The ID Option Egg Donor: Choices for You and Your Child
Frozen donor eggs represent hope to many couples—just ask the families who have gone through successful donor egg IVF treatments and pregnancies thanks to this method. But as hope for a family becomes a reality for intended parents, they may be faced with a difficult dilemma a few years later in life: what happens when children ask who their egg donor was?
ID Option Program
At Fairfax EggBank, thanks to requests from our patients, we’ve started our ID Option Egg Donor program as a way to address this dilemma. Here’s how the ID Option works:
- If an egg donor chooses the ID Option path, she agrees to allow us to release her identity and contact information to the donor-conceived child, once that child reaches the age of 18 and takes the option to request the information.
- Once an offspring conceived by an ID Option egg donor is born, parents may choose whether or not to register their child’s birth with Fairfax EggBank—by doing this, the child can request the donor’s information upon reaching the age of 18.
- An ID Option donor may be used as either an ID Option donor or an anonymous egg donor.
- An ID Option egg donor will not have the option to become an anonymous donor after committing to the ID Option program. Conversely, our anonymous egg donors will not be allowed to become ID Option donors.
What does this program mean for families who use frozen donor eggs to conceive via an ID Option donor? The most important word here is “option.” It gives donors, patients, and children options.
Here are some things for you to think about when you consider an anonymous donor versus an ID option donor.
Keeping Your Egg Donor Anonymous
Many parents may be reluctant to even tell their children that they were conceived with the help of an egg donor. It’s understandable to want to leave the whole
process of infertility treatments—sometimes a very painful and difficult process—behind them. Parents also worry about the right way and the right time to explain their fertility journey to their donor-conceived children.
On top of all of that, parents might feel ambivalent about children knowing or meeting the egg donor, even if they are comfortable talking about egg donation. Many parents worry that this knowledge could potentially disrupt family life and relationships, and feel that using an anonymous donor would remove this risk.
Choosing the ID Option Egg Donor
To begin with, keep in mind that the ID Option program is not intended to create family relationships between ID Option donors and children conceived using their donated eggs. Egg donors, whether anonymous or ID Option, have no legal relationship, rights, or obligations. Instead, this option is about giving choices.
Children conceived by the use of donor eggs may want to learn more about their donors as a way of exploring more about themselves—this curiosity is natural. Providing offspring with the option to contact their donor offers an empowering choice these children can make once they reach adulthood.
And, sometimes, the very fact that this information is available can be helpful, whether or not a child decides to act on it. Carole Lieber Wilkins, M.A., M.F.T., a therapist and specialist in infertility and family building, writes: “The most important part of the equation here is that you are not withholding important pieces of your child’s history from them. Your willingness to give them what they need, as you determine what is appropriate for them at different stages, is more important than your exact answers.”
Choices and Information
Using frozen donor eggs from an anonymous donor or an ID Option egg donor is an extremely personal decision. Having more options is empowering for everyone involved. At Fairfax EggBank, we are very pleased to be able to offer both options. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about this program. To search for ID Option donors in our egg donor database, look for donors designated with “ID” after their donor ID number (e.g., 1626ID).