My partner and I went through the surrogacy for gay couples process and one of the first big decisions was choosing an egg donor. There was limited write-ups on the best way to choose an egg donor for gay parents. Options are endless and it’s hard to just pick one. After all, this your child will carry half of the DNA! Here a few tips, harsh realities and ideas that my partner and I used to make the process fun and allow us to be on the same page.
- Have a conversation with your partner & get on the same page. It’s important to be on the same page generally about your ideal egg donor. For us, I’m Hispanic and my partner is Caucasian so we wanted to stay within those ethnicities. Since only one of our DNA would be in our child, we wanted our egg donor to be a mix of us so our baby carried features from us both.
- Alone time to select your top picks. My partner and I tried going through a database together, but started to realize the opinions were varying. We decided for each of us to select our top 3-4 egg donors on our own and input them into the same template. This allowed us to spend time on our own figuring out what other things were important to us. Once we did that, we unveiled to each other and found that we had one in common! We pursued that option. That egg donor actually fell through but now we have a small list of 4-6 egg donors to discuss versus an entire database.
- Egg donors are young. This decision for a young woman to donate her eggs is a big one. We need to be mindful of that during the process. Two egg donors fell through simply because they were slightly freaked out. At first, we took it very hard, but once we put ourselves in their shoes, we took it with ease and worked to find another egg donor.
- Live vs Frozen Eggs. As a couple, we decided to do a live retrieval. I don’t believe there are any major pros or cons medically (minus price of course), but we liked the idea of retrieving eggs live. This is a personal decision and should be discussed with your IVF professionals.
- Amount of Eggs Retrieved. Typically younger egg donors will deliver more eggs during a retrieval (this is still not a guarantee). Our egg donor delivered upwards to 30 eggs. This was above average. The IVF clinic will then work to create embryos with our sperm. We ended up creating about 20-25 embryos with those eggs. Then once we preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) all of the embryos, we ended with 16 viable embryos. And luckily, it was 8 of mine DNA and 8 of my partners. Our doctor said this was above average, so it’s important to understand every egg retrieval is different. While you hope for the best, it’s ok to expect the worst until you’re through the process.
The process can be stressful, so try and enjoy it as much as possible. We found the game of selecting our top picks to make it easier and lighter for us. Keep the lines of communication open because things you could be excited about could be stressful to your partner.