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Media Center – Press Releases

Egg Donor Anonymity Not Critical, Spot Survey by Agency Suggests

CHICAGO (Sept. 6, 2011) – The anonymity of egg donors is a norm of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in the United States, but a spot survey of some donors suggests its removal would not be a deal-breaker in their decision to donate.

In a survey of its egg donor base by Alternative Reproductive Resources (ARR), a leading Chicago-based egg donor and gestational surrogacy recruitment firm, over 90 percent of respondents ranked anonymity as either somewhat or not at all important in their decision to donate.

“We’ve been in business 20 years. That response represents a marked change from attitudes then, and even several years ago,” said Mary Ellen McLaughlin, an ARR partner. “As alternative routes to family creation have become more mainstream, everyone has grown more comfortable with their roles.”

Egg donor anonymity has been increasingly scrutinized, particularly as children born through assisted means are maturing and seeking to learn more about their biological heredity. Washington State recently passed a law guaranteeing children conceived with gametes from Washington egg donation agencies access (when they're 18) to their donors' medical histories and full names — unless the donors specifically opt out. It also applies to children born of donated sperm.

Such developments are not likely to discourage egg donors, ARR’s survey found. Were such legislation more widely adopted, over 80 percent of the survey group said they would still donate; fewer than 20 percent would opt out.

Many said they understood the children’s need to know; their concern was the potential liability for care or financing. Said one: “Giving them the opportunity to easily understand where they came from is potentially part of our duty as donors. However, this should never result in the pursuit of mandated legal obligation for care or finances without the donor's reciprocated agreement.”

Launched in 1992, Chicago-based Alternative Reproductive Resources (www.arr1.com) was the first egg donation agency in Chicago and the Midwest, and one of the first in the nation. It serves traditional and non-traditional intended parents from around the world, matching them with the best possible egg donors and gestational surrogates for their needs.

Media contact: Sally Saville Hodge; shodge@hodgemediastrategies.com; 773.325.9282.

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A Parent’s Story:
Cheryl Johnson, Willowbrook, Ill.

I always wanted children, but as I grew older I knew the chances of becoming pregnant would become harder. ARR had the philosophy I was looking for in an agency. The ARR team made me feel very comfortable as a single woman making a life-changing decision. I also was impressed by ARR’s egg donor process. ARR did extensive background work as part of the process, ultimately matching me with two exceptional potential donors. They both shared my characteristics and values. I am now the proud mother of twin boys. My donor and ARR helped me create the family I always wanted.

 
 
 
 
  american society of reproductive medicine