Making the Right Choice Between a Known and an Anonymous Egg Donor

Couples experiencing fertility issues often have the option of accepting a donor egg from another woman for the couple carry to term naturally. But while this treatment can make an otherwise impossible family possible, it is also fraught with many potential issues that should not be taken lightly. The decision of whether to use a known or anonymous egg donor is one of the most important you can make prior to fertilization, and it isn't always an easy choice. 

Negotiating a Donor's Compensation Fee

Donors do not sell their eggs, but the process of screening, preparing for removal, and having the surgery itself can be long, taxing, and expensive. Compensation fees are expected to at least cover the medical costs of the egg donor, and some donors may want an additional sum for their time and trouble. If you have a known donor, such as a relative, in mind, you may be able to pay less overall for the eggs than you would through an anonymous contract. Considering the total price of fertility treatments and in-vitro fertilization, the savings could significantly impact your budget. 

Planning for Future Health Discoveries

Most egg donation contracts include a stipulation that the egg donor must contact the egg recipient if she learns she has a major genetic disorder. Some anonymous donor contracts, however, do not carry this mandate. Before you decide on any donor, check her personal contract to see whether or not this provision is part of the deal. Doing so could provide you with the early warning you need if something goes wrong with the donor years later. 

Determining Your Comfort Levels 

When it all comes down to it, choosing between a known and anonymous donor is largely determined by how much you want your child to potentially learn about his or her heritage. A known donor will be aware of her genetic offspring and may or may not demand a certain level of involvement as part of the legal agreement. An anonymous donor, on the other hand, should not seek out you or your child outside of an emergency and may be the best option if you do not wish to disclose your child's genetic heritage. 

Dealing with Potential Legal Ramifications

Egg donation can be a sticky legal area, particularly over frequently contested issues like fees, contact permissions, and what can be done with any excess viable eggs. Whenever you attempt fertility treatments with a donor egg, you should first meet with an experienced fertility lawyer to go over your contract and negotiate the best deal possible so that both you and the donor are satisfied. By making the right choices for your family, you can both protect yourself from legal vulnerabilities and strike the right balance between familiarity and accessibility with your donor. 

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