At Fairfax EggBank and Egg Donor Central, we’ve launched our ID Option Donor Program. Here’s a quick rundown about how it works:
- An egg donor may choose to be anonymous or ID Option.
- If an egg donor chooses the ID Option, she agrees to allow us to release her identity and contact information only to the donor-conceived child, not the recipients of donor eggs, once that child reaches the age of 18 and requests the information.
- The recipients of the donated eggs decide whether they want to choose an anonymous or ID Option donor. Even if recipients choose an ID Option donor, they may still choose for the donor to remain anonymous.
- Once choosing to be an ID Option or anonymous donor, the donor may not change her mind as this may be an important factor to recipients.
The concept is simple. The choice might not be. If you’re thinking about becoming an egg donor, how do you decide whether or not to be an ID Option donor?
To help you think about this, let’s start with why we launched the ID Option. We began this program because we saw more and more clients asking if we offered open-identity donors. For children conceived through the use of donor eggs, it’s natural to be curious about the donor who helped their parents. Providing the option to contact the egg donor can offer an empowering choice for these children once they reach adulthood. The very fact that this information is available may be more important than whether they ever decide to act on it. The couples who request ID Option donors agree that openness matters.
So what does this mean for you, a potential egg donor, who may be weighing your options?
To begin with, you may question if by being an ID Option donor, you’d somehow be responsible for the offspring born from your donated eggs. But that worry is unfounded. The ID Option is not intended to create family relationships between ID Option donors and children conceived using their donated eggs. As an egg donor, regardless of being anonymous or ID Option, you have no legal or financial relationship, rights, or obligations to any donor-conceived offspring.
You may, however, feel that you want to maintain privacy for yourself and your own current (or future) family—you’re happy to help these infertile couples, but for you, the involvement ends at donation. Your desire for privacy is legitimate and the anonymous option might be a better fit for you. Also, many couples who come to Fairfax EggBank for help prefer anonymous donors.
However, many egg donors have reported intense feelings of curiosity about the offspring born as a result of their donations. They understand they are not under any obligation to have a relationship, and yet it can be satisfying to give this option to these offspring once they reach an appropriate age. Also, it’s important to remember that parents who choose an ID Option donor may decide to keep the donation anonymous, and the offspring may or may not choose to learn about their donor.
For egg donors as well as the families they help, the ID Option is an extremely personal choice that must come out of deeply held values and emotions. We encourage our applicants to think about this decision carefully as they start their journey to egg donation. Rest assured, we provide professional counseling and an in-depth interviews specifically designed to inform donors about the ID Option route and the potential scenarios in the future that can occur. We want donors to feel fully confident about their decision before enrolling them into their ID Option program.
Whether donors are anonymous or ID Option, they all have one important thing in common: thanks to them, families have hope.