New realities for the practice of egg donation: a family-building perspective

  • Lauri A. Pasch
    Reprint requests: Lauri A. Pasch, Ph.D., UCSF Center for Reproductive Health, 499 Illinois St., 6th floor, San Francisco, CA 94158.
    Departments of Psychiatry and Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science, University of California, San Francisco, California
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      The practice of egg donation in the United States has been based on assumptions about secrecy, anonymity, and contact among the parties that require reexamination. This article argues for the need to acknowledge that secrecy and anonymity are no longer viable assumptions and that all parties may have a strong interest in contact and connection. A shift in the narrative for the practice of egg donation from a purely medical perspective to a broader family-building perspective is described. Significant practice changes to accommodate the new realities, rooted in a family-building perspective, are outlined in the arenas of medical record retention, informed consent, recipient and donor preparation and counseling, facilitation of contact among the parties, and outreach to other medical professionals, with the goal of promoting not only healthy pregnancy, but also long-term positive family functioning.

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