Sharing information in an open donation

Fertility Specialist Elaine Gordon, PhD, shares advice on the advantages and disadvantages of having an open egg or sperm donation and sharing your information with the other person
Pros & Cons of Sharing Information In An Open Egg or Sperm Donation
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Sharing information in an open donation

An open egg or sperm donation is where you have access to the other person's information. That means you can meet the person. You can talk to them on the phone. There is different levels of information that is shared. In terms of the advantages, I do have a bias. I do think there are many advantages to open egg donation or open sperm donation, you really know where your genetic material is coming from. From the donor's perspective, you really can take some responsibility and know where your genetic material is going to. I don't see many advantages in a closed or non-open donation. I think that promotes secrecy. I think it promotes shame, and I don't think that's very healthy.

Fertility Specialist Elaine Gordon, PhD, shares advice on the advantages and disadvantages of having an open egg or sperm donation and sharing your information with the other person


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Elaine Gordon, PhD

Fertility Specialist

Elaine Gordon is a Clinical Psychologist with a specialty in infertility, child development, reproductive medicine, and third party family building.  Besides her role as a therapist and group facilitator working with patients struggling with infertility related issues, she lectures on various topics surrounding the psychological and ethical issues of contemporary family building. Dr. Gordon is the author of Mommy, Did I grow in your Tummy? Where Many Babies Come From a children’s book dedicated to explaining a child’s unique reproductive beginnings whether it be IVF, egg donation, sperm donation, surrogacy or adoption.

Her professional associations include The American Psychological Association, The American Society for Reproductive Medicine and The American Fertility Association. She has served, as the educational chair for the Psychological Special Interest Group of the ASRM, is a member of the educational committee of ASRM.  She has served on various committees regarding many aspects of reproductive medicine. Dr. Gordon’s clinical work involves individual therapy, group process for couples and individuals, staff training for programs involved in reproductive medicine and third party screening and evaluations for all participants.

Dr. Gordon is well versed in both the medical and psychological aspects of reproductive medicine utilizing third parties. Her involvement in egg donation and surrogacy programs has stimulated an interest in the issues surrounding secrecy and disclosure in third party parenting. Related to the disclosure/nondisclosure issue is the need to assess the advantages and disadvantages of open versus closed donation policies. She lectures on disclosure policies and how you talk to children about non-traditional family building with the focus being the best interest of the child. 

Throughout her career as a psychologist she has become increasingly concerned about the ethical and moral dilemmas inherent in growing field of reproductive medicine. She has co-authored a chapter entitled "Legal and Ethical Aspects of Infertility Counseling" in the textbook Infertility Counseling: A Comprehensive Handbook for Clinicians. Dr. Gordon is currently involved in several research projects investigating the psychological implication of using egg and or sperm donation as a means of building families. She continues to work with other professionals in establishing a ‘standard of care” policy for the infertility patient and third party participants.

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