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New Here - How Did You Choose a Donor?

coteamykcoteamyk Posts: 58
edited November -1 in Trying to Conceive
My wife and I are brand-new to this and finding it very difficult to choose a donor. We feel very uncomfortable having no idea what these men look like. I am not a shallow person, but I think it's fair to say that most people if given the choice, would like to have a child with someone that they would deem physically attractive. 5'11", blonde hair, and blue eyes just doesn't tell us much.

Some of the banks offer baby photos, but I just think in many cases grownups look nothing like they did when they were a baby. Most babies are cute by nature and some of them grow up to be not-so-cute adults. Only one bank that I know of offers adult photos and they are very expensive. We would just like to have a better visual of this guys actual features.

We were wondering if there is a post here somewhere where people show photos of their kids and say the donor they used? Or is this taboo for some reason? (Other than the fact that some people prefer to keep such things private).

Thanks for any help or advice in advance!
Amy (33) & Morgan (29)
TTC #1

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Comments

  • kelleymelkelleymel Posts: 1,402
    edited November -1
    Personally, I wouldn't want people donor shopping based on how cute they think my child is - but that's just me. We chose our donor based primarily on genetics. We have not revealed what donor we used. We probably never will. I feel like cryobanks probably choose people who are fairly attractive, because they only take about 1% of the people who apply (or that's what another cyrobanks stats say).
    TTC #1: BFP Cycle #11 IVF (2014)
    TTC #2: IVF April 2017
    BFP: FET Due February 2018
  • K&HK&H Posts: 3,368
    edited November -1
    It wouldn't do you any good to look at my kiddo, she's a carbon copy of her mama. I think that's often the case, which is why donor shopping by other's babies is just not a great idea.
    Sometimes you just have to pick a starting point and search from there until you find one you like.
    Keep in mind, it took us three years to get pg, by the time we finally got pg we had used tons of different donors, but our child is absolutely perfect for us.
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  • MomToBe85MomToBe85 Posts: 60
    edited November -1
    Since my DW and I have a multiracial background, we decided to choose our donor based on their health history as well as their family's health history. Yes, we also chose someone that would be above a certain height but race didn't matter to us. We figured we would be blessed with any healthy child we have, regardless of their physical appearance.
  • ana8284ana8284 Posts: 628
    edited November -1
    We chose our donor based off of my wife's physical characteristics and interests and of course the donor's family medical history. While we did buy the baby pics for our donor, at the end of the day to us it really doesn't matter. Afterall there are some super attractive couples in the world that give birth to some not so attractive children ;) (although all babies are beautiful in my eyes!). We will be just thrilled when we finally get our BFP and bring our baby home no matter what he or she looks like. Best wishes with your search!
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    IUI #1- 07/12-BFN, IUI #2 08/12-BFN, ICI at home 10/12- BFN, Back to Back IUI #3 08/13-BFN, IUI #4 09/13-BFN, IUI #5 03/14- BFN, IUI #6 05/14- BFN, IUI #7 06/14-BFN
    KD-10/14-BFN KD-12/14-BFN IUI #8 3/15 BFN, IUI #9 4/15 BFN, IUI #10 6/17 BFN
    Potential Adoptive Parents- Baby Due November 2017!
    IUI #8 04/15- BFN
  • coteamykcoteamyk Posts: 58
    edited November -1
    Thanks for sharing everyone! I knew my post was going to come off wrong. LOL

    We're not "shopping" for our donor based solely (or even primarily) on how the donor looks. Of course we are choosing on genetics and health history first, and then trying to match my wife's physical characteristics. I just I guess I just feel like actual photos of the person (or their offspring) would enhance the profile and make it a little bit easier to narrow it down.

    I have dark brown hair and dark brown eyes, my wife has light brown hair and green eyes. So my genes are dominant anyway, we'll probably end up with a carbon copy of me despite ourselves. Haha!

    Thanks again :)
    Amy (33) & Morgan (29)
    TTC #1

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  • MNmommasMNmommas Posts: 1,081
    edited November -1
    Not necessarily! I've got dark hair & dark eyes, yet birthed a blue-eyed, fair-haired kid. Of course, if you don't have any fair eyes/hair at all in your ancestry, then I suppose it would be extremely unlikely.

    For us, we narrowed down the donors based on open communication and ethnicity first, as we wanted a donor who shared the Irish & German roots that DW & I have in common and we didn't want an anonymous donor. From there, we had maybe 10 profiles to decide from. We looked through them with a toss/keep mentality. Tossed the ones under 6'0", any who were height/weight disproportionate, those who smoked, those who drank more than 0-3 times per week, had any family or personal health/medical issues aside from mild allergies, etc. We looked to the Interests, Education, Staff Impressions, and Essay sections to see who piqued our interest. It didn't take very long to narrow down the donors and make our final selection. Our chosen donor was a clear match for us, so no agonizing happened over here! :)

    Best wishes! I found sifting through the profiles to be the most enjoyable part of TTC - much more fun & interesting than peeing on sticks and stressing over when to insem!
    Donor 7070, births 2012 & 2013
  • stwrrstwrr Posts: 455 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I just wanted to randomly add that Northwest offers free photo matching, where they lay out all the adult photos of the donors they have (not to share) on a giant table, then match a picture you provide them (yourself, your spouse, your favorite celeb, whatever rocks your boat, grin) to the donors. They send you a list of the three most close matches, in order. It's just neat. :)

    Call and ask them about it, or email.
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  • coteamykcoteamyk Posts: 58
    edited November -1
    MNmommas wrote:
    Not necessarily! I've got dark hair & dark eyes, yet birthed a blue-eyed, fair-haired kid. Of course, if you don't have any fair eyes/hair at all in your ancestry, then I suppose it would be extremely unlikely.

    For us, we narrowed down the donors based on open communication and ethnicity first, as we wanted a donor who shared the Irish & German roots that DW & I have in common and we didn't want an anonymous donor. From there, we had maybe 10 profiles to decide from. We looked through them with a toss/keep mentality. Tossed the ones under 6'0", any who were height/weight disproportionate, those who smoked, those who drank more than 0-3 times per week, had any family or personal health/medical issues aside from mild allergies, etc. We looked to the Interests, Education, Staff Impressions, and Essay sections to see who piqued our interest. It didn't take very long to narrow down the donors and make our final selection. Our chosen donor was a clear match for us, so no agonizing happened over here! :)

    Best wishes! I found sifting through the profiles to be the most enjoyable part of TTC - much more fun & interesting than peeing on sticks and stressing over when to insem!



    Thanks so much! We're also using an open donor which seems to limit our options, thankfully lol I do have two of my siblings and my mom have blue/green eyes and light hair, so maybe there is hope for us afterall.

    Another random question: we are using the "past pregnancy" (yes) in our search criteria. Did you consider that as well? I just can't see spending $$$ for a donor who's never actually produced a pregnancy before. But I feel like this reduces our candidate pool quite a bit as well.
    Amy (33) & Morgan (29)
    TTC #1

    14500768710_dbbc1b3d24_q.jpg
  • coteamykcoteamyk Posts: 58
    edited November -1
    stwrr wrote:
    I just wanted to randomly add that Northwest offers free photo matching, where they lay out all the adult photos of the donors they have (not to share) on a giant table, then match a picture you provide them (yourself, your spouse, your favorite celeb, whatever rocks your boat, grin) to the donors. They send you a list of the three most close matches, in order. It's just neat. :)

    Call and ask them about it, or email.

    We are definitely going to use that option! Thanks so much!
    Amy (33) & Morgan (29)
    TTC #1

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  • coteamykcoteamyk Posts: 58
    edited November -1
    ana8284 wrote:
    We chose our donor based off of my wife's physical characteristics and interests and of course the donor's family medical history. While we did buy the baby pics for our donor, at the end of the day to us it really doesn't matter. Afterall there are some super attractive couples in the world that give birth to some not so attractive children ;) (although all babies are beautiful in my eyes!). We will be just thrilled when we finally get our BFP and bring our baby home no matter what he or she looks like. Best wishes with your search!


    Thanks for the reply! I know when we get our BFP all of these worries will seem insignificant. I can't wait :D
    Amy (33) & Morgan (29)
    TTC #1

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  • coteamykcoteamyk Posts: 58
    edited November -1
    K&H wrote:
    It wouldn't do you any good to look at my kiddo, she's a carbon copy of her mama. I think that's often the case, which is why donor shopping by other's babies is just not a great idea.
    Sometimes you just have to pick a starting point and search from there until you find one you like.
    Keep in mind, it took us three years to get pg, by the time we finally got pg we had used tons of different donors, but our child is absolutely perfect for us.

    Thanks so much for the response. I appreciate your input! :)
    Amy (33) & Morgan (29)
    TTC #1

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  • coteamykcoteamyk Posts: 58
    edited November -1
    kelleymel wrote:
    Personally, I wouldn't want people donor shopping based on how cute they think my child is - but that's just me. We chose our donor based primarily on genetics. We have not revealed what donor we used. We probably never will. I feel like cryobanks probably choose people who are fairly attractive, because they only take about 1% of the people who apply (or that's what another cyrobanks stats say).

    I'm so glad you said that because I had no idea how selective these banks are or what criteria they use. I had been wondering about it. Like I said, I'm not shallow, but we all know someone out there that we wouldn't voluntarily reproduce with...ya know what I'm saying? Thanks for the reply!
    Amy (33) & Morgan (29)
    TTC #1

    14500768710_dbbc1b3d24_q.jpg
  • scifimomscifimom Posts: 1,173
    edited November -1
    I just picked physical characteristics I wanted. From there I looked at health characteristics. Then I checked my intuition.
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  • aplusaaplusa Posts: 1,919
    edited November -1
    Just FYI .... I've called the bank and asked them to rate the attractiveness of two donors .... Like, this one is a 6 and that one is a strong 8. They've also told us other things about the donors appearance in regards to attractiveness. Obviously, we all have different taste and preferences, but what I expected from childhood pictures (goofy kid = goody adult). Yes, I am this shallow and no, I don't think all children actually are cute ....

    And I gain more jerk points.

    I know this thread has veered off, buy by the time people have kids and they aren't baby chub, the donor is usually long sold out anyway.

    Just call the bank and be shallow like me. :)
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    Lucky Cycle 14: IVF!! Antagonist Cycle with Lupron Trigger
  • MNmommasMNmommas Posts: 1,081
    edited November -1
    coteamyk wrote:
    Thanks so much! We're also using an open donor which seems to limit our options, thankfully lol I do have two of my siblings and my mom have blue/green eyes and light hair, so maybe there is hope for us afterall.

    Another random question: we are using the "past pregnancy" (yes) in our search criteria. Did you consider that as well? I just can't see spending $$$ for a donor who's never actually produced a pregnancy before. But I feel like this reduces our candidate pool quite a bit as well.

    If you used a donor with blue eyes, you would have a 50-50 chance of birthing a light-eyed child because you inherited the genes for blue eyes from your mom (simply speaking, of course - eye color is a bit more complex than that, but your odds really would be 50-50).

    I wouldn't worry too much about the "past pregnancy". NW tests the sperm, so it is extremely unlikely that the sperm they carry are unable to fertilize an egg. Besides that, there's a good chance that the donor has produced a pregnancy in the past but either A) they didn't know about it (from their personal life) or B) the pregnant mama hasn't reported it to NW yet (from frozen sperm). Plenty of women wait until the end of the first trimester or to after the baby has been born to report the pregnancy, and some women don't report their babies at all (or do so much, much later). So just because the donor's profile says "No" for past pregnancies, that may not actually be the case. It just means that there are no pregnancies that NW knows about. Also, I'm not sure how often they update that information. So if you like a donor but it says they have no past pregnancies, it might be worth a call to NW to check and see if that's still true.
    Donor 7070, births 2012 & 2013
  • ShannyShanny Posts: 2,456
    edited November -1
    I used NW's photo matching and can't recommend it enough. Also, make friends with the people at the bank. Call and ask random questions about donors. They'll tell you things like previous posts have mentioned and they will give you a more detailed physical description.
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  • christeacherchristeacher Posts: 242 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    On the previous pregnany criteria...When I picked my donor he had previous pregnancies but apparently only by a month. Now there are several who are all due within a month or so of each other. And we found out later there is another who didn't report the pregnancy until almost the end of pregnancy. So you really just never know on the previous pregnancy thing.
  • mrsandmrsduvallmrsandmrsduvall Posts: 198
    edited November -1
    We narrowed our donor search down by picking physical traits that were similar to me, since DW is carrying. Next, we looked at heritage, I wanted a donor who shared my Finnish ancestry, since my family has a strong Finnish background. I want to share that with my child. Even if we do not have the 'same' Finnish blood, I like the idea of having that connection between our future baby and my family. I think about how growing up, people always ask where your family is 'from' and wanted to be able to say they have those connections from both their moms. DW thinks it is kinda silly, but it is important to me. Next, we looked at health history. If they did not meet the health criteria, it was a deal breaker. Luckily we found a donor that has very similar features to me in their baby pictures. I even sent the pics to my mom (seeing as she would be the best judge for what I looked like as a baby) and she was shocked by how similar the features were.

    We were initially concerned with our donor not having previous pregnancies, but after reading the posts by the wonderful women on this forum, similar to the comments made by christeacher, we decided it would not be a deciding factor for us.

    In terms of the open or anonymous communication, another poster in another thread shared that donors can change their communication status at a later date. Because of this, we also did not use this as a basis for our decision.

    I hope this helps, I know I kinda ramble. But I also know reading other people's process was and is helpful to me, so I figured I would share!

    Best of luck!
    tt1d4410
    Jess 29, Tiff 30 (carrying)
    Started TTC in 2014
    IVF, July 2016, Flare Protocol, retrieval on 7/17 (freeze all), 14 out of 17 mature, all 14 fertilized!
    FET on 9/22, 1 5-day blast transferred, BFP! 1st U/S on 10/24! Expected due date is June 10, 2017!
  • emlklg444emlklg444 Posts: 645
    edited November -1
    just want to share that I am in contact with 2 other families that used the same donor we did, our daughter has one half sister and two half brothers... and all of them favor their mommies... none of them look anything like the donor's childhood pics, and none of them look alike.
    1st daughter born 9/26/2013 (bfp 2nd attempt at home ICI)
    2nd daughter born 3/8/2016 (bfp after 7 attempts at home ICI, 2 miscarriages, 1 D&C)
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