Third Party Reproduction
For Donor Recipients and Intended Parents
If you are planning to build your family using donor egg, donor embryo, or donor sperm, you have probably already traveled a long, physically taxing and emotional road. You’re likely reading this page because your clinic has told you that you need to speak with an infertility-trained mental health professional before moving forward with treatment. Most fertility clinics and reproductive endocrinologists follow American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) guidelines and require that you attend a psychoeducational consultation session prior to proceeding with donor conception.
The consultation appointment is interactive and informational, offering insight into some of the questions you already have, and some of the issues you may not have yet considered, including how to make the many decisions you’ll be faced with throughout the process. We’ll discuss the mixed emotions and expectations you may be experiencing as you prepare to build your family through third party reproduction. It also provides you with a place where you can share your concerns, thoughts, and plans connected to using donor gametes (eggs, sperm, or embryos), and receive information about donor conception and donor conceived children. I offer this consultation session online and provide the summary note required by your clinic. By providing the session via telehealth, the need to travel for this consultation is eliminated. You’re encouraged to ask questions during our time together and I don’t mind at all if you interrupt me!
Some of what we’ll discuss includes:
- choosing a donor (sperm, egg, or embryo)
- closed vs open identity donors
- making the decision to disclose your child’s genetic origins
- how and when to start telling your child his/her story
- thinking about with whom to share your plan to use a donor
- decisions about remaining embryos
- identifying your support network and creating a support system
- bonding and the loss of genetics
- donor siblings
- navigating directed donor relationships, disclosure, and expectations
After the appointment, you’ll be given a donor recipient packet filled with information. The packet includes lists of books, websites, and other resources which you may find useful to have on-hand for reference during the family building journey.
For intended parents, those who are planning to build their families through the use of a gestational carrier, sometimes referred to as a surrogate, I provide the intended parent session required by both the surrogacy agency with which you are working, as well as the clinic you’ve chosen.
Our appointment together will address the myriad of decisions and emotions you are facing. Amongst other topics, some of what we’ll discuss includes:
- building and maintaining a relationship with your gestational carrier (GC)
- navigating doctor appointments
- feelings of grief and loss
- coping skills
- decision making
- disclosure to family and friends
- managing social media and expectations
- navigating and managing conflict
I welcome being a part of your family building journey and am honored to work with each and every intended parent with whom I meet.
Staten Island Therapist