How to Select an Egg Donor


  1. Decide on whether to look for an egg donor through your infertility clinic egg donation program, an egg donation agency, or a frozen egg bank. Creating a Family has resources to help you decide.
  2. Decide on whether using a known or unknown donor is best for you and your family to be.  We have covered this topic in many Creating a Family radio shows, including: How to Choose An Egg Donor, Are you Ready to Move to Donor Eggs or Sperm?, What 3rd Party Reproduction Can Learn from Adoption, and Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation
  3. Even if you decide to use an unknown donor, you need to decide if you want the ability for either you or your child to contact the donor in the future. Do you want an open relationship with an exchange of names and contact information, a semi-open relationship where the agency has contact information and both parties agree on certain conditions for contact. (e.g. only through the agency, only for important medical information, exchange of photos, etc.), or do you want a totally closed donation. Listen to the 1 hr radio show interview with experts listed in #2 to help you decide.
  4. Has the donor been successful at donating in the past? How many eggs were retrieved? (Remember, quantity is not the same as quality.) Having produced eggs in the past is evidence of her ability to produce eggs when stimulated, but some intended parents like the idea of a donor that has not donated eggs to another couple. Keep in mind that she may donate to another couple in the future.
  5. How old is the donor? The general preferred age range is between 21 and 30.
  6. When you read the donor’s essay and interests, do you think you would like her? Could she be a friend? Would she fit well in your family?
  7. What are the physical characteristics of the donor, her siblings, and her parents? Hair color, eye color, height, and weight. What are her interests and talents. It is OK to want the donor to be tall, beautiful, athletic, thin, academically gifted, and a musical progeny, but it is helpful to prioritize the characteristics that are most important to you.You and your partner should make a separate list and then decide on a combined prioritized list.
  8. Pay attention to her personal medical history, as well as her family medical history. There may be very little information available on her family medical history, which is often the case with younger donors.
  9. Does the donor smoke cigarettes or marijuana? Smoking is bad for egg quality.
  10. Does the donor seem motivated enough and is her schedule flexible enough to successfully go through accurately administering the medications?


Image credit: Carol L Simmons