Ethics. Research. Community.

Expectations of recipient couples awaiting an anonymous oocyte donor match.

Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
PURPOSE: Our purpose was to survey recipients in an ovum donation program and report on their expectations while waiting for their potential donor recipient match. METHODS: Accepted or rejected anonymous ovum donor matches (n = 80) from January 1996 to May 1997 were evaluated. Patients generated a "wish list" of desired traits and physical characteristics. From an approved donor pool of medically and psychologically screened women, candidates were drawn upon as potential matches and presented to the potential recipient, who decided whether to accept the donor. Reasons for accepting or rejecting the donor were tallied and were compared to the patient's wish list. RESULTS: Medical history and race were ranked by 33 and 23% of recipient couples as the two most important characteristics, while 74 and 54% stated that these were among the three most important factors in a potential donor compared with other traits. Fifty-seven (71%) recipients accepted, while 23 (29%) rejected, the first donor presented to them. Eleven were subsequently given a second choice within 6 months, with 10 (91%) accepting the next presented match. Recipients waiting for a donor were just as likely to accept or reject a potential candidate whether waiting < 3 months (33%; 15/46), 3-6 months (25%; 4/16), or > 6 months (22%; 4/18) (P > 0.05; NS). In all but five recipients, the reason for rejection was consistent with their top three priorities reported in their wish list. CONCLUSIONS: Phenotypic, ethnic, educational, and other interests are important in the selection of an ovum donor. Recipients are proactive in their decision process, making educated and well considered decisions in spite of the limited pool and the extended time frame in waiting for an appropriate ovum donor.
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