The decision to proceed with treatment using donor egg, donor sperm, or donor embryo is complex. Recipient counseling by a mental health professional (MHP) skilled in reproductive counseling and third-party reproduction is in keeping with the guidelines and recommendations from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Research has also repeatedly found counseling to be integral to the preparation and long-term adaptation of families created through third-party reproduction.
The counseling session is an opportunity for recipients to carefully and thoughtfully explore their feelings and ideas, receive education, and discuss concerns, so that they can comfortably and confidently approach their path to parenthood. Some of the topics addressed during counseling include: feelings about the loss of a genetic connection to the child; readiness of all parties to use a gamete donor; whether, when, and how to disclose to the child; whether to disclose to family and friends; and decision making issues, such as donor selection and embryo management. When applicable, topics specific to single parents, same-sex couples, and couples or individuals who are expanding their family through donor gametes are discussed.
Recipients of egg, sperm, and embryo donation usually participate in one 75-minute session.