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ANONYMOUS VS. KNOWN DONORS: How do I choose?

Posted Jun 11 2009 8:11pm
Dr. Susan Treiser from IVF New Jersey is one of PVED's newest Medical Advisors, and we feel extraordinarily grateful to have her on board.

Below is an article Dr. Treiser authored regarding anonymous donors vs. known donors and how to decide which is the best fit for your particular situation.

ANONYMOUS VS. KNOWN DONORS: How do I choose?
Author: Dr. Susan Treiser, Medical Advisor

Patients who embark on the journey of parenthood via egg donation are faced with many choices and decisions along the way. Which doctor should I chose? Which facility fits my needs the best? How will I handle disclosure to my child?

During this time, one of the most important decisions to be made is choosing which type of donor is appropriate for you. With egg donation becoming more and more common in the United States, options for donors are abundant. At the root of this decision is the choice between using an anonymous donor versus an agency or “known” donor.

An anonymous donor is defined as a potential donor of oocytes who undergoes a thorough medical, psychological, and genetic screening. Her identity, including her name, demographics, date of birth, and current photograph, are not released to potential recipient families. She is compensated a set fee determined by the fertility clinic for her time and effort during the donation cycle. Matching with anonymous donors is usually done by the center’s Egg Donation team, who together help to choose the right donor based on the recipient’s physical characteristics, and traits that a recipient has decided are most important, like education, musical or artistic ability, and personality. Anonymous egg donation is a safe haven for donors who want to help an infertile couple, but can still retain a sense of distance from the genetic contribution they are making and not be involved or even aware of the existence of a pregnancy or child resulting from their efforts. This also is a good option for recipients, whom while they understand that the genetic contribution is coming from another source, can keep the identity and mental picture of their donor at arms length. While no identifying information is given, recipients receive the donor’s complete medical history, screening completed by a genetic counselor, a toddler picture, and written answers to questions inquiring about academic strengths and weaknesses, personality traits, and goals and accomplishments, which offers information, but can also provide the recipient with a sense of the donor’s character, sense of humor, and future ambitions.

Agency donors are available through the numerous Egg Donor Agencies throughout the US. These donors are screened and managed by a third party, who will help match and coordinate your cycle with a donor that fits your needs. They can live anywhere in the country, and understand that traveling to a particular fertility clinic is part of the process.

These donor agencies are particularly helpful when looking for donors of a specific ethnicity, for example of Asian or of Indian decent, donors that are difficult to find in the anonymous donor population. These donors are screened similarly to an anonymous donor, however recipients do have the benefit of seeing an adult picture. One of the down sides to using an agency donor is the added costs of travel and lodging for a donor who has to fly in for her screening and then for her cycle. There also is the added fee paid to the donor agency for their services. Also, because these donors are “known”, a donor-recipient contract is required in most clinics, which adds the cost of legal representation and time spent to draft these documents. Finally, these donors also have more freedom to request higher compensation fees for their efforts, based on their level of education or the number of successful cycles they have completed. Agency donors are the perfect “middle of the road” option for a recipient who does not want a personal relationship with their egg donor, but who would like to see an adult picture, or have the opportunity to contact the donor in the future in the event of a medical issue with their child. A psychological consultation is encouraged in these situations, as knowing the identity and contact information of the donor brings up a host of new issues, including how much contact is preferred, will the donor keep the recipient informed of changes in her living arrangements and medical history, how much information is required, and for how long after the donation? All of these details should be reviewed with a psychologist who specializes in fertility, and noted in the written contracts.

Choosing the appropriate donor, whether known or anonymous, is a big hurdle in the egg donation process. Your fertility center should facilitate this process for you, by providing you with options, information, and access to psychological and legal professionals. Whichever path you choose, our objective is to help you find the right fit for you and your family toward the goal of parenthood.

Dr. Susan Treiser is a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist and is co-founder and co-director of IVF New Jersey. Dr. Treiser also serves as director of the IVF New Jersey laboratories.

A native of Canada, Dr. Treiser attended Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., where she obtained both a PhD in pharmacology and her medical degree.
Following medical school, Dr. Treiser completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and was awarded a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at Columbia University College of Physician and Surgeons in New York City.


At Columbia, Dr. Treiser excelled in her field. She was awarded a faculty appointment as clinical assistant in obstetrics and gynecology and helped hundreds of patients achieve their dream of parenthood through the university's in vitro fertilization ( IVF ) program.
Despite her success, Dr. Treiser was confident that she could make infertility treatment more individualized and compassionate outside the university atmosphere. Teaming up with her colleague, Dr. Michael Darder, she left Columbia to establish an advanced practice of fertility specialists - IVF New Jersey - that would rival the success of large university-based programs.


One of the few board-certified women in her field, Dr. Treiser is known for her caring, competent approach to reproductive care. She is the author of A Woman Doctor's Guide to Infertility and has been published in Science magazine. In 2000, Dr. Treiser was the only medical speaker at the International Seminar of Reproductive Ethics, a yearly symposium held at Princeton University. In that same year, together with Dr. Darder, she received the 2000 Zenith Award from the New Jersey chapter of RESOLVE, a national infertility support group. Dr. Treiser was instrumental in establishing the egg freezing program at IVF New Jersey in 2005.


**The information contained on this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to provide or address any specific diagnosis or treatment plan. Any information found on this website is general in nature and should not be substituted for specific medical advice provided by the appropriate health care professional. The use of any information found on this website should be discussed your health care professional before being inserted into your treatment plan.


You understand that your use of this website is at your own risk and that PVED, its affiliates, sponsors or contributors assume no liability for any damages arising directly or indirectly from any information provided herein

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