as a parent; it’s a natural curiosity that many children brought to families in non-traditional ways experience. It’s important that they can get the answers they need. Whether it is simple information about where they come from or more critical information in response to a health scare, it’s important to have that contact connection with a donor.
That’s not even mentioning how an identified donor can help your child connect with their biological half-siblings in the future, thanks to programs such as the Donor Sibling Registry.
3. Ask What Information a Bank Retains on its Donors.
The truth? Some donor banks are more thorough than others. As a parent, you want your child to have all the information they need as they grow up. That starts with ensuring a donor bank gathers detailed information on its donors – and updates it as time goes on.
Ask a potential donor bank these kinds of questions:
- Do you keep a medical history on the donor?
- How long do you keep these records?
- Do you do genetic testing on donors?
- Do you require donors to update their medical information on a regular basis?
4. Ask About Donor Medical Screening.
On the other hand, it’s important that a donor bank does its due diligence in protecting recipients’ interests. That means screening every donor properly before their samples can be released for public use.
Before you can trust your donor bank, you will probably want to ask these questions:
- What kind of screening does each donor go through before being approved?
- Do you screen for (sickle cell anemia, hepatitis B and C, HIV and AIDS, other sexually transmitted infections and genetic conditions)?
- How often are screening tests repeated?
- Do you follow ASRM recommendations for donor gamete screening?
Your reproductive endocrinologist and personal physician might provide a full list of medical questions to help you through this interview.
5. Go With Your Gut.
While every intended parent should do diligent research when choosing professionals to help them build their family, they must also pay attention to how a professional makes them feel. A gamete bank can answer all of your questions right, but if you are not comfortable with their specialists, it’s not the right fit for you. Choosing a gamete bank – and, therefore, a gamete donor – is a big deal. It’s a highly personal choice.
More than anything else, you must be satisfied with your choice. It’s one that will impact the rest of your life.
If you’re ready to start your search, here are a few professionals to choose from:
- Fairfax Egg Bank and Sperm Cryobank
- California Egg Cryobank and Sperm Cryobank
- The World Egg Bank
- Asian Egg Bank
- Cryos International
Want more information on how surrogacy works with an egg or sperm donation? Contact our specialists anytime at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) to learn more.