Known egg donors

Types of Egg Donation

There are three different types of egg donors: anonymous donors semi-known donors and known donors

When couples have difficulty trying to conceive on their own, sometimes they will decide to use egg or sperm donors. These types of donations are considered gamete donations because eggs and sperm are both gametes and they form a zygote in reproduction.

For egg donation, essentially there are three main types of egg donors: known, semi-known, and anonymous. Let’s take a look at each of these types of egg donation.

known egg donors

Known or Directed Donors

There are many scenarios in which intended parents cannot use their own eggs, and sometimes a friend or family member will offer their eggs for use. They are called known donors because they usually have a preexisting relationship.

The fertility clinic will examine the donor to make sure that she can physically handle the process and may require a psychological screening. Occasionally, some non-critical requirements may be waived (for example, if a donor is more overweight or older than the typical candidate) at the request of the prospective parents, if they are satisfied with her background and family history.

This process is often faster and makes parents feel more comfortable since they already know the identity of the donor. This is not possible for all intended parents, however. For example, when prospective parents don’t want to use the intended mother’s egg due to a hereditary disease. This would eliminate maternal family members.

Sometimes prospective parents simply may not want to use a known donor and this has nothing to do with a potential hereditary disease or condition. Known donors can be wonderful, but some do not handle knowing the child is biologically connected to them as well as the prospective parents had hoped. Most states have regulations eliminating any claim to the child that a donor may have, but if she has a personal relationship with the recipient family, emotional ties may be difficult to navigate.

In an open donation, all parties will have agreed to completely disclose information about each other, so it is important to remember that with known or open donations, often the child or parents are allowed to contact the donor in the future. If you think, as either the donor or intended parents, that you might be interested in future meetings, do not disregard this type of egg donation, but if you are not comfortable with it, do not feel obligated and consider an anonymous donation.

Semi-known Donors

Probably, this kind of donation is the preferred one by the prospective parents.

Typically, semi-known donors do not know anything, or only know a little about their recipients’ background. They are rarely given any information about the recipients beyond their wishes. For example, the donor may be told that the parents are seeking someone with a PhD., or she may be told that they are local and want someone local.

The recipients in these cases may know some personal details such as childhood stories, medical records, and personal motivations. Videos, photographs, and letters are popular for letting prospective parents know about the donors. Sometimes, the donor may write a letter or create a video to express her purpose in donation and her desire to help intended parents achieve their dreams.

These types of egg donors are preferred sometimes because the prospective parents can learn more about the donor than in an unknown process, which lets them decide if the donor fits in with their family structure or values.

While the donor will not be involved in the life of the child beyond providing the egg, some prospective parents want the baby’s donor to be similar to them in values, background, or personality. Much of our personalities and behaviors are contained in our DNA, so this could help the parents feel that the baby would be more like them.

Anonymous or Unknown Donors

This type of donation is used by intended parents who do not want detailed information about their donor. In this case, donors and intended parents will have very little information on the other part, and there is no way for the parents and donors to contact each other.

Some parents prefer this type of donation because they want their child to be as disconnected from the donor as possible. This allows some parents to feel more like the child is truly theirs and not related to someone else. Some parents feel that egg donation muddies the lines for the prospective parents to both feel like parents. This keeps the donor nameless and faceless, so they feel more connected to the child.

Three types of egg donation

Final notes

If you are considering donating or using donated eggs, you need to decide what type of egg donation is best for you and your family.

Egg donation can be a wonderful thing for both intended parents and donors and both parties should be satisfied with their choices.

You can find more information about “How does egg donation work?” in the following post: Egg Donation Process.