Increasingly, programs require donors and recipients to meet with a counselor trained in dealing with issues of third-party reproduction to assess and help prepare the parties for the process of egg donation. The counselor can give guidance about resources for support and education, and can also raise issues about the short and long-term implications of the donation. This is an important part of the process, and discussing these issues early on can help avert problems in the future.
One important concern for the donor and recipient couple to discuss is the issue of privacy vs. openness, especially if the donor is a relative. The more in agreement they are about how open they will be and with whom – as well as what the expectations are of the donor’s future relationship with the child – the better.
When family members or friends know about the donation it can be difficult to keep it a secret. Family secrets can potentially have a deleterious effect on the couple’s relationship with their child. It can be useful for the donor and recipient to “try on” as much as possible, different scenarios that may arise.
Issues such as – what is the long term obligation of the donor if the first cycle doesn’t work, or if there is a pregnancy loss – are important to think through together. Donors may become very invested in the outcome of the cycle, and it can be helpful to establish clear limits on what their obligation will be.
This is the third in a series of articles entitled “Using a Known Egg Donor.” Read the rest of the articles in this series to learn more about the advantages and concerns of building your family using a known egg donor.
Patricia Sachs, LCSW-C
Kathleen Hirsch, LCSW-C