If you’re an intended parent considering surrogacy, there’s a chance you’re looking for a sperm and/or egg donor. In the age of at-home DNA kits, many donor clinics have moved toward identified gamete donors.
Reach out to a surrogacy professional today to get more information about surrogacy.
You and your child will benefit socially, emotionally, and medically from using identified donor gametes. This guide will explain what donated gametes are, the two different types of donors you can work with, and why it’s favorable to use identified donor gametes.
What is Gamete Donation?
Gamete donation refers to people donating their gametes to a clinic or “bank” so that intended parents can use them to have a baby. People can donate two types of gametes:
- Women can donate their eggs
- Men can donate their sperm
Gamete Donor Contracts
When a person donates their gametes to a fertility clinic, cryobank, or another type of fertility professional, they will sign a contract to waive their future parental rights. All donors (anonymous, identified, and even someone you know) will sign a gamete donor contract.
A surrogacy attorney will then make sure you take all the other steps necessary to secure your parental rights in the state you’re located in.
How are Gamete Donors Chosen?
Intended parents can choose the donor they want to contribute to their embryo.
When you choose to work with a donor, the clinic will have already tested the gametes for:
- HIV, Hepatitis B and C, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis
- The cystic fibrosis gene
- Genetic testing specific to a donor’s history and ethnic background
- Some programs test for Fragile X syndrome
Intended parents also can choose donors based on the information they provide in their donor profiles.
What it Means to Use Identified Donor Gametes
All donor profiles (anonymous and identified) will contain basic donor information. This typically includes basic, non-identifying details, including:
- Notes about the donor’s appearance
- Background information
- Sometimes, the donors include a photo of themselves when they were babies
What Makes Identified Gamete Donation Different?
Identified donors note in their donor profiles that they are willing to be identified. Most donor programs keep this information on file for donor-conceived children to access when they turn 18.
Identified donors also are often family members or friends of the identified parents.
Why Using Identified Gamete Donation is Beneficial
Surrogacy professionals suggest that identified parents use identified donors because it has many inherent benefits. Some of the most notable positive aspects of using identified donor gametes include:
Your Child’s Donor Understands the Importance of Knowing Where a Person Comes From
All kids want to know where they came from. When you have your donor’s personal information and medical history, you can tell your child specific details about their origin story.
You also can rest assured that the identified donor you work with understands their role in your child’s life. These donors don’t want to parent your child – they want to help you and your child have as much helpful information as possible.
Your Child Will Know About Their Extended Family
When you use identified donor gametes, your child can learn about their extended family. Identified donor-conceived children can join the Donor Sibling Registry or directly contact their donor to learn more about their genetic relationship.
Your Child Can Access Their Family’s Medical History
When you work with any type of donor, you’ll get a lot of the donor’s family health information. But, when you use identified donor gametes, you can reach out to the donor and get up-to-date medical information about them and their family.
It’s Difficult to Find Anonymous Donor Gametes
It used to be a lot easier to donate gametes anonymously. Since the creation of at-home DNA kits and genealogy, it’s increasingly more difficult for a donor to remain 100% anonymous.
Because of these developments, some donor clinics are switching to exclusively working with identified sperm and egg donors.
Is There Ever a Situation Where I Should Choose to Work With an Anonymous Donor?
Choosing the type of donor you want to use to complete your surrogacy is a very personal decision. So, if you genuinely want to use an anonymous donor, that’s your right.
But, keep in mind that most surrogacy professionals urge intended parents to use identified donors to help them have all the valuable tools to raise their children and keep them healthy throughout their lives.
Talk to a Surrogacy Professional About Using Intended Donor Gametes Today
If you and your partner are considering using intended donor gametes, your surrogacy professional can help you find the right fertility clinic or sperm bank to work with. Contact a surrogacy professional today to start your surrogacy journey.