Donors: Anonymous InVia, Anonymous Agency, or Known – Which is Right for You?
You first might ask what the difference is between an InVia donor and an agency donor. The main differences are pre-screening and cost. At most agencies, a donor applies, sends in photographs, meets with a psychologist or genetic counselor, and their profile is built. At InVia, we do refer our potential egg donors to both a licensed clinical psychologist AND a certified genetic counselor, but not until after they have met one of the physicians on our staff and have had medical testing done in our office. We have our donors come in for hormonal blood tests and an ultrasound before we allow them to proceed to the next step involved in our pre-screening. With InVia Fertility’s Egg Donor Program, you can be sure that we have tested them thoroughly before they are made available to you, and most agencies cannot say the same.
Does this mean one is better than the other? No. We still want you to have the right donor for you, whether it’s one of our own or one from an agency. If you do happen to choose a donor from an agency, we will still perform the same medical hormonal testing on them as we do on our own donors, the difference is you would be responsible for all testing completed, whether or not we are able to proceed with her.
The known donor is a very delicate situation. She is someone known to the recipient, whether a family member, friend, etc. Knowing the donor, as opposed to using an anonymous donor, opens a lot more to be worked out within the donor/recipient relationship. In an anonymous donor cycle, the recipient is kept abreast of every step the donor has taken along the way. The donor finds out NOTHING about the recipient. The only information given to the donor is how many eggs were retrieved from her; not how many were mature, not how many fertilize, not if a pregnancy results. Once they are retrieved from an egg donor, that ends the information that a donor is obligated to know. They then become the recipient’s eggs. This may not be the case when using a known donor. If this donor is someone in the recipient’s life, she will most likely know if there was fertilization, if there was pregnancy, and if a live birth resulted. She also may be a part of the family and see this child grow. Both parties need to be protected and to have discussions regarding the relationship and boundaries going forward. And what if pregnancy doesn’t occur? Would this ruin the relationship between the known donor and the recipient?
As a recipient you must weigh all of your options and decide what is right for you. You need to not be pressured by anyone to make any decisions and you must have control of all of the things you can control. You get final say in deciding what type of egg donor would be best for you.
Vicki Meagher has worked with InVia Fertility Specialists since 2006. She is our Third Party Coordinator, so she works with our patients that need an egg donor, sperm donor, gestational surrogate, or any combination of the above. She recruits and screens the egg donors for our in-house donor program as well. She loves working with intended parents and is passionate about third party reproduction and the important role it plays in helping patients achieve their dream of starting or extending their family. She is a member of SEEDS - the Society for Ethics for Egg Donation and Surrogacy.