Yes it’s just like shopping online for the perfect pair of heels or sneakers. A needle in the haystack. Well if you’re a picky bitch like me! Our experience in finding a egg donor was very short. When we got the green light from our sister-in-law (surrogate). We started to seriously search for potential donors. I had already been combing through several online databases of a few egg donor agencies. Almost all agencies provide easy and free access to their egg donor lists. My initial hunt had me looking at 5 agencies based in CA. Like I mention in my post about gestational surrogacy, we choose to keep the GS process close to home or at least within the state of California.
Then I whittled that list down to 2 agencies based on the types of donors the agency tended to procure. We did a phone interview with one donor but something was just not right. The second donor, was just found by another other agency and I was emailed her profile right after the donors initial meeting with the agency. She fit most if not all the background criteria Clem and I had set out in search of.
Search criteria can really be a long laundry list of must have’s if you actually sit down and hash out expectations. Everything from smoking habits, hygiene, professions held, height, drug use, sexual behavior, physical characteristics, religion, ethnicity, family medical history and the all important education. Making that list is stressful, we sat down at least two times and made the list but of coarse we had over a dozen conversations about the topic. Those conversations can become heated, this process made us open our eyes about each of our expectations and intent for this process.
One day were talking about the LIST and I finally stopped the conversation and said “Lets just pick the #1 requirement each and that will make it easier to choose the right donor. Then there are obvious items like ethnicity, smoking habit or medical background, which are no brainers. While those little things may seem like nothing initially, they can blow up any conversation.
So we each chose the most important trait we wanted the egg donor to have at first glance of a profile. The basics were simple, caucasian and a non-smoker. We were a caucasian couple and well, you want to avoid cancer as much as possible. Of coarse what happened in the past, happened in the past. Clem’s #1 was obvious a choice, that the donor must have at least a bachelors degree or better. Myself, my #1 was more physical. I come a tall family, my sister, brother and I are all 6ft or over. So I wanted the donor to be at least 5’ 7’’ tall. Right now all of my nieces and nephews are on the path to being pretty tall, so I wanted the kids to feel like the really fit into the family.
Now back to the donor we found at the second agency. She was in her mid 20’s, 5’10’’, had a masters in music and love for music thanks to her musical family roots. She was born and raised for many years in Europe but eventually moved to the US. We did sit down and interview the donor and the whole interview was amazing. Right of the bat we really connected with her and half way through the interview, I realized she was literally a spitting image of my sister. From all her physical attributes, the way she talked, sat,mannerisms and even her had gestures or the way she rolled her eyes. It all screamed my sister. Half way through the interview we took a break and she went to the bathroom and I turned to Clem and said “OMG, she’s Michele!” and Clem jumped in his seat and said” I was thinking the same thing.” The donor and agent came back into the room while we were discuss this uncanny resemblence and we found ourselves talking about my sister and all the similar things she had in common with her. The donor was genuinely amused. We were sold at hello you could say.
Really read a donors profile, the highlights in the profile can be interesting or even education. Some intended parents might get scare on how much information is required or given through the donor process. Drug use is always crowd pleaser. You really need to honest about all the skeleton you personally have in your own closet when it come to that subject. Sexual behavior is also fun to read. We loved that she was honest enough to say she had experimented with the same-sex. When we first choose her a egg donor, she had been in a long term relationship with a man but not married at that time. A year and half later when we started GS process again, she was already single. You just never know what to expect and in the end, it really doesn’t matter. That subject is only necessary when you are searching for a surrogate.
Over the past few years we have several other couple friends who’ve undertaken the same path we choose in starting a family. My top pieces of advice for search criteria of a donor is play the field and take your time because the right donor is not sitting on database waiting for you to show up. More importantly, sit down and discuss your basic requirements of a donor, like their race and choose your number requirement for your donor. Having more than one must have trait will make the process unpleasant. So just pick your #1 trait the donor must have. Forget everything else during the search.
I know it sounds odd to say this but have fun with the process. While at times it’s stressful searching for the perfect one. Just enjoy the donors profiles. That one thing that might scare you right away when looking at a picture or reading profile. Might just melt into nothing once read how amazing that woman is. And of coarse be patient, the right donor for you will appear when you least expect it. Just like dating! The perfect person for you always shows up when you least expect it.