Egg Donation

Support and information on egg donation, including information about how to include the DSR in your recipient/donor contract.

DSR/Clinic Egg Donation Contracts/Consent Forms

Many egg donor agencies and clinics are now writing the Donor Sibling Registry into their contracts/consent forms so that recipient parents and donors have anonymous access to each other.

The advantages of using the DSR include the fact that our permanent membership price is only $199 for the recipient parents and $199 for the donor. Both parties can contact each other at any time, with no middlemen. They can share photos and other pertinent information, such as medical updates, all while remaining anonymous. And if the children have questions, they can contact the donor anonymously on the DSR (with their parents if under age 18) to receive the answers they're looking for.

Recipient parents and donors can connect with each other earlier than the child's 18th birthday. We understand that many donor children are curious long before their 18th birthday, and many have made successful connections during their teen (and even earlier) years. We also understand that 18 is an arbitrary number and that parents know their children best as far as what age might be most appropriate for their child to reach out. This empowers everyone involved, without having the clinic or a lawyer in charge of their family information.

How It Works: Step-by-Step

1
The recipient parent(s) join the DSR, as full paying permanent members ($199). They add their posting (log in and click "Add a New Posting"), specifying their donor number/ID and the name of their clinic.

2
The donor also joins the DSR, as a non-paying member, and chooses a DSR username (or uses the one that the clinic has provided). The egg donor also adds their posting, specifying their donor number/ID and the name of their clinic.

3
The recipient parent sends payment for the donor's permanent DSR account ($199), via check (payable to Donor Sibling Registry, PO Box 1571, Nederland CO, 80466) or via Amazon.com eGift Card (payable to wendy@donorsiblingregistry.com). Amazon gift cards are more immediate and are easier for those outside the US. The recipient parent must include the donor's DSR username so that the donor's account can be upgraded to full membership; ask your clinic/agency/attorney for your donor's DSR username.

4
After the DSR receives the donor's membership payment from the recipient parent, we will contact the donor to let them know that we have received payment for their account, that we have updated their DSR account to full membership status, and that they should now add their posting to the DSR if they haven't already done so. (Log in and click "Add a New Posting" from the "Member Tools" menu.)

5
Finally, we email the recipient parent who paid for the donor's membership, to let them know that we received the payment, upgraded the donor's DSR account, and emailed the donor to remind them to add their posting if they haven't already done so. We also ask the recipient parent to make sure they've added their own posting to the DSR. The recipient parent and donor must BOTH add their postings to the DSR in order to match.

Important: The donor and the recipient parent both need to post with the same donor number/ID and facility/clinic, so they show up on the DSR as a "match." They can then both access the medical/genetic information page, donor survey/Q&A, photos, and email messages — all while retaining privacy. To message one another, they just need to click on the other's username when looking at their posting. 

Sample Egg Donation Contract Verbiage

1
Method of Communication

The Parties agree that future communication will occur through the Donor Sibling Registry located at www.donorsiblingregistry.com. If the communication is for medical purposes described in paragraph [XX] of this Agreement, it may occur through the Donor Sibling Registry or through [clinic]. Donor agrees to register with the Donor Sibling Registry after receiving notice of a pregnancy which results from Donor’s performance under this Agreement. Intended Parent(s) agree to pay Donor’s membership fee with the Donor Sibling Registry.

2
Future Contact by the Child

Donor agrees to be contacted by the Child after the Child reaches the age of 18, or at any time, if the Child so desires. The Child may communicate with Donor through the Donor Sibling Registry or another mutually agreed upon method of communication. All correspondence on the DSR is anonymous.

3
Future Contact Between Intended Parent and Donor

If either Intended Parent or Donor desires contact with the other, they may communicate that desire through the Donor Sibling Registry. If the Parties are mutually agreeable to having contact, then they may communicate and share contact information through the Donor Sibling Registry or another mutually agreed upon method of communication.

4
Agreement Not to Seek Identifying Information Not Otherwise Disclosed

Donor agrees that he/she will not participate in any act or claim that may lead to the disclosure of information about Intended Parent or any Child other than that agreed upon in this Agreement or in the Parties' communications through the Donor Sibling Registry. Intended Parent agrees that he/she will not participate in any act or claim that may lead to the disclosure of Donor‘s contact information other than that agreed upon in this Agreement or in the Parties’ communications through the Donor Sibling Registry. NOTE: A donor-conceived person (or donor) can at any time submit her/his own DNA into a commercial DNA company and locate their genetic relatives in this way. Many donors have been located via DNA testing, so donors should know that there are no guarantees for anonymity.

5
Medical and Mental Health Information

The Donor has provided medical information to [clinic] and agrees to provide additional information if requested to do so in the future. Donor agrees to be contacted by Intended Parent through the Donor Sibling Registry, and by [clinic] if the child experiences a life-threatening or serious medical condition. Donor agrees to provide additional medical information at that time and will consider providing further assistance if requested to do so. If Donor discovers new medical or mental health information or any of Donor's children develop serious medical or psychological conditions that Donor’s physician has determined to be genetically related to Donor, Donor agrees to inform Intended Parent through the Donor Sibling Registry or to contact and inform [clinic] so they can inform Intended Parent. If any Child born from Donor’s eggs suffers serious medical or mental health conditions that may be genetically related to Donor, Intended Parent agrees to contact Donor through the Donor Sibling Registry or to contact and inform [clinic] so they can inform Donor.

6
Update Address and Contact Information

Intended Parent and Donor agree to keep [clinic] and the Donor Sibling Registry, and successors to any of these entities, informed of their address changes.

7
Conflict Between Documents

If any portion of Paragraph [XX] of this Agreement regarding future contact between Intended Parent, Child, and Donor conflicts with documents previously signed by the Parties with [clinic], the terms of this Agreement will prevail.

If you are looking for an attorney to draft your egg donor contract, please email Wendy for recommendations!

FAQs About Egg Donation Contracts

Should the contract specify that egg donors update their information on the DSR annually (e.g., every January 1st)?

An annual update is a good idea, as well as when any new medical or genetic information becomes available about the egg donor or anyone in the egg donor's immediate family.

Should recipients also update their information on the DSR?

Absolutely! If a child has a medical or genetic condition, it is very important that the donor is notified. The sharing of medical information goes both ways — between all families and their donor and from the donor to the families. The DSR includes a medical page that the donor or families can add to, edit, or update when needed. All matching families can see this information. Matching families can also email and share photos, all anonymously. When new information is added to the shared medical page, all affected families are notified by the DSR.

What information should the donor submit on the DSR?

We have a donor "Q&A" sheet with 25 or so of the questions that we hear most from offspring. Plus, the photos and medical pages. These are pages that only you two can see, not any other DSR members.

Since the donor is anonymous to us, how can we pay for their DSR membership? Do we need their email address and password?

No. You only need to know your donor's DSR username. The donor signs up on the DSR with a username and password. Then, you send the DSR $199 for your donor's permanent membership (telling us your donor's username). We will then update your donor's account to permanent status, and your donor will be able to add a posting to the DSR. (To add a posting to the DSR, log in and click "Add a New Posting.") Recipients join the DSR and post the regular way. (Log in and click "Add a New Posting.") You both need to post with the same clinic and donor number so that you are matched to each other on the site — and then you can share all information anonymously. Intended parents and donors must BOTH add their postings to the DSR.

How do we pay for both lifetime memberships (ours and our donor's)? Can we use a credit card?

The recipient membership can be paid via credit card on the website, when you join. The recipient family can pay for the donor’s membership via check (payable to Donor Sibling Registry, PO Box 1571, Nederland CO, 80466), or via Amazon.com eGift Card (payable to wendy@donorsiblingregistry.com).

What information should we share with our child, so they can seek their donor's information in the future?

Your child can have access to the DSR through your username and password. This means that your child can have anonymous contact with your donor at any time.

Is there anything that prevents a child from accessing/seeking information about their donor earlier than age 25?

Legally, no. Your child is not signing any agreement. Many clinics say that the contracts signed by the parents also apply to the offspring (even though the children have never signed any contracts), but this has not been tested in court — most likely because this claim has no merit.

Ethically, no. Many donor-conceived children have many questions about their ancestry, medical backgrounds, and genetics. It is a normal desire to want to know where you come from.

Consider the parallels to adoption — some adopted people are not curious, whereas some are very curious. Many donor-conceived children are curious at a young age. This curiosity doesn't mean that you are not the child's parent(s); it just means that they have questions with answers that might help them form their identities. Part of defining who you will become as an adult is knowing where you come from. A donor child feeling curious about and wanting to reach out to learn more about their ancestry, medical background, and first-degree genetic relatives should be honored and supported. Thousands of families with children under 18 have connected on the DSR with very positive results!

Who maintains the donor's info for potential future contact by the offspring, and what records are kept?

A key factor for many parents is that the donor agrees to be contacted by the child after the child reaches the age of 18 if the child wishes to do so. However, parents want to know who keeps the details of the donor for potential future contact by the offspring, as well as what records are kept (e.g., social security number or something like that in case there are future changes to phone, email, or address), and where the records are kept. Parents wonder whether the DSR keeps these records and will provide them to the child at age 18. Parents want to know how their child will be able to get the donor details in the future and how it can be ensured that the donor can be contacted even if they change their address, email, etc.

The DSR provides a link between the donor and the recipient family right from the start, so you can share information from day one — there is no need to wait until age 18. We feel that 18 is an arbitrary age set by the industry to cover their own liabilities. We have done enough research to know that contact before the age of 18 can be important, profound, and life-changing (and life-saving). After 16 years, 52,000 members and many research studies, we are baffled that this industry still works so hard to keep donors from the families.

The legal verbiage gives you a template so that you can then be empowered to decide how and when to have contact with your donor. We try and make it so that there is no middleman needed, so you need to set up the contract so that clear rules for contact are established right from the start. Many donors change their minds after 18 years, so it's ridiculous to ask a young donor to make decisions now, about how they will feel in 18 years. That's why establishing contact from the beginning can be crucial. The donor should have it in their contract to always keep their contact information current on the DSR.

We will always have the records (although we do not keep SS#s), but you don't have that type of contract with the DSR. We have never released personal information on any of our members. We feel it's the families and the donors who need to share this information with each other.

What type of reassurances are there that the DSR will exist in 25 years?

Ah, the "hit by a bus" clause. Although Wendy doesn’t have any plans to be hit by a bus ... if it's not her, someone else will be running the DSR. Unlike the sperm banks, clinics, and doctors (many have already destroyed records), our records will never be destroyed.

When should recipient parents register on the DSR?

Whenever you want to. Some post before pregnancy, some during, and some wait until after a baby is born.

Recommendations

Success Stories

2014: The Katie Couric Show: This piece featured a teenager and her parents meeting their egg donor, and her two daughters, for the first time! Very emotional, and shows how important these connections can be — for all involved. Read about it in USA Today and in TheTennessean: Nashville Teen Finds Her Egg Donor. DSR members can watch the video on our Video Library page.

The same egg donor family, at a subsequent get-together.

Experiences of Egg Donors and Recipients

January 2020: From an egg donors mother: "The DSR has been of enormous value in connecting donor-conceived half-siblings and in helping donor-conceived offspring and their donors find each other. For many people, these new family connections have been so positive and rewarding. Less often have we heard from grandparents, and that’s what I’d like to tell you about today. My daughter was an anonymous egg donor in her early 20s. Only a few years later she died of cancer. I didn’t know if her egg donations had ever produced children, and never expected to have any contact with them. After her death, I unexpectedly heard from 2 families who had come across my daughter’s obituary and, thanks to the information they had originally received from the egg donor agency (more than is currently provided!), along with the information that had become available by then on the Internet, they were able to find me. Their motivation at the time was to learn more about her cancer in order to see if their donor-conceived children were at risk. The result, however, was that I was able to meet these children and their parents. Over the past decade, I have been so grateful to have ongoing relationships with these children, who are now young adults. Like most grandparents, I very much enjoy having grandchildren, visiting them and having them visit me, interacting with them, and watching them grow up. And in addition, they are my strongest connection to my daughter — their genes, their physical resemblance, their interests, and their abilities. Knowing them has been a major blessing in my life. In addition, I grew up with very few relatives, but now I am a part of two more families. I feel close to the parents of these kids, enjoy visiting them, and am grateful that they have accepted me as a member of their families."

2015: From one of the oldest egg donor offspring on the DSR: "I was conceived by a donor egg in 1988. My mom says she does not remember any of the basic information about the egg donor (ethnicity, medical history, etc). I have called the clinic where I was conceived multiple times, left messages, and never gotten a response back. The only information I have is the serial number of the petri dish I was made in because the clinic gave my mom the petri dish as a souvenir. I am G**80. I got that number tattooed on the back of my neck; I guess it was my way of trying to re-establish control and ownership of my own body after I had been told I had no legal rights (seeing as I was the product, and not one of the people involved) to my own genetic history and information. I love my mom and her family, but it has always been extremely obvious that I do not share genetic material with them; aside from physical appearance, we have absolutely nothing in common in terms of shared interests, aptitudes, dislikes, taste, or personal traits. We are polar opposites to a comical degree."

An egg donor joined the DSR with this heart-warming message: "Egg donation is a part of my life that I hold near and dear to my heart. I'd love to connect with recipients to answer any questions they have about me and to potentially meet if thats what we mutually agree to. I'm passionate about doing this and have taken this responsibility very seriously. I feel I've finally gotten the courage to join the registry because it's the right time. I'm excited to potentially open my heart and family to new individuals who I feel a strong connection to without knowing anything about them. Please message me if you feel I'm your donor!"

If you're thinking about donating and already have or will have a family of your own, consider this message from an egg donor's child: "Years ago my mom sold her eggs to help pay rent and give us a good holiday (we weren’t doing well at the time). I was around 7 at the time and didn’t understand until now how big of a deal that was. I’m 14 now and it keeps me up at night that I have 1 or more siblings out there. I’ve been reading stories online about how donor siblings found each other and it literally brought tears to my eyes. I want to meet them so bad and it makes me upset thinking I could go my entire life without meeting someone related to me. I wanna know what they’re like ... so bad. I can’t even describe how much I want to meet them ... it hurts a little. I’ve talked to my mom about this and she says just leave it alone and don’t think about it too much ... but it’s hard. She doesn’t know I’m looking for them on here and I don’t know if I’ll find them but I wanna try."

A former egg donor reports: "When I explained why I wanted [my donor number], I was told [by the clinic] that reunions typically do not go well and that I should not pursue the matter further."
This is nothing more than a fear tactic used by facilities looking to protect their own best interests (liabilities). We have thousands of testimonials, media stories, articles, and published research (peer-reviewed) on the DSR website showing successful, enriching, and life-changing connections between half-siblings and between donors and offspring. No matter what type of contract you signed with your egg clinic/agency, and no matter how they may advise against it, you always have the right to make yourself available for mutual consent contact on the DSR.

Another former egg donor reports: "Some fellow egg donors in an ED group admitted to lying and/or purposefully withholding information on their applications so they could be accepted. One ED even told another potential ED how many days to be off her meds so she could clear any screening done. It's not just sperm donors who cheat to make a buck. There needs to be far more accountability."

Sharing medical information on the DSR can be extremely important. Here are some examples of the need to provide updated medical info:

2016: "As a donor, I updated my medical records between donations. They did not pass those updates on to previous recipients NOR recipients that came after those updates. I only know that because a family that came after that insisted on contact. She showed me all of the info she had gotten on me. Those updates were not included. Any of the updates I have done since have not been passed on to her either."

2016: "I was an egg donor over 20 years ago. I called the office where I donated and let them know about my son having ADHD, anxiety, bipolar, etc. so they could let the offspring's family know. I am assuming because it was 100% confidential ... they really didn't seem like they were interested or were going to pass the information on."

2016: "I donated my eggs four different times at Genetics & IVF Institute in Fairfax, VA in the 90s/early 00s. Since then I discovered I carry a gene which means I'm at a much higher risk of getting several types of cancer. Since then I've tried to contact Genetics & IVF Institute so that they can relay this information to my offspring (they have a 50/50 chance of inheriting it), but they were not interested and it was obvious that they were not going to inform the families despite the fact that early screening could potentially save these children's lives. I've recently turned 42 years old and I was just told this week that I most likely have ovarian cancer (this will be confirmed through pathology after surgery) and that I will need my ovary removed ASAP. I don't know if this is because of donating my eggs when I was younger or because of my family history. It's very upsetting either way."

2016: "I have been a member of the registry since 2004. I donated eggs in 97, 98, and 99. I am concerned about the children that may have resulted from those cycles. I have been diagnosed with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). I have 4 children; 2 have the disease. One does not and the youngest has not yet been tested. He is 15 and conceived from the cycle in 99. I kept 3 eggs and donated 20. I contacted the clinic immediately after I found out. They completely accepted the information but did not give me any real Indication that they would relay the information. I lost my mom in 2005 to aneurysm as a result of the disease. My niece had aneurysm surgery 4 years ago. She was the youngest diagnosed with serious complications. My sisters are both in renal failure waiting for transplants." (If you used the Cooper Center for IVF between 1997-1999, or know anyone else who did, please see the postings for this clinic on the DSR. Email Wendy if you need more information.)

2016: A mom’s story, after making contact with her egg donor. Are there any egg donors out there with a similar experience with severe OHSS and/or other serious medical issues following egg donation? Any parents or egg donors out there who suspect that eggs or embryos were stolen and sold without your knowledge?

2015: "I am an ovum donor and I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome types 2 and 3, and my two children do as well. This was only discovered in my 30s. I so wish I could tell other offspring." (According to the Mayo Clinic, if you have the most common varieties of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, there's a 50 percent chance that you'll pass on the gene to each of your children.)

Articles

As more egg donors, parents, and people conceived via egg donation come to the DSR, we want to make sure that they have all the educational materials and support that they might need. Here are some articles relating specifically to egg donation.

2019

Since 2004 the number of women in their 40s undergoing fertility treatment has doubled to 10,835 in 2017. The Telegraph said new figures showed that, among those using their own eggs, just 75 women aged 42 to 43 will end up with a baby. For those over 44, there was a success rate of just 1% between 2004 and 2017, the paper added.

2017

 A fertility clinic wasn't properly screening it's egg donors for exposure to the Zika virus, HIV, syphilis, and other diseases, according to a warning letter dated June 29, 2017. The FDA scolded Illinois-based Center for Reproductive Health for it's egg donation screening processes, saying that it had it had deemed women eligible to be egg donors before the results of communicable disease testing were in.

2014

Ellen Glazer, author of "Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation," discusses Ruth Ragan's essay, "Where Are My Eggs?"

2013

"About five hundred egg donations take place in Canada every year, and experts say the process is very safe. But some donors face serious health problems — and doctors may be underestimating the risks."

2012

Survey conducted by Dr. Ariel Weissman, Wolfson Institute, IVF Center, Israel. "In the vast majority of countries, only anonymous donations are allowed, and there has been a long-standing debate as to whether it is ethical to use known donors. In programs that responded to the survey, 91% of the treatment cycles were conducted using only anonymous donors, probably reflecting worldwide donor recruitment percentages." It is interesting that Dr. Weissman frames the ethical debate as one about using known donors, instead of about the ethics of using anonymous donors.

2009

Human Reproduction

US oocyte donors: a retrospective study of medical and psychosocial issues, by Wendy Kramer, Dr. Jennifer Schneider, and N. Schultz

A letter from the DSR to the Israeli Knesset to help them better understand the needs and rights of egg donors, recipients, and those conceived from egg donations.

DSR Blog

2018

April

Parent: A Noun and a Verb (Guest Blog by Marilyn Drake, a former egg donor)

2016

January

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Moving from Fresh to Frozen Egg Donation (Guest Blog by Ellen Glazer, Author of "Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation")

Huffington Post Articles

2016

Anyone considering "donating" their eggs should read this article.

Research on Egg Donation

For more published research on egg donation, see our Research page.

Interesting Facts

July 2020: DSR statistic: 2,552 egg donors are now registered on the DSR, compared to only 1,568 sperm donors. The increased number of registered egg donors is because facilities such as San Diego Fertility Center and Oregon Reproductive Medicine are regularly writing the DSR into their parent/donor agreements so that connecting can happen right from pregnancy/birth.

Books

WENDY KRAMER'S MEMOIR! In January 2020 we published Wendy's memoir: Donor Family Matters: My Story of Raising a Profoundly Gifted Donor-Conceived Child, Redefining Family, and Building the Donor Sibling Registry. This is the story of Wendy Kramer and her donor-conceived child, Ryan, who eventually found his biological father and 19 half-siblings. Wendy and Ryan created the Donor Sibling Registry, the world’s largest platform for mutual-consent contact of sperm, egg, and embryo donors, donor-conceived children and adults, and their parents. Order on Barnes & Noble or Amazon!

BOOK FOR DONOR KIDS! In 2018 we publishe'd a book for young donor-conceived children: Your Family: A Donor Kid's Story. This book goes beyond the simple question of "Where did I come from?" to address donors and half-siblings. Order on Amazon, or mail a check for $17 (which includes shipping) to PO Box 1571, Nederland CO, 80466.

BOOK FOR DONOR FAMILIES! In 2013 we published a book for donor families: Finding Our Families: A First-of-Its-Kind Book for Donor-Conceived People and Their Families. It covers everything from disclosure, to donor offsprings' curiosities, to connecting with donors and half-siblings, to redefining these new relationships. Order on Amazon!