Known Egg Donors

Known Egg Donors

Victoria Ferrara


Do you want to have a known egg donor? There are many factors to consider in deciding whether or not you will usea known egg donor, ie, you will meet and/or know who your egg donor is.

Historically, egg donors were anonymous for legal protection. Parties who remain anonymous to each other are notable to intrude emotionally or legally into the lives of the people they are involved with when it comes to egg donation or sperm donation. Therefore, not only was there no legal risk, but the emotional component was also cleaner.

For a straight couple, this may be very important. It is obviously difficult for a woman to come to terms that she is in need of an egg donor and cannot use her own eggs to have children, or a man to come to terms with the fact he cannot use his own sperm. Emotionally, these recipients of donor gametes must reconcile that they will not have a child genetically related to her or him. For this reason, it may be easier to use an anonymous donor in order to cope with this emotional component. Nevertheless, the intended parents should consider and come to a decision as to what they will tell their children regarding the circumstances of their birth.

For a gay couple, the decision to use a known egg donor may present a different perspective. Since they do not have eggs of their own to use, this couple does not have the emotional piece to deal with and they may want to meet the woman who is the genetic link to their child. In fact, some couples actually maintain a relationship with the egg donor so that their children can meet her at some point. Typically the right to meet is reserved for after the child turns eighteen. But often, the parents decide earlier to introduce their children to the woman who contributed one-half of the genetic make-up of the child.

These days, to use a known egg donor is legally safe. There should always be an egg donation contract so that all of the terms including compensation and confidentiality are expressed in writing. But states in the U.S. have laws protecting the rights of recipient parents stating that the egg donor does not have rights or obligations with respect to children born as a result of using her donated eggs. This is good for the egg donor as well. Often, she is a young woman who will move on with her life and will want to make sure that the egg donation does not interfere in her future family life.

Regarding known sperm donors, there are also laws that legally protect intended parents from sperm donors trying to claim rights, or sperm donors from parents seeking to obligate them for child support. The main and very crucial point here is that there must be a sperm donation contract, AND the sperm donation must be done in a medical clinic. In other words, the parties should not attempt to have a "turkey baster" baby.

Lastly, it is absolutely necessary that both intended parents and donors, either egg donors or sperm donors, get legal advice from competent lawyers that handle these types of issues.

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