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How to Choose an Egg Donor

Having a baby with the help of an egg donor is expensive, so make sure you know what you're doing from the start.


  • Step 1: Decide on a donor Decide whether you want to ask someone you know to donate an egg or use an egg donation agency. Though the former can be cheaper and easier, the latter is largely free of emotional complications.
  • Step 2: Research known-donor law If you decide to ask a friend to donate her eggs, thoroughly research the pertinent laws; their rights and obligations vary from state to state. Have an attorney draw up a contract that addresses custody and visitation.
  • Step 3: Find a donor program If you decide on an egg donor agency, find a reputable program. Ask your fertility specialist for recommendations, and check out online reviews of agencies in your area. Look for companies that are endorsed by nonprofit infertility organizations.
  • TIP: Be leery of any agency that asks for an advance lump sum payment for their services.
  • Step 4: Consider the donation type Think about whether you'd like a totally anonymous egg donor; a semi-open donation, where you and the donor agree to chat by phone or e-mail; or an open donation, where you and the donor know everything about each other and can decide what contact the donor and child will have in the future, if any.
  • Step 5: Review donor profiles Review donor profiles, which provide the person's medical history and vital statistics; photos are sometimes included. Donors also complete an extensive questionnaire that provides clues to their personality. If the agency conducted psychological testing, consider having a mental health professional evaluate the results.
  • TIP: To keep things impersonal, choose a separate egg donor and gestational surrogate.
  • Step 6: Be realistic Be realistic. Buying the eggs of someone with certain genetic traits doesn't guarantee that your child will inherit them. How you raise them is what will truly define them as a person.
  • FACT: One expert has estimated that 90 percent of women seeking to become egg donors never make it past the initial screening.

You Will Need

  • A reputable agency
  • Donor profiles
  • Careful consideration

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