Understanding Nonidentified vs. Open ID Embryo Donation Jan 29, 2024 | by Miranda Stomp, Embryo Donation Case Manager

Understanding Nonidentified (Formerly "Anonymous") vs. Open ID Embryo Donation

With the Donor Nexus embryo donation program, couples or individuals who donate embryos have the option to choose between an nonidentified donation or an open ID donation. In this blog, we explain what exactly these terms mean and explore the options that donors and recipients have with our program.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has updated the terminology from “anonymous” to “nonidentified” to reflect the changing landscape where anonymity can be compromised through genetic testing and social media.

Flexible Programs, Tailored to Your Unique Needs

At Donor Nexus, we understand that there are deeply personal and emotional considerations on both sides of embryo donation; we are proud to offer flexible options to ensure our program can be tailored to fit the specific desires of all couples and individuals. 

What Does Nonidentified Embryo Donation Mean?

In a nonidentified embryo donation, there will be no identification or contact established between the donor(s) and recipient(s). The embryo donation process varies depending on which agency or clinic you are working with.

Although we maintain confidentiality for nonidentified embryo donation throughout the cycle and in our communications with both parties, it is important to note that we cannot guarantee permanent anonymity in the future due to the widespread availability of DNA/genetic testing, such as ancestry.com and 23andme. Read this blog post for a full explanation.

What Does "Open ID" Embryo Donation Mean?

With open ID embryo donation, there are varying degrees of openness; the embryo donor(s) preferences will be listed on the donor embryo profile. Typically, the donor(s) will require that they be notified once an ongoing pregnancy and/or live birth occurs, and in some cases, the donor(s) may also request to know geographically where the recipient family lives. An open ID relationship can vary from yearly phone calls and photos to contact only for medical necessity. With open ID, the donor(s) also have the option of approving potential recipients with an nonidentified letter and/or a nonidentified phone or video call facilitated by Donor Nexus.

Overall, even with contact information being exchanged once pregnancy/birth occurs, the ongoing contact is typically very limited but it is on a case-by-case basis. Some families choose open ID to allow the donor-conceived child/children to decide whether they would like to reach out in the future.

What is Required for Open ID Donor Embryo Recipients?

The recipient(s) will be required to sign an addendum that gives the agency consent to provide their contact information to the embryo donor(s) once an ongoing pregnancy is achieved. A pregnancy is considered ongoing once the intended mother or gestational carrier reaches 12 weeks.

Open ID Embryo Donation vs. Embryo Adoption

For any donor(s) or recipient(s) who are interested in embryo adoption, an open ID embryo donation can offer similar benefits at a lower cost to the recipient and a quicker process for both parties.

Addressing Preferences/Stipulations for the Recipient(s)

Many fertility clinics and other embryo donation or embryo adoption agencies handle the embryo matching process and do not give the donor(s) much say in the selection of the recipient(s). At Donor Nexus, we allow embryo donor(s) to address preferences they may have for the recipients, if any. Although many of our embryo donors do not have any preferences, we understand that for various personal, religious, or cultural reasons, embryo donors may have specific desires for the recipient(s).

For instance, here are some examples of stipulations you may see listed on embryo donor profiles:

  • Donor parents would like a letter from the intended parents to approve/deny.

  • Recipients to be a heterosexual married couple.

  • Recipients to be LGBTQ+ affirming.

We have found that providing the embryo donor(s) the opportunity to address any stipulations results in a more fulfilling experience, for both the donor(s) and the recipient(s).


Independent Match Embryo Coordination - Assistance for Donors and Recipients Who Found Eachother On Their Own 


Additionally, Donor Nexus offers Independent Match Coordination to help embryo donor(s) and recipient(s) who have found each other on their own through a referral, social media, online forum, or any other avenue without the help of a third party. As the Agency, Donor Nexus will serve as the Independent Match Coordinator between the embryo donor(s) and embryo recipient(s) as well as their fertility clinics and laboratories. Learn more here.

About Donor Nexus

Donor Nexus is a leading embryo donation agency in Newport Beach, California. Since our establishment in 2012, we have helped coordinate over 1,000 donor embryo cycles. With one of the largest donor embryo databases in the country, we have the ability to match donor embryos with loving recipients in a timely manner. Whether you are interested in donating leftover embryos or using donor embryos, we will be glad to assist you.

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