For Egg Donors : What to Expect in the Psychological Interview
Thank you for making the kind and generous decision to serve as an egg donor! You have the potential to change the course of a couple’s life in an incredibly positive way.
One of the requirements for egg donors is to meet with a psychologist or a mental health counselor for an evaluation. This may sound intimidating. In actuality, the interview can be interesting and educational.
When a fertile couple decides to have a child, they are often aware of their family member’s positive and negative health history as well as personality traits including disorders such as learning problems, alcoholism and psychiatric illnesses that may be hereditary. When recipient/Intended Parents (IP’s, the couple who hope to become parents with your gift) need donated eggs to conceive, unless a professional gathers a complete history about the donor for them, they will become parents without important information. Most IP’s have spent years trying to conceive and want to be the best parents possible. If IP’s have information about their donor’s health history and that of her extended family, they can be better prepared to address their child’s needs. The more information you are able to share with the psychologist or mental health professional, the more you can potentially help the IP’s be prepared, good parents.
Each of us have had both positive and negative experiences during our lives. In addition, almost everyone has at least one member in their family tree who has experienced a mental health issue. Mental health professionals are aware of this and are interested in being supportive rather than judgmental. Just be yourself. It is better to be open and admit to imperfections than to present with inconsistencies. There is no perfect person, so there is no perfect donor.
Another interesting part of the interview involves preparing you for the psychological aspects of being a donor. This is a fascinating portion of the interview, as different perspectives can be discussed. You are not expected to know the answers to all the questions asked of you. In fact, this is a good time for you to ask questions and express any concerns you might have. We want you to feel fully informed, comfortable and confident about your decision to participate as a donor. Your health and emotional well being are of utmost importance to us. If you are married, your spouse may be invited to the interview, or may be brought into the interview via phone.
You will be asked to take a personality test. It is important to know that personality tests are not designed to judge you. Most questions do not have right or wrong answers. If a question does not pertain to you, please indicate that information. The test may help determine if you are experiencing issues that might interfere or conflict with you at the current time. Additionally, the questions are designed to be sensitive to test-taking style. It is best to be open and to try your best to present yourself as honestly as possible. Life, relationships and work can be complicated. It is completely normal to have flaws and experience challenges rather than be perfect. A defensive stance while taking the personality test may invalidate your results. An open style is appealing and credible. Your test results are not based on how you answer any one item. The psychologist or mental health counselor will not read each of your responses. Instead, items are grouped and the test is interpreted in terms of personality style.
Helping a couple who might not otherwise have the opportunity to reach their dream of becoming parents is a beautiful gift. Openly and honestly communicating your history as well as your personal and unique style will help the professional team match you with the appropriate IP. Your openness will help the IP’s be the best parents they can be. Thank you for your time and generosity. We look forward to working with you!
Barbara Feinberg, Psy.D with Sandy B. Goodman, M.D.
Dr. Barbara Feinberg is a licensed psychologist who has been in private practice for over 25 years. Please visit her at her website, www.drbarbcares.com. (813) 264-7314.