Your Egg Donor Abroad: The Most Important Person You Won’t Meet

The decision to travel abroad for egg donor treatment is not always an easy one. People travel abroad for a number of reasons. It may be that they believe the treatment will be cheaper abroad, or it may be that the treatment they require is not allowed by law at home.

For some people, the reason to go abroad is that they require egg donation and the wait for an egg donor at home may just be too long.

Going abroad for egg donation will usually mean that you will not know who your egg donor is. This is definitely the case in Spain, the Czech Republic and Greece. In these countries, egg donation, by law, is anonymous. The consequence of this is that many young women are prepared to donate their eggs, and IVF clinics in these countries rarely have a waiting list for egg donation treatment.

Whilst it is true that you will have no contact with your egg donor during treatment, and you and your donor-conceived child will never meet her in the future, you may be able to find out a lot of information about her. This depends on the country where you’re having treatment.

For example, in the Czech Republic and Greece, information relating to physical characteristics is available (e.g. hair colour, eye colour, height, BMI etc.) as well as some socio-economic information (education, job). So you can build up quite a clear picture of who this person is.

Furthermore, IVF clinics abroad usually have in place rigorous screening to select potential egg donors. As well as physical screening by clinicians, clinics will usually have a psychologist on the staff who will also be involved in choosing the egg donors. Many egg donors are rejected at this stage because clinics have no shortage of people wanting to donate. It is always a good idea to ask your egg donation clinic about how they select their donors. The law sets out a minimum but usually clinics will go above and beyond these requirements and provide additional tests and checks.

Your egg donor abroad is a very important person but is the one person who you will never meet.

Feeling happy with this aspect of your treatment is important. And of course, it may be that this is what you do feel most comfortable with. Having a good relationship with your IVF clinic abroad and having trust in them to choose the most suitable person to help you can definitely help ease your concerns.

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Avatar of Joe Long

Freelance women and men's health writer at Fertility Road.