Is Egg Donation Anonymous? Known Egg Donors vs. Anonymous Donors
The decision to donate your eggs is extremely personal. If you’re considering whether or not to become a donor, you might be wondering whether it’s something you can keep private. Maybe you’re not sure your parents would approve, or you think your friends wouldn’t understand and you don’t want to deal with awkward conversations. Maybe you’re kind of freaked out about whether the intended parents you might match with could find out who you are someday. Whatever your reasons, it’s completely normal to have questions about this. Can you be an egg donor and stay anonymous? Where are the boundaries? Let’s take a look at egg donation and privacy.
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Is egg donation always anonymous?
The answer is: almost always. And definitely always if that’s what you want. There are a few different types of egg donation, and there are some serious differences between them.
- Known donor: Also known as an “open arrangement”, a known donor egg donation often involves a friend or family member of the intended parents. In an open arrangement, all information is shared between the donor and the intended family, including full names and addresses. It is pretty rare to have an open egg donor arrangement between a donor and a family who haven’t met before.
- Semi-anonymous donor: Also known as a “semi-open arrangement”, in this situation both the donor and the intended parents agree to share a small amount of information with each other, perhaps first names, or the cities you live in. A semi-open arrangement gives you and the family an option of contact in the future if you all agree, but it’s not expected or guaranteed.
- Anonymous donor: This is by far the most common arrangement, and it’s the kind of egg donation we help with most often at Bright Expectations. An anonymous donation is fully anonymous, which means that no identifying information is shared between you and the intended family, and you will never meet.
How do you make sure my egg donation is anonymous?
Here at Bright Expectations, we take your privacy very, very seriously, and we take steps to ensure your privacy throughout the donation process. We remove all identifying information and details from your profile before it is shown to the intended parents and we hold your personal, medical, and genetic information in strictest confidence at every stage.
How can I make sure that I stay anonymous?
While we’ll always do everything we can to protect your confidentiality and privacy, there are a few things you can do to help.
Use unique photos
During the application process, you’ll need to submit some photos of yourself that will be included in the profile we show intended parents. These days, the power of a reverse-image search online has the potential to breach anyone’s anonymity. We recommend that you use photos which haven’t been posted before on any of your social media channels, or on websites with identifying information (like your school or workplace.) When it comes to picking out photos of you as a baby or child to include, just make sure to choose ones you haven’t used for #TBT before!
Make sure your photos are free of identifying information
When you’re choosing photos, it’s best to pick ones where you’re not wearing anything that could give clues to your identity, like a university or club t-shirt or a work uniform. Check the background of the photo and think about whether your address or location is visible or identifiable.
Keep it off social media
You’re going through something big, and it’s understandable that at some point you may wish to share your experience. While you’re actually going through the egg donation process, though, it’s a good idea not to post details on social media. It could compromise your privacy, especially if you’re sharing treatment timelines or clinic visits.
As an egg donor, you are going through a process which involves an intimate look into your medical, personal, and family history and a series of intensive screening tests. You’re agreeing to take fertility medications, visit the fertility clinic for monitoring, and finally, undergo the egg retrieval procedure. You’re also changing a family’s world forever by helping to create a new life. Yes, egg donation is rewarding on many levels, but it’s also…kind of a lot. When you’re giving so much of yourself, you absolutely deserve to be treated with the utmost care and respect. Protecting your privacy as an egg donor is an important part of that, and we’ll always ensure that your identity is secure with us.