Czech Republic – Stunningly Different
After countless months of research, phones calls, consultations, and therapy our decision is set. The choice was not easy for either of us becuase there are many attractive facilities in Spain, Russia, Ukraine, Crete and the Czech Republic. We both struggled in our personal decisions, but ultimately came together in early October and decided on http://www.czechivf.com/ in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.
Ultimately, this clinic makes the most sense for a few reasons. First, the physician Dr. Vaclav Silhan, is extremy helpful and easily accessible, despite the time difference, no matter what day or time he promptly answers our questions and addresses our concerns. Second, we previously travelled to Prague in May of 2015, and loved the country. We realized that our familiarity with the area is one less stress to add into the mix of traveling abroad for egg donation. Finally, our ancestors all came from Eastern Europe, and therefore, are hopeful that a child from a donor in the Czech Republic will share similar characteristics.
Once the decision was made the next set of hurdles emerged. First, picking a donor with only limited information presented. In Europe an egg donor’s identity and personal information is protected. Couples are not given access to pictures of potential donors. Instead we were asked to provide pictures of ourselves and our preferences for donor characteristics. Once this information was received the doctor then does his best to match up our preferences with the available donor pool. The clinic presented the following three potential donors:
- NO 250 , DOB 1991, 167 cm/62 kg, clour of hair dark blond , colour of eyes green-brown, education: student of university
- No 265, DOB: 1996, 165 cm/58 kg , colour of hair is light brown , colour of eyes is green, education: student of university
- No 241 DOB : 1986, 164 cm/ 60 kg , colour of hair is brown, colour of eyes is blue, education: university
This limited information required us to once again step out of our comfort zone. We both struggled with the privacy protection for European donors, but respected the laws in place.
Jeff’s believed that the donor should be more closely resemble me as he will have a genetic link to the embryo. With this in mind we narrowed down our choice to donor 241, and pressed for any additional information that is permissible under European law.
Our biggest concern was the health and family history of the donor. We received the following from the clinic to address our concerns about the donors, “[s]creening of donors is perfomed according ASRM regulation (American Society For Reproductive Medicine ), our donors have strick genetics examinations (karyotype, cystic fibrosis, examination of muscular atrophy), and also in their anamnesis can´t be any genetically transmissible diseases . Our donors have also STD (HIV, BWR hepatitis ) examinations. Donor number 241 does not have in her anamnesis and anamnesis of grandparents and parents any diseases, which you sent (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and mental illness). Her parents and grandparents are still alive.”
We once again pressed for more information about donor number 241’s likes and interests. To which we received a brief responses, “[d]onor NO 241 is a also very intelligent and pleasant young women with two babies (son and daughter). She has university degree and works as a teacher. Donor No 241 likes reading books, watching movies and visiting theatres. Donor no 241 is a pleasant , I think she is outgoing and she smiles very often. When I spoke with her, she told me that she loves children. I recommend this donor, she looks most like you.”
After a few days of consideration and questions we picked donor 241. A decision that is a bit nerve wracking because there is still so much we do not know about this donor, but we put our faith in G-d that in the end we will have a healthy child.
One more hurdle was left before the process could move forward. Stay tuned for the next bump in the road on our pilgrimage for pink or blue.