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What Do Intended Parents Look for In a Donor?

By and large, individuals and couples seeking an egg donor desire to have a healthy baby. However, since they have a choice, egg donor recipients spend quite a bit of time choosing their egg donor. They have a long list of candidates they review online, which can lead to complicated and lengthy deliberations.

5 Most Common Criteria Used to Choose Donor Eggs

The donor’s family medical history, personal medical/health history, and overall wellbeing are always the top consideration. However, all of that is a given before accepting a woman as a potential donor. So, with those priorities out of the way, these are the five most common criteria donor egg recipients use to choose their future donor.

1. Physical attributes

A top consideration for most people using donor eggs is the donor’s physical characteristics. Egg donations are primarily used by women who cannot get pregnant using their own eggs. This is a very emotional decision for them. Their desire to get pregnant and give birth is strong, and the realization they cannot do that is incredibly painful.

As a result, most women using donated eggs have a vested interest in choosing an egg donor who looks similar to them in the hopes that their child will bear some kind of resemblance. In an article posted on, author Risa Kerslake discusses her experience of selecting an egg donor:

I'd spend evenings on the couch, paging through profiles and when I'd reach the end, I'd start over from the beginning. I wasn't going to have a baby who resembled me but I would try the next best thing and that was to find someone who looked close to me.

This is a very common story among the women who come to us needing donor eggs.

2. Ethnicity/lineage

Ethnicity and lineage can be significant as well. For example, couples with strong cultural or religious/spiritual leanings may prefer to find a donor that shares their ethnicity or religious lineage, such as Mung, Jewish, or Hindu.

This can be more challenging because the large majority of egg donors are white. If you are a prospective egg donor with a more diverse lineage, your eggs will be an even more valuable contribution.

3. Intelligence and education level

You’ll have the opportunity to write your egg donor profile, and other biographical data like your education level or current/future career goals are also posted in our database. Some parents are interested in choosing a donor that has a similar academic or career path as their own in the hopes that the baby will be more innately driven to achieve similar goals.

4. Innate talents

There is never a guarantee that a child born to a concert pianist will be musical or that a track star will give birth to a child who is equally athletic. Even so, there is something to be said about the genetic inheritance of certain talents and innate gifts. Therefore, many egg donor recipients are interested in talents or above-average abilities shared by prospective donors.

5. Innate attraction, additional interests, and random facts

Finally, there is something “extra” often leads our egg recipients to select a particular donor. Just as there are people we’re naturally drawn to throughout life, something can shine from a donor’s picture and biography that instantly causes recipients to feel connected. In addition to the most obvious physical characteristics and ethnicity preferences, we’ve heard a surprising range of reasons clients have chosen a particular donor.

Sometimes the donor’s stated interests or life history reflect that of one or both of the recipients. Reasons have also included things like, “She reminded me of my best childhood friend,” or, “Her favorite books are the same as mine.” In cases where single gay men or gay couples are selecting a donor, we’ve even heard, “I would have wanted to date someone like her if I was straight.”

Connect With Us to Become an Egg Donor

The need for egg donors is as strong as ever, and we know that for every general young woman who donates eggs, there is an equally gracious egg recipient ready to use them to make their family-building dreams come true. Contact The Donor Egg Network to get started or learn more about the process.