How Does Egg Donor Anonymity Work?

If you’re seeking an egg donor to help build your family, you probably have a lot of questions regarding egg donor anonymity — how it works, what exactly it means, and what parameters are in place to protect both you and the donor.

While there are other options for egg donation — “known,” which means all donor information is shared with the intended parent(s); “semi-known,” which serves as a middle ground between anonymous and open, with only some information shared — anonymous donation is the most common route at this time.

Anonymous donors do not receive any identifying information (such as name and address) about the person or couple receiving the eggs. Likewise, you will not be given any identifying information about the donor.

Who Makes Use of Anonymous Egg Donation?
Egg donation, which involves a fertile woman donating eggs to another woman to help her get pregnant, has helped millions of people achieve their dreams of building a family.

Egg donation solutions are used by both same-sex female couples and opposite-sex couples to help the intended mother get pregnant. Poor egg quality, premature menopause, cancer, age, endometriosis, ovulation disorders and damaged fallopian tubes can all affect a woman’s ability to conceive.

Same-sex male couples hoping to build a family also turn to anonymous egg donation, as do single women who are unable to conceive and single men looking to start a family on their own.

When using the egg donation method, the intended parent(s) can choose to work with only the egg donor, who then serves as a traditional surrogate, carrying the pregnancy to term, or with an egg donor and a gestational carrier, who undergoes artificial insemination using the donor’s eggs.

What Does the Anonymous Egg Donation Process Involve?
Searching for the ideal anonymous egg donor for your unique needs can be a daunting task, but keeping a few things in mind can make the process a lot easier.

First, after deciding upon a fertility clinic to work with, you will look through the clinic’s egg donor database. As mentioned, the people in this database will not provide their identity. However, you will typically be able to learn quite a lot about donors, including their physical appearance, religion, ethnicity, medical history, education, occupation, blood type and personality.

When searching for an egg donor, some people may focus more on finding a donor who has similar interests, while others might be more concerned with finding a certain physical, racial or ethnic match. Some biracial or mixed-ethnicity couples, for example, might want to find a donor who shares physical attributes with both partners. All of this information can give great insight into a potential egg donor.

What Does Egg Donor Anonymity Mean?
While most people understand that egg donor anonymity means no identifying information will be shared regarding either the donor or intended parent(s), there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding the details of anonymity.

People who sign up to serve as anonymous donors do so under the condition that the intended parent(s) will not be able to identify or contact them. Once a donor is chosen, an agreement is drawn up between the intended parent(s) and the donor.

This agreement outlines all the stipulations involved in the donor process and must be signed by both parties. Typically, these agreements are signed before the donor begins to take any kind of injectable medications.

It is best practice for both the donor and intended parent(s) to have separate legal representation when signing this agreement, which can be catered to meet both parties’ needs and desires. Some donors may allow for the possibility of being contacted once a child conceived with their eggs reaches the age of 18, for instance. In some cases, the desires of both parties may change over time, and the contact can be updated to allow for alterations.

All of these possibilities should be discussed in depth with the egg donor at the beginning stages of the process.

Learn More
Navigating anonymous egg donation may seem complicated at first, but a trustworthy medical team and knowledgeable legal support will make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

To receive a free legal consultation or learn more about any of the topics discussed above, contact Klein Fertility Law, California’s leading surrogacy and egg donor lawyers.

Back to blog