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Being An Anonymous Donor vs. Known Donor: Which Is Right for You?

Hatch Fertility

When we think of the gift of life in the form of a newborn child, many focus on either the long, laborious journey or the beautiful results at the end of that journey known as pregnancy. But in less common circles, the magnificence of those that help others achieve these goals in unconventional ways aren’t always given their credit. One of the most selfless ways to help someone along their journey can be found by helping them get their journey started: with egg donation.

While egg donation can be offered or needed for any number of reasons, the important part is that there are women out there that want to help those in need. Often we are asked about a donor’s involvement in the process and if there is a relationship with the intended parents or child in the future. While the answer isn’t plain, it is certainly an important one to try and address. This article will cover the differences between an “anonymous” donor and a “known” donor, and how Hatch can help you decide.

When you decide to be an egg donor, you will need to think about which type of egg donor that you want to become, and it will be defined in your legal contract. 

Anonymous donors

The arrangement that an egg donor and intended parents decide will impact both parties and the future child. Being an anonymous donor gives you security in knowing that there will not be unforeseen changes in the future. The decision of becoming an egg donor preserves your privacy and anonymous donation is the most common arrangement. If you decide to be an anonymous egg donor, you and the intended parents will not know each other’s identities and will never meet, the intended parents and egg donor do not communicate directly with each other. 

If you choose to be an anonymous donor, Hatch agency will take your privacy very seriously. We will offer information on the donor profile for the intended parents to choose from.  This might include your picture from childhood, medical and family history, cultural background, hobbies, education background, and more.  However, we will remove all identifying information and details from your profile.  As an anonymous donor, typically you will not receive information about the intended parents.  

You might feel that anonymous donation is more like a business arrangement. A lot of women choose to become egg donors so they can help a family. It is a beautiful thing; more and more intended parents are choosing to proceed with known egg donation. Being a known egg donor could benefit you in different ways.

Known donors

When deciding to become a known donor, there is a much more personal experience that takes place. Known donations give you the opportunities of communicating and interacting with the family that you are helping.  Known donors and intended parents often build friendships. It makes you feel more connected to the process and feel more rewarding about the egg donation journey. While every relationship between donors and intended parents is different, known donation often tends to result in more personal and emotional connections for everyone involved.

Semi-anonymous donors

At Hatch, we are sometimes asked: Is there anything in between anonymous donation and known donation? 

The answer is yes. 

Another type of egg donation is called semi-anonymous which means non-identifying information for both parties, but communication may be initiated by the agency. However, the intended parents and egg donors do not communicate directly with each other.

Other than the restricted semi-anonymous donation, you can also choose to have a more open semi-anonymous donation. The intended parents and egg donors can interact with one another via a video call. Typically, there is still limited information exchanged and generally limited to no communication beyond this interaction. Being a semi-anonymous donor is becoming more common as people become more curious about who and how they are helping someone without getting too involved or feeling uncomfortable with one another.

When choosing a known, or semi-known egg donation, the intended parents and egg donor can negotiate on the terms, whether that be contacting the egg donor for medical reasons only, the chance for the offspring to meet the egg donor if the child chooses, or to send photos of the child as they grow.

Choosing what fits best for you 

No matter what the case is, the amount of information exchanged is often controlled by the egg donor and what she is comfortable with. She may agree to a meeting but may not want to exchange contact information, or she may be open to whatever the intended parents are asking. Each case could be different, and it is a case-by-case decision.

For some people, a known donation makes the most sense based on their wishes, while for others an anonymous donation is most comfortable. It’s a personal decision that needs to be made with the professional guidance of a credible and trusted agency. If you would like to know more about becoming an egg donor, please contact one of our specialists by clicking here