Understanding Differences in the Perception of Anonymous Parties: A Comparison Between Gamete Donors and Their Recipients


(3–7), postdonation satisfaction (7,8), and long-term NEW YORK, NEW YORK follow-up to assess any negative emotional side-effects (8–10). Much attention has been given to the psychoUnderstanding Differences in the logical make-up of donors and generally revealed Perception of Anonymous Parties: A donors as well-adjusted and highly functioning women (5). They do not regret participating and would donate Comparison Between Gamete Donors and again if asked. Donors have often voiced an interest Their Recipients in recipient’s outcomes and occasionally relate that identifying personal information or at least nonidentiSubmitted: February 6 1999 fying information may be made available to a child if Accepted: July 6, 1999 requested (9). Rarely, donors inquire as to whether recipient outcomes may be disclosed or whether they may restrict the use of their eggs based upon the characteristics of the recipients, i.e., race, age, ethnic, reliINTRODUCTION gious, or sexual background. Because of the enormous emphasis placed by the There are many difficult issues to address in underrecipient on desired characteristics of their donor and standing the relationship between parties choosing to similar requests made by donors, we decided to comparticipate in anonymous gamete donation. For recipipare recipient and donor attitudes related to the imporents these include grieving the loss of one (or both) tance of personal characteristics in their matched partner’s reproductive capability. The loss of their counterpart. Results were further analyzed by the age, potential biologic children leads to anger, guilt, sadmarital status, and previous pregnancy history of ness, and marital conflict (1). Many couples successrespondents. fully resolve conflicts and choose to undergo treatment with donor gametes. One coping mechanism used by recipients is the ability to maintain some control over MATERIALS AND METHODS the selection of their donor. For sperm donation, samples are easily accessed, quarantined, and catalogued making direct choices relatively easy. Descriptions of The program for oocyte donation was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board at Columsperm donors are available typically with respect to phenotypic characteristics, education, special interests, bia-Presbyterian Medical Center. The program is structured such that following an initial consultation with and hobbies. Recipients of ovum donation convey similar expectations in selecting a potential donor. Howa primary physician, a “comprehensive visit” is preformed whereby a review of the patient’s checklist, ever, the demand for services far exceeds the supply of available donors and waiting lists commonly delay medications, ethical issues, and donor screening and matching are discussed (11). A list of characteristics initiating care 12–18 months. Thus, pressure is placed on many programs to make a “match,” despite obvious is discussed with the patients who are asked to rank them from “most to least important” (Table I). Upon disparity in physical characteristics, unless a large registry of available donors exists from which to access completion of their medical and reproductive screening tests, a match is secured with oocyte donor. immediate services (2). A few studies have addressed the treatment experiDonors are screened and consented as previously described (11). Donors are told during their initial ences of women participating as oocyte donors. Included are predonation psychological characteristics interview that the program utilizes their eggs to treat

DOI: 10.1023/A:1017257719479

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@article{Lindheim2000UnderstandingDI, title={Understanding Differences in the Perception of Anonymous Parties: A Comparison Between Gamete Donors and Their Recipients}, author={Steven Robert Lindheim and Stephen M. Kavic and Mark V. Sauer}, journal={Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics}, year={2000}, volume={17}, pages={127-130} }