Saturday, March 31, 2012

Backtrack: Egg-Donor Selection (or Morgan Only Likes Pretty Girls)

This is a topic I never seemed to read about on other blogs.  Although incredibly personal, how do you choose an egg-donor?  What is the criteria you base your selection on?

After deciding on which clinic to use, we were emailed what seemed like a hundred egg-donor profiles.  It's a slightly uncomfortable experience opening up generic profiles and seeing pictures of women who are donating their genetic material for charitable or, let's be honest, monetary reasons.

My first reaction to looking at a few of the pictures was "oh my god, one of these women will be the genetic mother of our child."  It's unsettling and takes awhile to get used to.

After getting over the initial awkwardness, I began to wonder what is it that we're looking for in this mystery woman?  Their profile's are so vague.  There are two lists of women to choose from; one being college-educated women, and another who are not.

Initially, our first thought was to go with the smarter, college-educated donors.  But is education genetic?  I don't think so.  I would say it's a matter of social/economic/regional status.  My thought is that the more educated women came from more privileged backgrounds (middle- to upper-class).  They want to finish paying for school or to study abroad.  The longer list are women who want to pay for their own or their children's education, buy a home, start a business, etc.  I believe all the women are doing this for honorable and charitable reasons, but money talks regardless of country or class.

As we began looking through them, I felt a little bad at first because I was judging them on their looks.  I wish I could say "looks don't matter" but when that's 90% of what you have to go on, you weed out who you find unattractive.  When you begin to decide what's attractive to you and what's not, it gets quicker to discount the contenders.

John and I both looked through them together and picked our favorites, compared them, and narrowed them down.

Once we whittled down our possibilities, that's when I really begin to scrutinize each one even more based on their looks.  What parts of her face would mix well with mine?  Never one to stifle my vain and conceited opinion, some of the terrible things I uttered sounded like things mean girls in high school say about other girls:

  • She's not tall enough
  • She's too fat
  • Her face is too round
  • She has a big jaw
  • She's ugly
  • Her smile is too gummy
  • She looks mean
  • She looks mannish
  • Why would she dress like that?
  • That's the picture she though best-represented herself?
Once we narrowed our list down to about 10, you get even more precise:
  • Her ears are too big
  • She has a bad complexion
  • I don't like her make-up
  • Her hair looks terrible
  • Her hairline isn't right
  • Her face isn't symmetrical
We were told to narrow it down to 5 candidates, and so we did.  I would have been extremely happy with any of our top 5.  But we still presented them in the order in which we liked them.  The top two, in my mind, were pretty much tied; one was more beautiful in the classic sense and the other was more beautiful in a modern way - but both on equal standing.

I also used a program that morphs two faces into a baby picture with the top 5 (a sort of "Mommy, what will I look like?" if you're an "Arrested Development" fan).  I thought the top 3 made the best looking babies, though I don't put a lot of credence in those pictures.

We submitted our 5 and found that "Ms. Classic" wasn't available until the end of the year, so we chose "Ms. Modern" and couldn't be more happy.

So there you have it.  It makes me sound like I'm obsessed with looks; I'm just like any other man.


  1. Hi Guys, We had a party and invited our good friends and family to choose our donor egg, we were extremely happy of what was chosen for us.
    We thought they knew us and what we like so we took some of the hard work out of choosing.
    All the best

    Ian & Dave

  2. Your process and thoughts were the same as ours, down to the face morphing. Probably vain, but there is so little else to go on other than looks! Good luck and congrats on picking a donor!


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