New realities for the practice of egg donation: a family-building perspective

New realities regarding the viability of secrecy and anonymity in egg donation require practice changes with the goal of promoting long-term positive family functioning

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Volume 110, Issue 7, Pages 1194–1202


Lauri A. Pasch, Ph.D.


The practice of egg donation in the United States has been based on assumptions about secrecy, anonymity, and contact among the parties that require reexamination. This article argues for the need to acknowledge that secrecy and anonymity are no longer viable assumptions and that all parties may have a strong interest in contact and connection. A shift in the narrative for the practice of egg donation from a purely medical perspective to a broader family-building perspective is described. Significant practice changes to accommodate the new realities, rooted in a family-building perspective, are outlined in the arenas of medical record retention, informed consent, recipient and donor preparation and counseling, facilitation of contact among the parties, and outreach to other medical professionals, with the goal of promoting not only healthy pregnancy, but also long-term positive family functioning.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.