How At-Home DNA Testing Has Changed the Anonymity of Egg Donation

As at-home DNA testing becomes more popular, the question emerges: can egg donation still remain anonymous? As with many other assisted reproduction matters, there are no simple answers. 

Egg Donation & DNA Testing

Before the widespread use of at-home DNA testing, egg donor agreements were typically categorized into three different subtypes

  • Anonymous or closed agreements - the donor does not disclose any personal information to the intended parents.
  • Known or open agreements - a family member or friend has agreed to donate eggs for the intended parent/s.
  • Semi-anonymous or semi-open agreements - the donor and intended parent/s share basic information; if all parties agree, further communication is possible.

In the past, anonymous/closed egg donation agreements accounted for most of the contractual agreements between egg donors and intended parents (IPs). The name of the egg donor was always kept entirely anonymous – except in semi-open agreements – but today, that is changing. One reason there’s a new perspective on egg donor anonymity is because of a major advancement in scientific technology: at-home DNA testing, which has become popular in recent months due to increased interest in ancestry and health.

According to a 2022 publication by UGov America, an international research data group, two in ten Americans say they’ve taken a mail-in DNA test, and 27% report that a close family member has taken one. The survey results also revealed that 50% of those interested in DNA testing said the reason they are interested in taking a test is “connecting with unknown relatives.”

If their genetic-linked relatives are in the database, relatives can easily get connected. There is a growing number of stories in the media about reunions between siblings, parents, children, and others who located each other after adoption or assisted reproduction procedures (such as an egg donation) with DNA testing. This surge in stories about people meeting with their biological relatives has sparked a new perspective on anonymity for egg donation. Many experts now agree that full disclosure of information about biological heritage is the child’s right.

A Word from Fertility Source Companies

With the increase in the availability of DNA testing, it’s important to consider that when a baby conceived via egg donation grows up, there’s no way to predict if the person will pursue genetic testing. 
Fertility Source Companies understands the importance of a donor-conceived person’s need for access to their complete genetic identity. When helping to find the best match between an egg donor and the intended parents, Fertility Source Companies emphasizes considering each party's views on anonymity. The way we handle the topic of anonymity is to facilitate open communication with our donors and IPs to support their needs and wants while facilitating a match that works for everyone. If you are considering egg donation (i.e., donors or intended parents) and have questions or concerns about anonymity and the egg donation process, contact us today at Fertility Source Companies.