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Question about picking a donor

August 24 2012 at 12:11 PM
Hopeful  (Login galadriel72)

Hello ladies:
I posted a few weeks ago as I was getting ready to head to RBA for my initial appointment - I am not at the stage of picking a donor. I went through the entire list and have very mixed emotions.... Despite a rather large number of donors, I found no one that looked kind of like me... Initially, I hoped to find someone with my coloring, my height, and with good academic grades... For both my husband an myself, academic success is important and while I know that super smart people can have a genetic child who is simply an academic disaster (happened to a friend and mentor), when having the option, I'd rather pick someone who has done well... There are two donor who would fit the bill in terms of good grades, and who also seem to share interests and some personality traits with me - however, neither of them looks like me, in fact, one of them is almost the opposite in terms of height and hair coloring / texture ... I realize that the ultimate choice is very personal, but I would like to hear your thoughts this dilemma - go for grades and interest / personality or try to find similar physical appearance? thanks...

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(Login Blessed_Thistle)

It is such a crapshoot (success mentioned)

August 24 2012, 12:33 PM 

I used donor embryos and there were only three caucasian profiles at the clinic at the time - my second choice turned out to be a hispanic profile. One of them, the personalities and accomplishments of the donors really spoke to me but there were no picture at all. I knew the egg donor was short and a bit overweight with dark hair, somewhat olive skin, and brown eyes. I am taller with blondish hair, fair skin, and blue eyes (donating family father also was fair and blond but average height.) My kids totally look like they could be my genetic kids. Both are blonde (son has curls like me and daughter, waves) with face shapes, chins, and mouths very much like mine.

Not that you should decide one is "good enough" but if one really speaks to you, I wouldn't worry too much about appearance. (I know some here will differ but that is my perspective).

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(Login annie_h)

it's such a hard decision (success mentioned)

August 24 2012, 1:03 PM 

But I want to share the very wise words one of the board ladies shared with me when I was in your shoes. She said, "I honestly don't believe you will ever second guess your choice because that would mean second guessing the child who is in your life." And she couldn't have been more right. I spent months agonizing over every aspect of the donor--appearance, academics, emotional similarities to me--and in the end, I'm not sure how much of it matters. I actually leaned toward picking a donor who looked like my husband (blond, blue eyed) instead of me (dark hair, brown eyes) because I thought it would be easier to hear the comments about how my daughter looks like him rather than people telling me how much she looks like me (and afraid I would just be thinking, no, she looks like the donor). But that's my personal take. I know everyone is different.
I guess I just really want to say that while this is such a hard and important decision, know that once you make it and move forward, you will feel nothing but thanks to whatever wonderful woman you chose to give you the gift of having a child. Good luck to you and hope to hear of your success soon!

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(no login)

Here's what we did (pregnancy ment)

August 24 2012, 1:10 PM 

I agree that it's really tough trying to find someone to be as close a match to you as possible. We went with a clinic that had an in-house pool, which meant that the pool was smaller than what we would have found through an agency.

My husband and I are also very academic, so we encountered some of the same issues that you've mentioned. I couldn't find anyone who looked a lot like me. My background is Northern European, and while I found several blonde, blue-eyed donors, none particularly looked like me. My husband has a very Mediterranean look - so we look nothing alike. In the end, we found a donor who looked a tiny bit like me, and the elements of her appearance that were nothing like me looked as though they could have plausibly come from my husband's side of the family.

However, I am pregnant now, and if this child is born looking at all like me, I will die of shock. When I say the donor looks a tiny bit like me, I am really stretching it.

As I went through the files, I realized that I really wanted to see a sense of humor and intelligence. A lot of donors are very young, so they will not have had a chance to get multiple degrees. Our clinic reports grades and SAT scores where available. Our donor's SAT scores were good, and my sense was that she got her scores without doing a ton of prep. She also expressed herself very well in the donor profile, and those two things were enough for us.

Our donor also seemed like a kind, caring person. I got to talk to our donor coordinators about her, and they said very good things about her. One thing that made me happy was that they said that the donor wanted to donate to help couples who couldn't conceive, and I found that was very important to me.

In the end, after searching for many donors, I realized that I had a small list of the things that were important to me. I could see that it would be hard to find someone who looked just like me, so I picked a couple of characteristics that were critical, and beyond that, I waited for the donor who had a "whole picture" that seemed like a good fit. In my situation, personality and intelligence took a backseat to resemblance to me.

Regarding appearances: the genetics thing is such a crapshoot. I can think of several kids I know who look nothing like one parent (or nothing like either parent).

Best of luck!

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(no login)


August 24 2012, 1:13 PM 

... I meant to say that resemblance to me took a backseat to personality and intelligence.

Again, best of luck and please do keep us posted as you go through this process!

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(no login)

I went with looks AND grades AND personality (child mentioned)

August 25 2012, 12:17 AM 

...found two donors who fit the bill to a tea for me... loved them, felt that 'connection' to them, knew their real names, etc... I did two fresh cycles with each of them, all failed... several FET... all failed. Then selected a donor who did not resemble me, was opposite to me in many ways (although there were some similarities), was not a superstar in my book, and I selected her because she was one of the few donors who offered a photo at the clinic... I required no other criteria... and she provided me with the most gorgeous, fun-loving, comical, smart and caring son I ever could have imagined. The perfect donor is the one who can help you to have your perfect child. For me, similar looks were very important when selecting a donor, but now that my son is here, I wished I hadn't focused so much on the similarities/dissimilarities, since in the end, it really does not matter. You can't go wrong either way... you will have the child you were meant to have. Best of luck to you.

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Mama Issa (Twins hopeful)
(no login)

Not really helping but sharing

August 27 2012, 7:23 AM 

After four failed fresh IVFs and with good looks i decide to approach it from this angle luckily for our clinic all girls are university students and down here you have to toil hard to get there, soi went for irrespective of other she must be a proven DE which is evidence by live child once or twice. she must be over 24yrs or over (i was tired of 19 yrs old that gave many under quality eggs that didn't survive day five for freezing). i am in the 3rd week of pg and i have not looked at the foto -here De are quite anonymous here and you cant dig as much information. i am satisfied that i finally got pregnant that i was so desperate to get. i know every one is different but as for me i just wanted too badly to get pregnant such that i had to let so many factors for consideration go.
Whatever you chose follow your heart sometimes its the only small voice you can follow.
Mama Issa (Africa

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(Login Raindrops1)

Whatever is important to you. (child ment)

August 27 2012, 1:19 PM 

I wanted my donor to look like me. I also wanted my donor to at least be in college or have a college degree. It turns out my donor only finished high school and I passed her over the first time I looked at the donor list. I'm so very happy I didn't let that little detail stop me from selecting her. I really like what she wrote about herself and am so happy she was my donor. She gave me my wonderful baby boy and he is just perfect happy.gif

I hope you can find a donor that you somehow feel connected too.

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