YOU GET A XEROX COPY OF THEIR DRIVER'S LICENSE (HAS THEIR BIRTH DATE ON IT) AND KEEP IT ON FILE WITH A LAWYER (A "THIRD PARTY.") SADLY, A LOT OF THIRD PARTY REGISTRIES HAVE GONE OUT OF BUSINESS AND THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT IF YOU HIRE ONE IT WILL STILL BE AROUND IN 18 YEARS (WHEN YOU MAY NEED IT MOST.)
THIS WAY YOU CAN TRACK THE DONOR DOWN LATER IF THEY TRY TO VANISH OR JUST FAIL TO KEEP THEIR INFO CURRENT/KEEP IN TOUCH. I THINK IT IS BEST TO DISCUSS AHEAD OF TIME (AND PUT IN THE CONTRACT) WHAT KIND OF CONTACT YOU HOPE FOR DOWN THE LINE. (THIS IS WHAT I DID.) MOST DONORS ARE YOUNG AND NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY NOW, EXPECTING THEM TO LIVE UP TO A VAGUE PROMISE MADE LONG AGO IS NAIVE in my opinion, SO I THOUGHT GETTING THE INFO UP FRONT A GOOD IDEA. IN EXCHANGE I PAID THE DONOR A GENEROUS FEE AND ALSO GAVE HER A TIFFANY NECKLACE AND A NICE CARD THRU THE AGENCY.
IN MY CASE I WANTED TO KEEP OPEN THE POTENTIAL FOR CONTACT THRU A 3RD PARTY LIKE A LAWYER VIA LETTER IF OUR CHILD HAS QUESTIONS WHEN SHE'S OLDER. ALSO, IF ANY HEALTH ISSUES THAT MIGHT HAVE A GENETIC COMPONENT COME UP.
SINCE I CONTRACTED HELLP SYNDROME A WEEK BEFORE MY DAUGHTER'S BIRTH (IT NEARLY KILLED ME) I MAY WISH TO LET THE DONOR KNOW AS THERE MAY BE A GENETIC COMPONENT FROM HER SIDE THAT MAY AFFECT HER SHOULD SHE TRY TO HAVE A CHILD LATER IN LIFE. RIGHT NOW USC RESEARCHERS ARE STUDYING THE GENETIC ORIGINS AND SAY TO HOLD OFF ON LETTING HER KNOW UNTIL THEY KNOW MORE AS IT WOULD NOT BE GOOD TO WORRY HER FOR NO REASON. (THE CURRENT THOUGHT IT THAT HELLP HAS A MALE GENETIC COMPONENT AND A FEMALE ONE, SO SOMETHING FROM MY HUSBAND, SOMETHING FROM ME AND POSSIBLY SOMETHING FROM THE DONOR.)
PS we had three donors: 1st donor met in person and loved (she was very pretty and very poised and sweet) but sadly her grandmother was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy (has a genetic component and is a terrible disease) on the eve of egg retrieval and the RE and the geneticist advised cancelling so we did --- paid her $2,000 for her trouble. 2nd donor didn't produce enough follicles for our RE's comfort (paid her $500 and cancelled on D3 of stims.) 3rd Donor did the trick, hallelujah. Fortunately I negotiated a "free rematch until live birth" policy with the donor agency (a lot of agencies won't do this but ours did.) Otherwise the agency fees alone would have run $15,000!
I don't advise an unmoderated meeting as psychologically it was rough for me afterwards. I had the donor too present in my mind as we approached retrieval/transfer so could not "own" the potential pregnancy. With the donor we ended up choosing I liked getting a sense of her over the phone and insisted she go in IN PERSON to see a psychologist who specializes in reviewing donors. (The donor tried to get out of an in-person meeting with the psychologist, tried to do it over the phone but I did not want that.) For me a phone interview was the perfect "happy medium" as I got a sense of her without having her TOO PRESENT in my mind. I wanted to own my pregnancy, KNOW I was the MOM from the very start.
And I talked to my baby throughout my pregnancy, telling her of her origins and how happy we were that we were going to meet her AND I MADE A BOOK that included an essay on choosing to conceive with the help of an egg donor and including photos of myself pregnant as well as ultrasound photos. While writing the essay to put in the book I wept buckets AND I THOUGHT I WAS DONE GRIEVING (HA!) I'm so glad I did this as one week before my daughter was born I came down with a rare pregnancy related illness that gave me a stroke and put me in a coma (Hellp syndrome). When I emerged from the coma I did not know she was mine, had no memory of having been pregnant. My husband says I would gaze at her, say, "She's beautiful! Can we keep her?" He assured me she was mine but until he showed me the book I had made I did not believe him. So I THOUGHT I WAS WRITING TO MY DAUGHTER BUT REALLY WAS WRITING TO MY FUTURE SELF!
I had to re-grieve the whole "loss of the genetic connection" but I must say it was a lot easier with the beautiful baby in my arms.