Assisted reproductive technologies are becoming more common and accessible to those hoping to start or grow a family. We believe this is a great thing. But with availability comes important decisions, too. If you are thinking about growing your family through egg donation or surrogacy, you have a lot to consider and a very important choice to make.
This decision will play a role in shaping the future of your family. Once it’s made, it can’t be taken back. So, take your time. Gather information and research as much as you can to put yourself in the situation to make the best choice for your life. This article is meant to serve as a guide to anyone searching for answers about egg donation — a viable and increasingly common way to start a family.
If you have specific questions about your situation while you are reading, you can always contact us to speak with a professional.
What Is Egg Donation?
Egg donation is a delicate medical process that many intended parents will use to start a family. There are several people involved in this process:
- An egg donor
- The intended parents
- Potentially a gestational surrogate
If intended parents decide to start a family using egg donation, they will first need to identify an egg donor. This can be done personally, but it is typically best to work with a professional. Intended parents often have specific character traits they want to see in an egg donor, and these can range from medical history to intelligence to personal appearance. An egg donor is half the equation in conceiving, so this is obviously a choice that should be made carefully.
After a donor is selected, her eggs are surgically collected. They are then paired with either donor sperm or sperm from the intended father and placed in the carrier through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The carrier may be the biological mother, or the intended parents could elect to work with a surrogate through the gestational surrogacy process.
Who Can Egg Donation Help?
People approach alternative family-building options from many different walks of life. Egg donation can help many kinds of people, such as:
- Hopeful parents struggling with infertility
- LGBTQ couples or individuals
- Single individuals wishing to start a family
- Families with genetic conditions that make pregnancy challenging/impossible
- And more
If biological childbirth is not a legitimate avenue to starting a family for any reason, then egg donation via IVF or surrogacy is a route you can consider.
In most cases, an egg donation is used as a part of the surrogacy process. The only case where intended parents would use an egg donor but not a surrogate is when the intended mother is able to safely carry a baby to term, even though her eggs are not viable.
Questions to Ask Before Committing to an Egg Donor
As we said before, this is a very important decision. It will have a lasting impact on your family. Before saying “yes” or “no,” there are several things you should consider about using egg donation.
Are you prepared to raise a donor-conceived child?
We know that family is more than biology. Family is made of love. There are still differences to consider when it comes to raising a donor-conceived child, even if this isn’t a fun subject to think about. For instance, it is important, when age-appropriate, to be honest with your child about their story. This means talking about gamete donation and how they came to be. If this is kept a secret and they find out later in life, it could negatively impact them emotionally.
This, along with other unique challenges, is something you should consider.
Can you handle the additional cost of egg donation?
Egg donation is a delicate and complicated medical procedure. As such, it isn’t cheap. You are most likely already aware of the costs associated with assisted reproductive technologies as you are searching for options for your family. As you should with any other family-building option, be honest and practical about what you can and cannot afford.
Do you have clear ideas of what you are looking for in a donor?
It’s best to approach the egg donation process with a vision. What are some things you need in an egg donor? Consider genetics, medical history, blood type and more. Even an egg donor’s personality can come in to play, as personality is partly genetic.
Additionally, you should know at the start whether or not you want an anonymous or identified donor.
Have you found the right professional to work with?
Gamete donation and gestational surrogacy professionals, like American Surrogacy, can assist you in this process. While medical professionals and fertility clinics are necessary in order to perform an egg donation, we can provide as much guidance and support to you as possible. Have you found a professional with clear processes and a proven track record of success? Working with the right organization can significantly affect your experience with egg donation.
If you would like to learn more about egg donation, surrogacy and American Surrogacy’s history of success, we would love to talk. You can contact us online at any time or call 1-800-875-(BABY)2229 to learn more.