Choosing an egg donor in Spain

By (embryologist) and (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 02/24/2016

Provided below is an index with the 5 points we are going to expand on in this article.

Egg donation in Spain is regulated by the Law regarding Human Assisted Reproduction Techniques (LAHRT), according to which it must remain an anonymous process, so that the privacy in the information about the donor is guaranteed.

For this reason, neither the donor nor the prospective parents will be allowed to get information about the person who is about to hand her eggs over, so that they can undergo an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. Donor-conceived children won't have access to the identity of their donor either.

The unique information about the donor that recipients and/or donor-conceived individuals can get is that relevant for the gestation period:

  • Age
  • Blood group
  • Rh factor

How are donors chosen?

Taking into account that donor identity must be kept confidential, the egg donation contract will be solely between the egg donor and the fertility clinic or egg bank. Thus, this entity is responsible for matching egg donors to recipients.

Matching an egg donor to a recipient woman is in the hands of the professional team at the fertility center, who will pay special attention to the following features:

  • Phenotypic characteristics
  • Immunological characteristics

The medical team will always look for the greatest possible similarities with the receiving woman in relation to the above mentioned traits. By no means are the prospective parents allowed to indicate their preferences or choose the physical characteristics or personal traits of their donor.

Characteristics of the donor

Donors must necessarily comply with the following requirements in order to be accepted in the egg donation program:

  • Being aged between 18 and 35 years old.
  • Being physically and mentally healthy.
  • Normal ovarian function.
  • Absence in the donor and her close relatives of genetic alterations or any other hereditary condition.
  • Being seronegative for hepatitis B and C, HIV, syphilis, herpes, cytomegalovirus, and other viral and infectious diseases.

When a woman applies as a prospective egg donor, in addition to meeting these requirements, she will have to undergo a thorough psychological and medical screening. Most remarkable tests included within this assessment are: physical examination, cervico-vaginal cytology, endocervix culture (a.k.a. vaginal culture, endocervical culture, or female genital tract culture), ultrasound scan, karyotype test, serology, biochemical analysis...

Only if these tests come out positive, donors will qualify to be part of the egg donor database, waiting to be matched with a compatible recipient woman and get started with the egg donation process.

Donor identity disclosure

Despite preserving both the confidentiality and anonymity of the donor is mandatory, the LAHRT allows for donor identity disclosure only in justified cases where the health of the unborn child is put in danger or at serious risk, as long as it follows common rules on criminal procedure.

Such information will only be disclosed provided that there is no other choice as to remove the danger, and always proceeding in a restricted manner.

Even though donor identity disclosure is allowed only in exceptional circumstances, donors cannot be required to have any type of right or obligation among the paternity or custody of donor-conceived children.

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 Andrea Rodrigo
Andrea Rodrigo
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics. More information about Andrea Rodrigo
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
B.A., M.A.
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

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