If you’re considering an egg donation cycle, whether you’re an intended parent or an egg donor, it’s important to understand the differences between the two types of cycles you can choose from; open or anonymous. We asked a few previous donors to share their thoughts on popular questions surrounding open/anonymous donor cycles. 

What is an anonymous egg donation?

An anonymous egg donation is when both the donor and recipient’s identities are completely concealed. The intended parents are allowed access to the donor’s relevant medical information (such as oocyte quality and the number of oocytes), but all identifying information is kept hidden. Identifying information includes name, location, place of employment, etc. 

The donors’ name is removed from the version of her profile that the intended parents see when deciding which donor they would like to use. On the opposite end, the donor will have no contact with the intended parents, and all of their information will remain confidential. Nurses and physicians are extremely careful when speaking to parties involved in an egg donation cycle, and make sure that no identifying information is ever given to either party. 

This is the most common type of egg donation agreement. Most of the time, intended parents and donors prefer that they remain anonymous to keep their personal privacy.

Can you remain 100% anonymous?

Generally, it is easy to remain anonymous through donor agencies. The tricky part comes into play with DNA testing resources and other potential medical advancements. There is no telling where technology will take us in the next few decades, so it is important for donors and patients to consider this before they commit.

“So far with my donations, my agency has done a great job of keeping everything anonymous. I have zero contact with the intended parents and they even keep their IVF success after the donation hidden. I wasn’t allowed to know their gender, age, location, or anything. I doubt with internet advances that total anonymity is possible for either party, but I have no intention to look up or find the families now or in the future.”  – DV (25)

“My donation was an anonymous cycle. This made me and my intended parent feel the most comfortable. My coordinator was able to tell me general things about my intended parent, such as the fact that he was a single male, who wanted to have a family by himself, but I received no other information. An anonymous egg donation cycle made me feel better because there was a roadblock preventing anyone from figuring out my identity in the future. The world is so connected now, that asking for 100% anonymity is a little unrealistic, but it made me more comfortable to try.” – CB (24)

What is an open egg donation?

An open egg donation is the opposite of an anonymous donation, meaning both parties are aware of each other’s identities. Because of this donors and recipients may event meet, or know each other outside of the IVF cycle. Some intended parents prefer this because they feel better knowing more about their egg donor than less. 

The majority of open egg donations are completed by friends and family members.

Are open egg donations easier?

Open egg donations could be considered less difficult than anonymous ones, but it’s important to recognize that you’re making a decision now, that could affect your life in the future. For some people, having more information about their egg donation cycle, rather than less could be more comforting. There is also more open communication for medical history and reliable information after the cycle is complete. 

As a note to potential egg donors, it’s usually up to the intended parents what type of donation cycle they prefer, even if you were okay with an open donation.

“I felt more comfortable with an anonymous egg donation. I understand that the world is so connected now, and that DNA tracing is so advanced, that 100% anonymity is a tall order. However, I like the extra roadblock that is the clinic keeping my information secret. They’ll even time my visits to the clinic so that I never run into my intended parents in person, and they’ll remove my name and date of birth from all my records that are shared.” – CB 

“I feel I would only be willing to do an open donation if it was for a family member. I personally feel too much contact might make it harder on both parties unless there is already a familiar bond. But I also never say never, so my opinion could change as I get older!” – DV 

Are the standards for open/anonymous donation the same worldwide?

Different countries have different standards for donor anonymity. A non-anonymous system, in which identifying data is readily made available to donor-assisted children, is present in the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom and Australia, and Portugal.

Countries such as Russia, Romania, Denmark and Ireland all use a mixed system, meaning donors can opt for anonymity or choose to make their data available to potential offspring at their discrestion.

In the remaining European countries, anonymous donation is the norm.

Notably, egg donation is not legal in Germany, Switzerland and Norway. In Bosnia, gamete donation (whether egg or sperm) is directly prohibited.

“I have donated twice and one donation was anonymous and the other donation was anonymous until the potential child reached 18. The anonymous until 18 donation was for a couple in Australia, and their donor laws required me to confirm verbally and in writing that I was ok with this requirement. I came to the conclusion I was ok with this idea because 100% anonymity seems impossible these days. Resources like Ancestry.com and 23&Me make it fairly easy to connect to potential families so there’s always a chance.” – DV 

“I would be okay with the child receiving my information at 18 if it was for medical purposes. I understand that sometimes there’s a need to dive more into genetics and family history, to improve the life of the child. If the roles were reversed, I would want to know more information about my egg donor, if it was relevant to the health and well-being of my offspring.”  – CB

Become a Donor!

One of the most rewarding gifts that you can give is the gift of life! New Hope Fertility Center’s Egg Donor Program has been created specifically for that purpose and is here to facilitate the matching process between egg donors and recipient couples. Our donor coordinators work closely with donors, recipients, and medical staff to make sure that the process is smooth, confidential, and easy to understand.

Why donate at New Hope Fertility Clinic?

  • High compensation
  • No need to be matched with a recipient
  • Wide age acceptance
  • Over a decade of experience
  • It’s easy, fast, and safe!

Apply today here!

Why New Hope?

New Hope Fertility Center is home to world-renowned fertility specialists. We custom design fertility treatments for the individual to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. Our specialists believe in putting the patient first and being with them through every step of the fertility journey. Our team is well versed in helping women of all ages reach their fertility goals. If you want compassionate fertility care, New Hope is the right place for you. Call us at (212) 517-7676 or schedule your initial consultation today!