Sometimes, when couples or individuals pursue surrogacy, they need the assistance of a donor to complete their embryo — through the donation of an egg or sperm. If you know you’ll need a donated gamete for your surrogacy, your next question might be how to find a sperm donor or egg donor to make it happen.
At American Surrogacy, many of the families who come to us have already completed fertility treatments at a fertility clinic and have embryos already created. However, if you are pursuing surrogacy and have not found an egg or sperm donor, we can refer you to several fertility clinics that can help you complete the in vitro process. We can help support you through the process as much as we can, but we cannot complete those fertility processes within our agency. Instead, you will need to do diligent research to find a fertility clinic that will best help you complete your in vitro process.
To help you better understand the process of sperm and egg donation and surrogacy, we’ve answered some of the common questions you may have. For answers to your individual questions, you can always give us a call at 1-800-875-2229.
1. Why would I need a surrogate donor to provide egg or sperm for my embryo?
While some heterosexual couples are able to use their own gametes to create an embryo, other intended parents must obtain a donated egg or sperm to complete their embryo.
You may need to use donor sperm if you are a:
Same-sex female couple
Heterosexual couple where the male partner doesn’t have high quality sperm
Male intended parent who has genetic problems that may be transmitted to a biological child
You may need to use a donor egg if you are a:
Same-sex male couple
Heterosexual couple where the female partner doesn’t have healthy eggs
Female intended parent who has genetic problems that may be transmitted to a biological child
Most likely, if you will need an egg or sperm donation, your fertility specialist will have already discussed this with you during your in vitro process. If you haven’t worked with a fertility clinic yet, American Surrogacy highly recommends you contact one about your personal fertility options and how to find a sperm or egg donor, if needed. We can also refer you professionals for this step in the surrogacy process.
2. How do I find a sperm or egg donor?
When you work with a fertility clinic, they will likely be able to refer you to a gamete bank that can help you find a sperm or egg donor. Some fertility clinics have in-house egg donor programs, and others may refer to you outside egg or sperm donation agencies or banks.
If you approach us at American Surrogacy looking to find a sperm or egg donor, we can refer you to a couple of fertility clinics. The choice will be up to you, so we recommend you do extensive research to decide which fertility clinic or agency is best for you.
Keep in mind: Many fertility clinics have established relationships with gamete banks, and your options may be limited to the professionals your clinic works with. Before you contact donor banks, we recommend you speak with your fertility clinic to see which professionals are available to you.
For more information on finding a sperm or egg donor and how fertility clinics can help, check out these websites:
Another option you have is through an identified sperm or egg donor. Even if you cannot be biologically related to your child, you may be able to share some genetics with them by using a donated egg or sperm from a family member, like a sister, brother or cousin. However, there are some important issues to consider when using an identified gamete donor, including the potential for disrupted relationships.
3. What do I need to know about surrogacy with a donor egg or donor sperm?
One of the most important things to consider (and one of the aspects of gamete donation that American Surrogacy highly recommends) is an open relationship with the gamete donor. Many sperm and egg donors are anonymous, which can make explaining your child’s surrogacy story difficult — and that’s why seeking out open-identified donors can be so helpful in your surrogacy journey.
At some point, your child will naturally become curious about where they can from. Choosing an open-identified donor will allow them to have answers to their questions — whether it’s about any half-siblings they have, their extended family history or what their biological parent is like. In addition, open-identified donors can provide potentially life-saving family medical history for your child. Choosing an open-identified sperm or egg donor will be instrumental in preserving the identity of your child born via surrogacy and donated gamete.
If you’re considering sperm and egg donation for surrogacy, American Surrogacy also recommends you register your child in the Donor Sibling Registry, which will allow you to connect your child with genetically related relatives and help them establish their sense of identity as they grow up. Although it’s a fairly new organization that you may not have heard about, the Registry will also give you the chance to receive up-to-date family medical information or seek information during a medical emergency. Your surrogacy specialist can further explain what becoming a part of the Registry will mean and how it can help you as your child grows up.
Creating a surrogacy through an egg or sperm donation can be a complicated choice that can affect your family long after a surrogate pregnancy is complete. Our specialists at American Surrogacy are here to provide support as best as we can, whether in the form of emotional counseling or references and resources for you to better understand your surrogacy journey.
To discuss our process in more detail and learn about how we can help in your individual situation, please feel free to call us at 1-800-875-2229 or contact us online here.