Have you ever wondered how intended parents choose their egg donors? What is their thought process? What is most important to them? We recently posed these questions to some of our former intended moms, and what stood out most in their responses was the desire to feel a connection with their donors.
Physical characteristics play a role, but more importantly, intended parents want to have a sense of the donor’s personality and her character. They want to get to know you! That’s why we encourage our egg donors to update their profiles at least every six months, provide detailed answers to the profile questions and upload a video message for intended parents, sharing a little about themselves and why they want to be an egg donor.
Read on to learn why these moms chose their donors and how they feel today about the women who helped them create their families.
Carrie Collier-BrownTwins Cooper and Zoe, age 5 (also has a biological daughter Willow, age 10)
Jennifer DunnSon Bennett, age 2
Daughter Hallie, age 1 (also has a biological son, Eli, age 4)
Hillary RedwineDaughter Corinne, age 5
What was most important to you in choosing an egg donor? Did what was most important change over time?
Amy: Initially, finding a donor with similar physical characteristics was very important to me, but in the end, what mattered most was choosing someone we felt we had a connection to, whose personality was likable and relatable, and who gave us the best chance for success. I had to get over some things that I had a hard time letting go of but that didn’t really matter at the end of the day. I realized I wanted a baby more than I wanted a baby who looked like me. I felt like it was the baby I was intended to have, so it was easy to have peace about that.
Carrie: Everyone in our family has blue eyes, so we wanted a donor with blue eyes. That was the only physical attribute we really cared about. It was important to us to choose someone who would be open to being in contact with our family for medical reasons while our children are minors and also be open to our children reaching out to her once they turn 18 if that’s something they want to do. At the time we went through the process in 2014, that might have limited our options some, but we were okay with that.
Jennifer: For me, it wasn’t based on looks at all. I wanted to feel some sort of connection. When I saw a photo of our donor and saw her smile, it looked like she was also smiling with her eyes. It seemed like her happiness would be contagious. She just looked like a very kind and warm person.
Hillary: Initially, I really wanted to find a donor who had red hair like me. I think the idea of having a redheaded child was ingrained in me after years of people commenting on my hair and saying wouldn’t it be neat if I had redheaded kids. But even with a biological child, there is no guarantee that he or she would have my hair color. Ultimately, the physical characteristics didn’t matter as much. When we narrowed down what was most important, it was family health history, education and answers to the profile questions. I wanted to get a sense that the donor was a good person and someone I could be friends with. I also wanted someone who was willing to meet in person and would be open to meeting any future children.
Why did you choose your donor? Can you describe the connection you felt that made you decide to choose her?
Amy: Our donor’s eyes are similar in color and shape to mine, so it was nice to have that physical characteristic in common. She was at the top of both mine and my husband’s lists because we loved her answers to the essay questions, as well as her family values and interests. When you read through the donor profiles, you get a sense of if you would like and relate to that person. Our donor seemed like someone I would be friends with, and that connection was so important to me. She also seemed like someone who was loyal and trustworthy. She liked the same books, foods and music that I do. While I was not able to meet my donor or get to know her personally, these things we had in common were what made me choose her. She had so many traits we loved and would love to pass on to our daughter.
Carrie: We liked that she had thoughtful responses on the questionnaire. She mentioned having a friend or family member who had struggled with infertility, and that was part of the reason she wanted to be a donor. We also did a Skype session with our donor, and it went very well. She wasn’t too young and had been a donor before, so we felt like she had a good sense of the commitment involved with being an egg donor. After a negative experience at another agency, that was important to us.
Jennifer: In reading our donor’s bio, I felt like she was doing it for the right reasons. She talked a lot about her family and how much she loved them, so that endeared me to her. As I mentioned, I felt a connection when I saw her photo. It’s hard to explain, but I just knew she was the one.
Hillary: Based on her profile, she seemed like she would be a very fun and interesting person. She mentioned being an artist, playing the saxophone and belonging to a hula-hoop troop. She indicated that she was very close to her family, and it seemed like she really wanted to help another family by being an egg donor. I met her for dinner before the egg retrieval and got to know her some. She was very kind and genuine. As we said goodbye, we hugged, and she said that I was going to be a great mom. That has always stuck with me, and I think speaks to the kind of person she is.
How do you feel about your donor now? What would you say to her?
Amy: Our daughter is such a joy. I’m so grateful there are people who are willing to help others have a family. I would tell our donor thank you for helping us complete our family. I would also want to ask her about some of my daughter’s traits to see if she gets them from the donor.
Carrie: I would tell her thank you. Right after the twins were born, I was very emotional about it. I sent our donor a letter through the Donor Sibling Registry thanking her. Now that it’s been several years, the fact that our twins are donor-conceived doesn’t feel so overwhelming. It’s just part of their story.
Hillary: I will always be very grateful to our donor because without her, I wouldn’t have my daughter. And I honestly can’t image having any other child. I recently reconnected with our donor and shared some photos and information about our family. She is open to staying in touch, and I am thankful for that as well. My daughter may have questions as she gets older, and I want to make sure she has access to any information she needs or wants in the future.
Jennifer: I love our donor, and I think about her every day. It takes a very special human being to give someone the gift of egg donation. I recently joined the Donor Sibling Registry, and we’ve found each other. I feel like we have a connection already, and I look forward to every message. We just recently shared our personal information. I hope that she becomes a part of our lives in any capacity she is comfortable with. I feel so relieved that we were able to make this connection. It’s important not only for Bennett and myself but for her as well. She will always hold a special place in my heart. I can’t put into words what she means to me.
Getting selected as an egg donor
Have you been approved as an egg donor but are still waiting to be matched with intended parents? Check out our tips for making your profile stand out to get selected faster. If you have questions or need help with your profile, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.