Choosing between an egg donor and a surrogate can be a daunting decision for you to make. For couples experiencing infertility problems, there may come a time when the specialists tell you that they’ve done everything that they can do to help you get pregnant.
If you and your partner have reached this point and still long to be parents, using an egg donor or a surrogate might be your only other alternative. But how do you decide what’s best for you?
Knowing what options are there for you is your first step in deciding to move past infertility treatments towards other methods of having a baby.
The Differences between Egg Donation and Surrogacy
Whether you use an egg donor and a surrogate will depend on what type of infertility issues you’ve been diagnosed with and how much more time, effort, and anguish you want to put into continuing to try to get pregnant.
You’ll use egg donation if your own eggs are not able to be used due to age or ovulation factors. An egg donor will provide an egg that will then be fertilized with either your partner’s sperm or donor sperm through IVF.
This fertilized embryo will then be implanted in your uterus. Surrogacy is an option if you’re unable to carry a baby for a variety of issues such hysterectomy, uterine problems, extensive fibroids, or other issues that make it unsafe for you to carry the baby through pregnancy to birth.
The Emotions behind Using an Egg Donor
If your fertility specialist determines that you need to use an egg donor there may be many emotions that you have to go through before you accept this decision.
You may feel grief over not being able to have a child that is genetically linked to you. Before you jump into the process of finding an egg donor, take some time to deal with this emotional loss.
Once you’ve worked through your emotions you’ll be able to move forward and find the best match of a donor for you and your partner.
Whether you decide to tell family and friends about your choice is entirely up to you.
Choosing the Right Egg Donor
One of the most important decisions about using an egg donor will be about whether you’re going to use an anonymous donor who you’ll never meet, a semi-known donor, or someone you know.
A semi-known donor will provide limited information about themselves. Take some time to decide what’s right for you before you make a decision that you won’t be able to reverse.
People have different criteria when finding the right egg donor, such as ethnic background, hair color, and eye color. Some intended parents pay particular attention to the personal and academic achievements of their egg donor.
Still, others will want to find an egg donor who has the same religious background. The choices you make are entirely personal and private.
Working with an egg donor/surrogacy agency will provide you with a listing of their donors who will have been carefully selected and screened prior to egg donation.
Are you Ready for a Surrogate?
Surrogacy is when another woman carries your child for you and your partner. The child can be genetically linked to the mother and/or the father. Or the egg and/or sperm can come from a donor.
The method of surrogacy you use will be dependent on what your infertility issues are. Once you know what type of surrogacy you’re going to be using, you’ll need to choose a surrogate.
Working with a reputable and qualified surrogacy agency might be your best option, as an agency will be able to guide you through the entire surrogacy process.
Selecting the Right Surrogate Mother for Your Child
If you and your partner have decided to use surrogacy, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is the selection of a surrogate mother.
The standards that an agency uses for becoming a surrogate are detailed and precise, and include the following:
- A detailed medical history.
- Complete medical testing and analysis.
- Details about family background.
- Personal information.
- A psychiatric examination.
- Criminal background check.
Most agencies require that their surrogates have had at least one uncomplicated pregnancy. They should be between the ages of 20 to 35, live a healthy lifestyle, and not be smoking or drinking alcohol.
When agencies do the screening for you, you can focus on finding a surrogate with whom you feel comfortable and who you feel you can trust.
Planned Parenthood at its Best
When you’re choosing between an egg Donor and a surrogate, the end result will be the same: a healthy baby. Living with infertility can be a distressing and painful time when all you want to do is become parents.
The good news is that even after you’ve exhausted other infertility treatments without success, that you still have one opportunity left: egg donation and surrogacy.
Both egg donation and surrogacy make it possible for people with any number of infertility issues to experience the joy of being a parent.