Known vs Anonymous Egg Donors
Ninety percent of ovum donation in the United States is done by way of soliciting the services of anonymous donors who usually are recruited through a state- licensed ovum donor agency.
It is less common for recipients to solicit known donors through the services of an OD agency although this does happen on occasion. It is also not easy to find donors who are willing to enter into such an open arrangement. Accordingly, in the vast majority of cases where the services of a known donor are solicited, it is usually by virtue of a private arrangement. While the services of non-family member, known donors are sometimes sought, it is much more common for recipients to approach close family members in an attempt to retain as much of the family gene pool as possible.
Many recipients feel the compulsion to know or at least to have met the egg donor so as to gain first hand familiarity with their physical characteristics, intellect, and personality. It is of interest that in the United States, the decision to use a known donor is relatively infrequently based solely on the desire to reduce or eliminate the donor fee.
Certain states, such as New York, have rather stringent requirements legislated by the Dept. of Health (DOH). These regulations are intended to regulate the incidence of communicable diseases. In situations where the DOH prohibits the use of a donor, one can circumvent this by using what is referred to as a “known donor”. In this context, the recipient and the donor, “know” each other. What makes this rather nebulous, is that the definition of what constitutes a relationship where the parties know each other, is quite poorly defined. However, it is a way to use a specific donor, who would not be allowed to donate but for this provision in their regulations.