The DSR is a great place to look for matches and other information. However, please be aware that there are many other sites out there that are free where people can find matches and other information. Here are just a few:
Disclosure is tricky in a large part due to the inappropriate language that counselling professionals continue to use in conjunction with advising parents how to talk about germ cell assistance in sharing the creation story of their children. Disclosure to a child about his or her birth origins needs to be understood as a distinct issue from disclosure to other persons of interest be they family or medical professionals. The latter decision has its own criteria based on our child’s future medical needs and our particular cultural/family values. As with all other decisions pertaining to our children, we parents are in the best position to assess the risks and benefits of disclosure to whom on behalf of our children. All parents need to understand that children are not primarily defined by nature (genetics) any more than they are by nurture (womb, or later environment). Having struggled with infertility, we know better than most, that our children were created ONLY because we envisioned them and worked hard to bring them to life as no spontaneously conceived child will ever be. Our children have every right to understand that no one else even comes close to the role of parent, no matter how generous the contribution, be it a womb or a cell that provides a partial or even a total blueprint.The bottom line is:
Until the professionals start to get their own thinking straight about the recommended language to use in disclosure, parents are right to trust in their reluctant instincts. The minute I hear or read inappropriate adoption language recommended,such as “I am your spiritual mother, (or)… your life-giver,but your biological mother is….” I know the advice is going to be inappropriate and confusing to the child. A mother is a mother is a mother, and our children deserve to enjoy the exclusivity of that relationship as with any other child.
For those interested, I believe that the best book for helping parents to explain the use of donor eggs to young children is “Mommy, Was Your Tummy Big?” You can view a slightly earlier version of the entire book free online at http://www.carolinanadel.com/donoregg
It’s a question I ponder everyday and is exactly why we’re pay $500 per year to keep our embryos frozen, despite being 99.9% certain we will not have more children. We graciously accepted the gift of our donor but selfishly can not give away the gift of our embryos, because as an egg they were a dna and as an embryo they are child(ren) we may never know.
This is a super detailed list, I love it! And thank you for your sweet comment on my blog, it means a lot.
I didn’t know about this, what a neat study! As an egg donor, it makes me happy to know the mother-to-be will have her own biological connection with the baby.
Wow, this post brought tears to my eyes and I can relate. I really love reading this from a parent’s perspective.
I know that 99% of my reluctance to tell my closest friends that I donated my eggs is my fear of judgment.
Thank you for your informative post. As you can imagine, I have heard story after story of other couples whose former agency never produced a donor after the fee was paid so I hope couples and individuals find your blog and use your information before they pay the wrong agency.
My clinic has been absolutely fabulous, but if there was one thing I could change (other than the obvious desire for 100% success rate!) I wish that they would allow my donor and I to exchange contact information if we choose. Although it is wonderful that they allow us to write each other, it seems a bit paternalistic to edit our letters to make sure that we are not giving away more information than we are “allowed.”
In addition to miscarriage, autism, schizophrenia,cancers, autoimmune disorders increase in offspring as a man ages.
she’s not saying she won’t love the baby, she’s saying she was a malpractice victim. I think she’s right.
Then why didn’t she just say that? This article has a lot of bemoaning in it, she doesn’t state one time that she’s happy about being pregnant.
Do you realize how many women would give their eye teeth to be in her shoes –regardless of whether its their genetics or not.
So let her sue for malpractice but for Gods Sakes if her child should read this article someday (and he will) — how the hell do you think he’s going to feel?
Who knows what she said vs what the reporter chose to write.
Thank you so much for your long and detailed comment on my blog. I am sure it will help not only Jenny but many other women who are considering egg donation.
All my best,Rachel
I would agree with this. A mother carrying a child via egg donation is the biological mother, just not the genetic mother.
(The comments keep on coming)
How about an RE saying “I don’t have access to our statistics,” and “I really don’t know anything about POF even though I can diagnose it when I see it,” or a nurse saying “Wow, you are so young to need egg donation! Most of our egg donor patients are AT LEAST ten years older than you and already have kids…they just want to have kids with their second husbands!” (My first RE…short-lived, after that consultation, we were done!)
This wasn’t an RE but it was the gynecologist that removed one of my ovaries (that had a giant dermoid cyst attached to it). I asked him about children. He said, “you will never have children.” Period. That’s it. Nothing else. Did not suggest seeing an RE. Did not say anything else. Just closed the door on everything.
When going in for my initial infertility work-up with my first RE, he diagnosed me with PCOS after glancing through my file (sent by my OB) right in front of me. I asked him why he thought I had PCOS (knowing that my OB had tested my FSH at 24.5, which he said nothing about), and he responded, “Well, you are a teacher. Let’s see how well you were listening. What did I just explain to you?” I then pointed out the high FSH number, which he hadn’t even looked at in my file, to which he responded, “Oh, this is bad. This is really, really bad. This changes everything.” I immediately fell to tears, and he said, “I see that I’ve made you upset.” Ya think?????????
I started the clomid challenge test after that, never actually getting to take the clomid, because my first blood draw showed an FSH level of 82 at the age of 27. His nurse called to tell me the news at work- not him. I got a new RE immediately, and am now 14 weeks pregnant with DE IVF.
I just want to comment that this was such a well written article. I had many terrible experiences at three clinics and do not want to share any of those experiences with readers because I have mostly forced them out of my mind in order to cope and try to be a somewhat happy person now.Fed Up But Didn’t Give Up!
Please also take a look at my ten part series about conceiving with donor eggs, targeted to prospective recipient parents. How to go about choosing an egg donor is explained in detail, among other aspects of the process.
That is an awesome post! Thank you so much for it!!!
I am an egg donor and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about the idea of a donor registry lately.
From this post, I get the feeling that you view the purpose of a registry as providing information for intended parents and donor-conceived children. But if this is the only purpose of a donor registry, why create a bureaucracy to maintain a registry? What about using a different regulatory approach: eliminating anonymous donation? If all egg donors were known donors, there wouldn’t be a need for a registry (again, assuming that the sole purpose of the registry is to provide information to IPs and donor-conceived children).
As a donor, one of my major priorities is that my IPs and their beautiful twins always have up to the minute accurate medical information. What better way to accomplish this than through direct communication? Given what I’ve seen of Dr.’s offices, donor agencies and gov’t agencies, I wouldn’t want to entrust such an important task to anyone else.
I couldn’t agree with you more! The characterization of egg donors as impoverished young women to whom donor fees represent an “undue inducement” is bothersome.
I am just one egg donor and I by no means claim that all or even most egg donors are like me, but I would like to provide some information about myself to further your point. The year I donated my eggs, my gross income (excluding egg donor fee) was $80,000. Not a king’s ransom, but I was far from the poverty line. I had no student loans or consumer debt at the time of my donation. I began graduate school (a JD/MBA program) shortly after donating, but I didn’t donate to earn money for grad school tuition. I’m on a full scholarship and my donation fee still sits untouched in its own money market account. I am not sure what I will do with this money and am considering various ways I might invest this money and return it to the IPs with whatever returns it may earn when their children are ready for college.
I am just one donor. We are not all alike. But we are free-thinking, accomplished young women and it is wrong, if not paternalistic, to paint us as impoverished and incapable of thinking for ourselves.
Thank you, paragon2pieces for your voice. I am a 4x egg donor who is also well educated and living well above the poverty level. I donated my eggs to help my IPs achieve parenthood. I absolutely adore them and their resulting children… I would like to add that the donation process includes risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation or OHSS, which is a very serious and painful. The compensation I received doesn’t even begin to make up for the agony I endured, the time I remained on doctor’s ordered bedrest, the time away from my children, etc. Imagine laying in bed paralyzed by the pain, unable to take pain medication because of the vomitting OHSS causes, unable to breathe because of the pressure from the fluid leaking from your organs… Egg donors make real sacrifices, take real risks, and recieve little acknowledgement or appreciation. The government and the public need to be aware of such risks, a registry needs to be put into affect, Fertility Centers need to be held accountable for the medication regimens they presrcibe and also need to report cases of hyperstimulation. Women deciding whether or not to donate their eggs deserve an accurate depiction of the risks, not the so-called 6% industry claim.
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! It means a lot! I’m going to check out the website now. 🙂 Thanks for the support!!
Thank you for this article. I would like to know whether or not transfer success is possible WITHOUT the triple stripe endometrial pattern? I have a 22 month old son via Donor Egg. I also have a frozen embryo transfer taking place next Monday, Jan 12 2009 and while my lining is thick enough at approx 8mm, I do not have a triple stripe. BTW, I did a procedure called “endometrial activation” to help improve my chances of implantation. I am trying to remain hopeful but I am nervous about not having a triple stripe lining. Thank you.
It’s less concerning if you have a thinner lining than if you don’t have the triple stripe. You need the triple stripe.
Thanks so much for your great perspective and insight Marna! I was just talking about this very topic with a colleague of mine earlier today.
While there is still much to be explored regarding the complexities involved with egg donation, the emphasis always seems to be on the egg donors. There are many other organizations popping up out there more and more these days that take on the voice of the egg donors or potential egg donors. I think PVED is the only organization that looks from the side of the egg donor recipient families. How interesting!
I wish there was a way we could harness all of this energy and passion from all sides and coordinate everyone’s efforts in order to benefit everyone involved with the egg donation process. If you have any ideas about how to do this, I would be happy to help however I can. I agree that all these inaccuracies in the media portrayals of egg donation does everyone a major disservice. Great job, and keep up the outstanding work!
Evelina W. Sterling, PhD, MPH, CHESAuthor of Having Your Baby through Egg Donation (Perspectives Press 2005) http://www.myfertilityplan.com
I happen to be a 41 year old healthy, athletic,mother of 7 beautiful children and I think if a woman is healthy and over 40 she should also be able to donate her eggs…I chose to no longer have children because I divorced my childrens father. Every site that my friends and I have browsed put a age limit on egg donors. If a couple is desperate to conceive and older woman are willing to go through the process then we should be able to do so without feeling like we are being discriminated against due to our age. If we didn’t tell anyone our history or our age nobody would even know because we are blessed to age gracefully and therefore look 10-15 years younger than we are. Perhaps if society stop putting a age limit on egg donation many more families will be happy with the birth of a healthy newborn………..
Kee – The reason there is an age limit on egg donation – regarding woman who can donate is a sound and good one. Women’s fertility takes a big dive and decline from 32 on. Once we hit 35 our rate for chromosome issues, and downs goes way up.
That’s why the limit and I agree with it. I wouldn’t spend 25k on a process if I didn’t have young eggs to go with.
I work in the fertility-related industry. I was doing some research on TPR and came across your blog. I have mentioned your blog on my Facebook Status. I have friends/groups who deal with the issue and I hope this little act would help spread word about your eye-opener of a blog.
I really wish you the best of luck. I have children and they are worth every minute of my life. Keep up the great work with this blog and please visit my health site: http://healthy-nutrition-facts.blogspot.com/
I agree with you. We (parents by egg donation) are being considered the same as adoptive parents. We are absolutely different because we grew the fetus inside our bodies. I am currently 8.25 months pregnant by donor eggs and this bothers me. There is no need for the donor’s name to be on the birth certificate. I plan on being upfront and honest with my child from a very early age but that is between me and my daughter. Candace art4mybaby.blogspot.com
Excellent letter!! I hope he will read and consider carefully.
While we initially thought that GA SB169 and SB204 were tabled, they will both come up again Monday morning. Unfortunately, they schedule at the last minute and do not provide a copy of the latest version of the bill to allow for meaning comment.
Please keep those letters coming to let the GA Senate know that limiting couples family building options does not serve the public’s interest.
OH that’s funny. I can totally see myself doing just that. LOL.
You’re correct. It’s highly inappropriate. Not to mention it’s not impossilbe for women that age to become pregnant with their own egg. Less likely, but not impossible.
Still doesn’t excuse the unmitigated gall of such a question.
This is really a well laid out website. I like how you have presented your information in excellent detail. You seem to really love your site. Keep up the great work here and please visit by my blog sometime. The url is http://healthy-nutrition-facts.blogspot.com
Great post, you have a very distinctive voice and I’m glad I came across your writings. I’m Hua, the director of Wellsphere’s HealthBlogger Network, a network of over 2,000 of the best health writers on the web (including doctors, nurses, healthy living professionals, and expert patients). I think your blog would be a great addition to the Network in the Pregnancy & Fertility Community, and I’d like to invite you to learn more about it and apply to join at http://www.wellsphere.com/health-blogger. Once approved by our Chief Medical Officer, your posts will be republished on Wellsphere where they will be available to over 5 million monthly visitors who come to the site looking for health information and support. There’s no cost and no extra work for you! The HealthBlogger page (http://www.wellsphere.com/health-blogger) provides details about participation, but if you have any questions please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Wow, thank you so much for an awesome post! You are one of the few high quality blogs out there on the matter – so thank you very much!
I am considering egg sharing in return for free IVF as a clinic called CRM London are offering this. With current times paying for it is out of the option now but my hope has been restored by this ‘free ivf’. After reading experiences and hearing how long it can take i think im going to get the process moving sooner rather than later.
Wish me luck! 🙂
You have gained another loyal reader! Thank you.
I wanted to mention that both of my Gestational Surrogacy’s were the result of a less then blast transfer. Twins #1 were 3 day (two 6 cells and one 8 cell). Twins #2 were a 2 day transfer…yes…two days. (Three 4 cells) CA Dr. Woods in CA said that was mostly what was being transferred at that time in 2004 and so we went with it…I even talked with the embryologist because at that time I was running my surrogacy agency and had never heard of a day two transfer! It worked the first time too! The options are seemingly limitless but I suggest that trusting in your RE and Embryologist is the most important first step. IF they are up to date on all the newest technology and know your body and you are comfortable with how your individual case is being handled, that is really all you can do…trust them…
Sharon LaMotheInfertility Answers, Inc.http://infertilityanswers.org/
Thanks for posting — and that article was written from information from a study, not just my personal opinion.
Wow! Thanks for sharing this reference. This will help bring about women empowerment. Keep blogging!
I totally agree with you on this one.
This is by far one of the best postings about how mothers are connected to their babies resulting from a DE. Thank you so much for sharing. It made me feel even more connected to my baby and it will equally as nice to share this with him as he gets older.
First baby conceived from screened egg is bornhttp://egg-donation.blog.co.uk/2009/09/22/first-baby-conceived-from-screened-egg-is-born-7015253/
A 61-year-old woman gave birth to her own grandchild using an egg donated by her daughter, a clinic in Japan has said.The surrogate mother is believed to be oldest woman to have given birth in Japan. http://infertilityuk.wordpress.com/2009/09/23/egg-donation/
I appreciated your attempt to explain the differences between embryo donation and adoption. The reason your explanation falls short though is your personal position regarding when life begins.
Your life began as an embryo, as did mine and every other human who has ever lived. Embryo adoption principles are practiced because those who follow them believe life begins as conception. You are adopting something ‘that is already there’. As far as the home study requirement is concerned it is basically a background check on the family receiving/adopting the donated embryos. Most donors hesitate to donate to another couple because they want to know if the family receiving their donated ‘children’ is able to sufficiently care for them.
Many clinics with donation programs do not provide the psychological counseling you imply they all provide. They don’t keep track of who received which embryos. Adoption agencies do keep track, a great benefit for potential future emergencies.
The fact is that people who oppose the term embryo adoption don’t want to accept the standard medical science fact taught in our universities – human life begins when the egg is united with a sperm.
@Hatgirlcreek — I don’t think I stated when I thought life began. And I believe my definitions are correct.
What adoption agency do you work for?
Actually I’m an independent thinker 🙂 I realize you did not state your position explicitly, but it is implicitly included in your use of language. The donation/adoption question really boils down to whether or not you think the embryo is a baby or a thing. I happen to think it is a baby. Again, thanks for posting about it.
@Hatgirlcreek – Again, thanks for writing. Being the “idependent thinker” that you are then you will see if you re-read my post that I explained the “differences” between embryo donation and embryo adoption. Our organization uses the language of embryo donation — as donating an embryo is akin to giving a gift. A precious gift at that. Regardless, there are differences between egg donation and embryo adoption. And as an organization I was stating those differences from our organizations stand point.
We are not an anti adoption organization, nor do we take any stances about that. We are not a religious organization, nor are we affilitated with any clinic, egg donation agency, adoption agency, pharmacy, or legal firm. If you take the time to read about who we are and what we do you will see that we indeed value life to the fullest, from conception to birth.
It also depents whether you use an adoption agency or a place like http://www.miracleswaiting.org where donor & recipient couples match each other. We adopted our 6precious embryos privately and there was no home study etc involved. Both couples in our situation believe life starts at concpetion so we had it stated that way in our adoption contract. Thanks for bringing light to this miraculous way of building a family.
This is such a great post. I am not catholic but I stuggled with the issue of my religious family accepting us. I was nervous about talking to my pastor but to my surprise he was very supportive. He said to me, “God created the technology so we could use it.”
I completely agree! The definition of adopt is: To take into one’s family through legal means and raise as one’s own child. When an embryo is donated it is, among other things, a hope and the possibility of child, but at that point, it is personal property and not a child.
Further, a transfer of ownership via a legal agreement and medical and psychological evaluations should be the most significant requirements, not gender, marital status, age, etc. Those embryo adoption agencies charge thousands of dollars and that really isn’t necessary at all.
Thanks for sharing this important information.It was very nice.
Looking for more………….
Wow! Just incredible! What a beautiful young woman – outside and inside. I absolutely loved seeing this video. I am today starting my donor IVF cycle – and this confirms to me & my husband that this is a gift and a wonderful thing. Thank you to Allegra for her openness and honestly – it is so refreshing and real.
Just beautiful! I hope that my own children through egg donation are as grounded and know that their origins mean more to us all than we can ever express.
Totally agree. I would never have been accepted by any of these agencies. I’m single and was 45 at the time of my donor FET. I was 46 when I gave birth to my amazing donor embie daughter 6 weeks ago.
My situation was an open donation. No home study. My donor and I wrote our own contract.
These agencies have a political agenda to restrict reproductive rights. Unacceptable.
Re: #14, I was told by my nurse that Valium is given to relax the cervis and uterus–not the patient’s nerves, although it did seem to help 🙂
I found your site on stumbleupon and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!
Thanks for sharing…
Totally agree. My eight week old (today!) donor embie baby is asleep next to me right now. She is from a donor egg cycle, so is not genetically related to the woman who donated the embryos to me. But those embryos were without a doubt hers to do with what she wished. Thank goodness for that!
Egg Donation is a very impressive one which helps incapable parents in fulfilling a wish to have a baby….I appreciate.
Thanks for sharing this article in your blog.
It was very nice.Looking for more………………
This is my comment on the original post:
There are real issues with payment of gamete donors. It’s not just about what the clinics and would-be parents want, but also about possible exploitation of the donors, and also what the donor-conceived people think about it. They have to live with the consequences longer than anyone else, and many of them are not happy that one of their genetic parents became that because of a commercial transaction.
“You know the UK went this route in 2004. They made compensation for both sperm and egg donation illegal. Guess what? The number of egg and sperm donors dropped horribly.”
Donor compensation (except for expenses) has been illegal in the UK for a lot longer than that. The change in 2004 was the ending of donor anonymity.
According to HFEA figures, the numbers of sperm donors have gone *up* four years in a row since 2004, thus reversing a three year decline. The 384 donors in 2008 was the highest figure since 1996. There are also more egg donors than in 2004.
Hi – as an egg donor, I have had stipulations in my contracts that state that if the recipients wanted to donate any leftover embryos to another couple that I would need to agree first (but they could choose to destroy to donate to research without my notification). I am not opposed to sharing extra embryos with another couple, but donating was a very personal and heartfelt decision to me and I only choose to match with heterosexual married couples. Though this is just a personal belief of mine and not one I necessarily expect others to share, it was my intention going into the donation and I wanted to make sure that my intentions were still going to be upheld.
I hope this is ok to say and post here, I just wanted to explain why one might have something like this in their contract.
You shared very nice and detail information with us .This article contain very useful things for us I am very excited bout this one it is so nice and very useful to us.Thank you for this information .we expect this kind of important information in future also so keep it up this nice work.
Who pays the donor for her eggs now?
Nobody would. And I can’t blame egg donors for not wanting to be compensated for time and trouble.
I believe the compensation for the donor is reasonable. The donor must change her schedule for the numerous weekly (and even daily) doctor appointments and be very strict with her diet and lifestyle during the cycle, and often a month or so before (no drinking alcohol or caffeine, no sex, adherence to strict protocol of a myriad of drug injections, etc.), and these are usually college-aged young women in their 20s. The egg retrieval process is not easy, and they have to take that day off, possibly the following day as well. That means missing classes and work (losing potential income).
The compensation is not enough to make a living doing this. I see it as an incentive for young women to follow through with their heart’s desire to help an infertile couple achieve their dream of children, without sacrificing losing their own income from lost days at work, etc.
I am a donor egg recipient. I was happy to pay the fees. All in all, as far as fertility treatments go, the cost was really not that much! I am eternally thankful to my donor, and I hope and pray that Arizona will not try to legislate on this any further. Thanks.
I’d like to simply add:
I expect my clinic to consider what is best for ME and if unsure to ask me. They do not know my financial/emotional situation.
I expect my clinic to partner with me to develop a treatment plan that makes sense for the clinic and for me. Decisions on what grade of embryos should be frozen, what protocols should be used, should genetic testing be performed even if insurance might not cover. These are conversations to have – not something the doctor or clinic should dictate. If there is strict policies the clinic will honor regardless of client requests, I expect my clinic to be upfront about those policies prior to commitment of funds by me for treatment.
To be honest, I haven’t yet found the clinic that matches all of my expectations. 😉 But I’m working with the ones that are out there.
Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!
Why thank you I think:)
I couldn’t agree with you more! I was given the medical diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve at 38. It IS a legitimate medical condition, a disease. It only makes logical sense that any disease would be covered under this bill. What is more infuriating is that abortions, which are almost always NOT medically necessary, are covered! How does that make any logical sense? It doesn’t.
Kiddo, I don’t know what the answer is but I do know that passion like yours is what will help us turn the tide. Stay in that place and we will persevere.
IS VERY GOOD..............................
Keep uncle sam out of your uterus because in Australia you have to undergo so much counselling/screening/trial placement/blah/blah to adopt a baby out (I have a friend who was raped in highschool and ended up pregnant, her mum had just died and she tells me now 12 yrs later she still feels like a F.. mental case (sorry her words) she lives guilt 24/7 and you can see her son isn’t quite ok – she has since remarried and is much more bonded with her daughter but it like the echo of trauma is still there for her – going thru all the “process with the social workers she said was just torture” (a 2nd mental rape) and just tried to forget it all and get on with life.. adoption is also a lengthy process but surrogacy is so regulated here anyone not approved by an ethics board over two years or caught accepting any money (incl loss of wages or a maternity bra) faces more jailtime than a drug dealer or armed robber. Other friends of mine are trying to adopt a baby because they know that surrogacy is just not realistic – they both have fragile x genetic disorder genes and egg donation is just as strictly regulated. And me apparently the laws protect me from using the one thing i am good at(babies) to help my family economically because i am subjugated??
OMG! Icould have written that! I had a miserable pregnancy and felt bad complaining. Thanks to you I got over it! So nice to see you spreading your wealth of wisdom!
I agree- complain away!
However, if you have a friend still struggling with infertility- please don’t complain to them. Just find another willing ear.
I needed foot surgery while I was pregnant, but couldn’t have it done. I. Was. Miserable. Of course it was all worth it, but damn right I complained!
I believe there’s a place for both Embryo Adoption and Embryo Donation in our society. I have to agree that the term you prefer to use comes down to how you view an embryo overall. Is it a child, life, potential for life, a cluster or cells, etc.? If you believe it’s a living being, then donating it seems like an insignificant way to treat something that you treasure no differently than any other person you love. You can donate your clothes, an organ or money, but donating a child or even the potential for a child leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I think more thought should be put into the “potential” children that will result from these donations. I guess if I were one of those children, I would have rather been lovingly “placed” for adoption by my Genetic Family than anonymously “donated.” I personally feel embryos deserve more respect and that this very topic needs to be thought through more. There are more factors and people to consider, than just the Donating Family. Heck, even the Receiving Family changes the language to “Adoption”, once a child is born, because they know there will be a stigma attached to having been donated. The reality is the word “donation” is just not appropriate when referring to even the earliest form of human life. No person wants to be known as “donated.” Embryo Adoption can exist without lengthy home studies, application processes, and fees. I just wish the word “Donation” would go away.
Here, Here. Cheers!
Oh, Marna!What can I say???? I have tears rolling down my cheeks. Thanks for sharing your story. We all wonder why bad things happen in our lives. We also wonder what our purpose is. Well, It looks like you have found your purpose. We are all so grateful for all you do and so lucky to have you as part of our lives! Lisa
I’ve been tossing around “Egg Mommy”, sort of like “Tummy Mommy” that adopted kids use.
I so appreciate you and what you give to all of us trying to conceive with DE.
Yay, a give away! 🙂 Looks like some great books that could help us, so here I go:
I am in my 6th year of my fertility journey..
– the victrix
Forever and a day.
I am in my 3rd year of my fertility journey.
Almost 2 years (and countless procedures)!
Since July of ’09 officially…feels like an eternity at my age.
I’ve been on this journey, in my heart, for years and years. With doctors, drugs, etc. 4 years.
You are the best!!!
3 1/2 years which is 3 1/2 years too long 🙁
We have been on this journey for 2 1/2 years since before we got married.
I’ve wanted to be a Mom ever since I had my first baby Alive doll placed in my arms….Fast forward 35 years later….Too long!
In total – about 20 years if you count when I first tried. I had a a big break in the middle. About 8 years trying this time.
Love the give away idea – thanks for that!
I have been on this journey for 5 years.
TTC since 2005, this is an awesome give away, something that is useful, thank you. Good luck to everyone on their journeys.
Began in 2005, miracle daughter in 2006 and still trying for another miracle.
Since we got married in 2004…it seems forever…
Marna, you are amazingly generous!
We have been struggling through this fertility journey for 8 years. If I only knew then what I know now!
It’ll be five years since our first appointment with an RE right around the time our DE son is born
8 years and counting! Hoping 2010 is the year!
Since 2007 when I met my husband… 3 entire years.
Oh How exciting!I’ve been trying to get pregnant, one way or antother, for 4 years in August (3 years 9 months?). Tomorrow is my embryo transfer!
Its been 6 years for me now… but still hoping. 🙂
4 years, 7 OE IVF cycles, 3 miscarriages and 1 DE cycle currently a work in progress
I have been TTC for 4 years and started visiting RE’s for consults about 18 months ago. Took awhile to wrap my head around DE as that seemed to be my only option – no OE IVF or other procedures.
I spent 4 years trying before turning to donor eggs. Just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.
Been trying since 2007 but wanted to be a mom as far back as I can remember!Thanks Marna.
Longer than I ever expected when I decided I was ready at age 27 in 2001. Remain officially “unexplained, probable egg quality” after 5 IVFs with many eggs, but few embryos to transfer, so moved on to donor eggs at the age of 33 in 2007. I have a beautiful little girl who was born in 2008, but have been trying again for the last 18 mos (I stopped breast feeding when daughter was 6 months to try again), most recently with a new donor/RE. Keeping my fingers crossed that all is well as I’m currently 8.5 weeks PG.
I have been trying for 4 years and am FINALLY 5 weeks pregnant!
5 years and am in the middle of a DE cycle now.
I don’t know if I have missed the deadline, but here goes…..Seven years we have been at this. We’re currently doing our last DE cycle.
I guess since I was about 18 or so and started to absorb that I wasn’t going to have a baby without some form of help, even though it wasn’t clear to me what kind of help would really exist for someone who didn’t appear to have functioning ovaries. That makes it about 20 years…and I’m just now getting started on the practicalities of DE.
But in the past few months of lurking I’ve learned so much from the women (and men) of this community, and am so grateful to all of you and especially to Marna who is so generous with her time.
Thank you for continuing to share with us. Hopefully we in some small way we give back to you in return for the support, hope and community you have provided for us. Your grit, determination and spirit have paved the way for all of us here and for that, a mere thank you seems trivial. But thank you!! Kallie
Thanks for sharing the news.
Thanks for sharing! Love it! I am pregnant now via donor egg, and we may need to get info in the future regarding donating embryos. I love your site!
This is the reason I picked a donor who is willing to talk or meet.
Having just cycled via DE IVF and awaiting my first FET, I now wish that I did know our donor. At the beginning it was too much to bear to know “the other woman”…anxieties trumped rational thinking – and perhaps still does. But for the various reasons we chose annonymous DE, we can only hope that a DE registry will be created much like the adoption registry was created. I can only provide support and guidance for our future child and I just hope that I will not feel guilty. We made decisions at the time with the best intentions for all parties involved including the child. I wish you good luck in your search, if you continue, and peace in your heart that you have done all you can do and realize that the last thing you are is a bad mother. And a huge thank you for being the founder of such a wealth of support.
I’ve often thought about the same thing too and I did think about how hard the whole process is for a woman. I even shudder when I think about what the female donor has to endure (needles, ultrasounds, blood tests…). I’m glad that a woman can go through all that for someone else, regardless of monetary compensation that some receive).
By the way, I really think this is a great site. Very informative. Very professional. A big help along the journey. I had to sign up the first time I saw it.
Thanks for sharing the information.
Good to know. Thanks.
Nice Post. Donor’s are a very special person to give the gift of life to a deserving couple.
Thanks for Post.
That’s Great. Thanks for Sharing.
I’d have to agree with all of this…over a year later, I’m glad I did it.
We have dealt with this issue in the past and also obtained legal counsel on the issue. I think there are a few important points:
• The eggs are being donated to an individual or couple who have legal right to them.• The egg recipient has the option to transfer or discard them.• Unless the contract the egg donor signs has specific limits, the decision regarding disposition should be up to the egg recipient.
When we are asked to receive embryos created from donor material, we do our best to obtain a copy of the consent the person donating the material signed. This is true for egg or sperm donors. If there are stipulations present regarding these issues, we feel we must do our best to honor them. If, however, the contract is not available, the decision of what to do with the embryos should be made but those who have legal rights to them.
The concern regarding the egg donor’s consent is a guideline and not law. We accept embryos created from donated materials all the time. In fact, it would seem that embryos created from donor material are some of the most likely to be donated.
Many of these issues could be circumvented by using appropriate language in egg/sperm donor consents. We have done just that in my practice and our consents are available on-line for review. We let the donor know that the recipient may use the cryopreserved embryos for personal use, donate to science, donate to single women, single men or lesbian/homosexual/heterosexual couples or donate them for stem cell research. We feel this covers all aspects and the egg donor is perfectly able to discontinue the process with this information in mind.
While some might cringe at the thought of comparing embryos to property, this is generally how they are viewed by the legal system. If you were to reimburse someone for a car engine, install it in a car missing an engine and then donate the fully-functioning car to someone who needed it, is it really necessary that the owners get permission from the person who provided the original engine?
I hope that you do not mind a response from a physician but we have been performing embryo donation since 2001. There are many misconceptions (no pun intended) about the embryo donation process and we hope to better educate the reproductive community over the next number of months. This seemed like a good place to start.
I hope this helps and good luck in all that you do.
Craig R. Sweet, M.D.Reproductive EndocrinologistMedical & Laboratory DirectorSpecialists In Reproductive Medicine & Surgery, P.A.Embryo Donation International
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Thanks for sharing this post.
Thanks for putting this so bluntly.
Sometimes I think we need someone to draw the wool from our eyes.
I knew fertility went down and risks went up, but I didn’t want to see we had a problem. Although we started trying at 34, we didn’t get diagnosed with severe MFI until I was 36. We did IUI and amazingly, it worked. Even after 2 years, very low sperm count and IUI I still didn’t see us as infertile.
It wasn’t until that baby died and we couldn’t get pregnant again that I recognized it and at 39 did DE IVF and had a baby.
In hindsight I wish my OB who let us do a year of IUI’s at 37, who also said we could keep trying on our own just as I turned 35 . . . I wish he would have said, “Go now to an RE. You can always decide NOT to follow his advise.”
Then I might have seen what we were really up against, not what I wanted to see.
Of course, I now go around telling 30-somethings to “Get thee to an RE!” if they are having trouble.
Thank you for this article. As a mom of twin girls via DE IVF, I relate. I like your practicality in discussing the matter. Do I have fears about telling our girls? Sometimes. But then I think they are irrational. We had an anonymous donor- I know way more about her than she does about us (which is nothing, really). She has donated several times, and I doubt that she’s going to want to seek out all the children who have been created as a result of her donated gametes. I go back and forth about telling and not telling the girls, but I think they have a right to know their origins despite what conflicting feelings I have or relatives have or friends have (or strangers have for that matter). They are only 2 months old and I’ve already “told” them, though obviously they don’t have a clue what I’m saying when I tell them. I am grateful for egg donation and for the donor who donated to us in particular, because it allowed us to have the family we have always dreamed about. There is nothing bad or scary or awful about that truth, and I know I am Mommy to my girls…and I always will be, even when they learn that half their genetic makeup does not come from me. Love is more than genes! Again, thank you for this honest, open and frank posting.
I can’t believe Ob’s are still misinforming their patients when reproductive technologies are better than ever. It is inexcusable!
So well put! Hear hear!!!!
Here, here – not every seed that falls to the ground grows a tree. This is such an intensly emotional and personal time – how dare HE.
I’m just wondering – what does the legislation say should happen in the case of ectopic pregnancies, where they’re non-viable but life threatening for the mother?
You can’t help but think that women, particularly those who have been through repeat pregnancy losses, will end up not telling doctors they are pregnant in case something goes wrong.
Thank you very much for helping to get the word out regarding embryo donation. Most specific to your readers, there seems to be a great deal of confusion regarding the use of egg donor-generated cryopreserved embryos for embryo donation.
Our protocol is to ask if there were stipulations regarding what type of patients the donor was willing to donate to (i.e married or unmarried). We promise to honor these stipulations if we are able to obtain documentation. We also request the paperwork indicating if the egg donor consented to potentially having their oocytes used for embryo donation. We will be diligent, but we have found obtaining both sets of documentation a challenge.
The FDA, which regulates embryo donation, does not require any of the above. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) states that the above paperwork should be successfully obtained. Understand, however, that these are guidelines and not law.
At Embryo Donation International, we feel that these embryos belong to the egg recipient and that the recipient has the legal right to decide what to do with them. We do not feel that the embryos should be discarded simply because we are unable to obtain the requested paperwork. We appreciate the guidelines put forth by ASRM, but we feel the greater good is served for both patients and embryos by donating and transferring them to build families.
As owners of the embryos, egg recipients are able to make the ultimate decision to discard their embryos. If the recipients have that legal power, why is it questioned if they have the legal authority to donate them?
If we can help any of your members find closure by donating their embryos to other patients suffering from infertility, we are here to help. We promise to take the very best care of their embryos and to find a wonderful home for them.
Thanks again for the post and appreciate the space explaining how we might help some of your members.
Keep up the great work!
Craig R. Sweet, M.D.Reproductive EndocrinologistMedical & Laboratory DirectorEmbryo Donation InternationalInfo@EmbryoDonation.comhttp://www.EmbryoDonation.com
I have been searching for information about known egg donation, as I’m about to go through the process. I can’t thank you enough for the information I have found here, and for you blogroll – You’ve made it easy for me to find more information 🙂
When considering Surrogacy its always best to do your homework and examine all your options. This is a fabulous blog post and I credit all your efforts to create an environment for families seeing surrogacy options.
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Thank you for this reminder. I very much needed it today.
It’s true, I thought DE was my in the bag win, and we it failed twice I fell apart. Good post.
Thank you for sharing this.
Thanks for this, it is important to come to terms with it or be ready for the possibility of it…
I just stumbled on your blog through another blog friend, and thoroughly love this post. I had to read the whole thing to my husband, who also thought it was wonderful. We have a beautiful 12 week old baby boy through egg donation and while I have not been asked any such rude question, if it were ever to happen I hope I would be able to deal with it as you did with NP. Thanks!
I agree! I mean, really, women who are almost 50 years old having children. It’s pretty much certain they are using donor eggs. Which is wonderful! I do wish that those celebrities who are planning on telling their children would also speak publicly about it. That may not happen until the children are older though. Though IVF and DE can be very expensive, I know of shared cycle programs that are the same price as an IVF cycle with one’s own eggs. I think when celebrities are openly talking about it, it will become more known to the world, since many people out there still have never heard of it or think it’s science fiction.
Marna, thank you for posting The AFA’s response to this week’s events. Your simple action of sharing our words says to me that yes, we all stand together. And at the end of the day, patients benefit from our solidarity. Thank you.
Another great post!
If I may, I would like to offer my perspective. My practice has been providing egg donation services for 17 years. I’ve seen some odd choices and decisions regarding egg donation over the years.
1) I am always struck by the fact that recipients are often looking for perfection. My patients are so imperfect and yet they would have given anything to use their own chromosomes. Why then feel that perfection is needed now? I strongly encourage them to find just “really good”.
2) If an egg donor tests positive for marijuana use, recipients don’t always have to knock them out of the process. I’ve seen recipients do just that when they themselves smoked pot at that age with some still doing so today! Stay realistic.
3) Choosing donors is not fantasy time. Don’t choose them because they are what the husband would like to date or what the wife would like to become.
I did LOL when realizing that my website (www.DreamABaby.com) has donor porn. We do have photos, when given permission to post, and we have had to knock a few off when they were too revealing. Does this make me a pimp with a conscience? 😉
I totally agree with what Carole Lieber Wilkins told you regarding letting go of the imagined child and trying to find an egg donor one would like to call a daughter. A great concept to follow.
Am I the only one that has purchased a large ticket item (car, computer, appliance and so on), later to keep looking in the paper and on-line hoping to not find a better price and feeling badly when I did? Why did I do that? Why not feel content with my decision understanding that it was a really good one and that if I kept waiting for that perfect deal, I would never take the plunge?
I used to say that if I had one question to ask a young women before deciding to date her (I am happily married so this is a theoretical), I would ask her one question, “Would you be an egg donor?” If the answer was, “Yes!” then I would have taken her home to meet Mom. Egg donors are some of the nicest women I have ever met. They are caring, giving, generous and amazing women. In reality, you can’t go wrong.
Search for good. Search for healthy. Search for characteristics that might be similar to yours but not something perceived as better. Imperfections are what make us complex and unique. Egg donors are no different.
I hope you won’t mind if I steal the “daughter” or “good friend” concepts as they really hit the mark. Once again, a great post.
Craig R. Sweet, M.D.Founder, Medical & Laboratory DirectorEmbryo Donation InternationalSpecialists In Reproductive Medicine & Surgery, P.A.
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Thank you for this post! I am now a mother via egg donation, and I at first found myself looking for “perfection.” Then, when I realized that I wanted to get the process started asap, I thought: let me just find a young lady who looks similar to me and who I “like.” I did that, and my husband immediately agreed on the same young woman. We now have twin girls, and they are just so, so wonderful. Many people comment that one of my daughters looks just like me, which makes me smile, even though I know we don’t share the same genetics.
Thank you very much for writing this. It helps me as I start this journey as well.
Just an FYI, since you mentioned Stanford & Duke; those aren’t actually Ivy League schools. 😉
I liked it and really it is so interesting and wonderful information, too!
As a SMC in planning, I’ve been thinking over open identity for at least one of my donors. As the clinic I am working with only uses anonymous egg donors, that leaves me with finding an open sperm donor, but is that enough?
nicely saidi will be starting my 5th round of ivf, this time using my cousin as my donor. when we were deciding if we should tell anyone, we all (us and our hubbys) decided that we really don’t care what others think. this is a wonderful post!
It was really helpful reading this. Thank you.
After combing the web for years, still know very little about happened to my donate embryos. In 1991 at OHSU in OR I had a very successful IVF. implanting four embryos and freezing two sets of three. I was pregnant with a single male and carried full term. at 18 months it became obvious he was autisic and such a handful time flew. when he had just turn 3 his father, my husband died. I was so deep in greif and up to my eyeballs in getting program fast i allowed my payments to cryogentic lap and still do not know whether my son has siblings. no that im over 50 and he will be alone when i die, I find my self angry at the only 3 opptions presented by ohsu..distroy, anonomously donate or research. I did check donate when we began the process. I think it is very important to the loving memory of such a wonderful man that his son has full knowlegde of siblings if any exist. or that reserch would have been so needed on his disease. they had me over the barrel and i just caved and handed them over. i regret it. apparently most states allowed people to have some sort of say and left information should the other children ever want to knowwho the most generous gift of life came from. but thats just me… lol i wouldnt want to rave on or anything lol thanks..mother of maybe six instead of one would be so cool. Bgamez_2008@yahoo.com
as an embryo donor, once i donated all six i never got to decide what she should do with them if they wernt used. Nor was I allowed to ever know what became of them… I guess ivf has come along way in 19 years. Never knowing my husband was to die just three short years after concieving them, I would have certainly been more controling over what was done and by whom. He is such a great kid… autism and all. it was quite apparent that MMR shot had a allergic reaction causing his autism. It would of been nice to warn the reciepts of my experince or his predopositon to the vaccines. But I hear you! They were mere eggs. not my sons siblings. I hope they dont come looking for their father, they already were robbed from him the first firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for this post. As a parent via egg donation of twin girls, I have to continually remind myself of these things you mentioned. We agreed that we will tell our girls, and the hard truth is that it seems scarier now that they are a bit over 1 year old. I feel secure in that my husband and I agree that this is the only option, and I’m so glad that we had the opportunity to talk to a counselor. The counselor really is the child (or children’s) advocate. Thank you for your thoughtful post.
Thanks so much for your comments. I purposely did not watch this episode for many the reasons you mentioned. “signed: a soon-to-be-mom-just-turned-45”
Big standing ovation!!!! I hate it when pseudo-scientists extrapolate and neglect true scientific method to arrive at statistics that advance their personal opinion rather than fact. And mainsteam media is notorious for reporting these findings without any regard for accuracy or valididty. As the author of this blog mentioned, there are entirely too many variables to pinpoint any given cause for any of the myriad of negative outcomes that Elizabeth asserts we have subjected our children to.
My daughter is a redhead, a proportionately smaller section of the population. Let’s say I have a biased desire to convince the world that redheads are better people than everyone else. I can very easily do a thorough qualitative research study, including all sorts of documented & quasi-valid findings to easily prove my point. Naturally, there will be a very small percentage of delinquent redheads in comparison to the population as a whole—that number would be true. But would it prove that lack of red hair leads to delinquency–in other words, does my finding have any validity, proven causation, or even correlation to my biased, opinionated conclusion?! No. And do I have a moral & ethical obligation to avoid reporting skewed & biased data that can have a negative impact &/or incite backlash. Yes. (Imagine what kind of negative impact my redhead study could have on blondes & brunettes—not to mention race relations.)
Seems to me that the biggest risk to my children’s emotional well-being & esteem is bullies like Elizabeth. She & her ilk are the only ones telling my kids they are lesser than. What kind of hateful person targets small children & the families who endured tremendous pain & sacrifice for the chance to love them? Is she trying to elicit a self-fulfilling prophecy by making me & my kids feel bad about ourselves (my guess is yes, since it would help validate her illegitimate research findings)? I guess we all have to be good at something—-Elizabeth, you have very successfully achieved status of bully while hiding behind the guise of “family advocate”.
BRAVO!!!! *Clap, Clap, Clap* Thanks PVED for setting the record straight on DE children. I hope you sent this to this lady…
The intentional creation of orphans is morally and ethically wrong.
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I think it would be completely normal to google an egg donor. If women google internet dates, why wouldn’t they google their donors? Social Media has changed privacy forever.
Whether appropriate or not (and I say not), I almost feel as though it does and will continue to happen. Once a donor agrees to donate, the intended parents curiosity goes sky high. Unfortunately, there is often a generation gap between intended parents and egg donors and they will no longer feel they relate to her. Or may not like the language she uses. Or ‘gasp’ finds out their 20 something college donor has gone out to a bar with girlfriends! Or, ‘double gasp’ finds out that she has worn a bikini at some point in time. I look at my cousin and young nieces FB pages all the time and if I didn’t know them and how sweet they both were, I’d get a completely wrong impression. The younger generation is FB’ing to appeal to their friends and age-group and don’t really think much right now about how they might be represented to others. Once they graduate or get a job, I’m sure they’ll taper down. But if a parent does choose to “stalk” her donor, however inappropriate that may be, they should be prepared or at least savvy enough to know that what they find isn’t always going to be their imagined perfect young woman. That being said, it also doesn’t mean that she’s a horrible person who frequents bars full of sailors…
I think the donor should have her privacy, if that is what she wants/agreed to. While I understand it is very tempting to want to “find” her and find out more about her, I think that it’s best to just have the information she’s willing to give. I saw a great video of a young teenaged girl (who was conceived via DEIVF), and I loved her reply about her donor (this is from memory, so not an exact quote): I am grateful to my donor and I often think of what she may be like, but I don’t want to know more about her or meet her – I like keeping the image in my mind of her the way it is. That said, if a child ever wanted to meet the donor and it was possible (and all parties involved agreed), of course, I’m for that.
I do agree with you too that I would not want a donor trying to find me or my children by googling us. It does go both ways. We need mutual respect and trust for each other. Thanks for the thoughtful post.
My children were conceived with both donor eggs & donor sperm. The donors are completely unknown to us & to one another. Yet, they are the providers of the most precious gifts anyone could ever receive. And no, we did not pay them for these gifts; we reimbursed them for their time, effort, health risks, & possible physical discomfort endured while donating. Of course, a formal contract is part & parcel of such a monumental & potentially complicated donation. This is to protect the rights & desires of all parties involved. Our donors requested absolute anonymity, as did we. This is an expectation that is both morally & legally binding. Not only would I be in breach of contract to investigate the identity of my donors, but I would be betraying their trust as well. What kind of person accepts this kind of phenomenal gift, the gift of children, & then flagrantly disrespects the donor’s rights? What kind of example of integrity would I be setting for my kids, kids made possible by my donors, if I “stalked” them without their permission? And how would I feel if they did the same to me or my children? Last time I checked GRATITUDE was the appropriate response in exchange for an invaluable gift, not a violation of privacy!
Well said Kelley. I have a feeling that 20 years from now, your children might be interested in knowing more. Only time will tell & hopefully if and when donors choose to be open, they will reveal themselves – if not, hopefully your children will understand and respect the donors wishes. It truly is the most incredible gift.
I don’t think that the child your raising will have a problem with how he was conceived because that happened prior to his life here in earth. Nor do I think he’ll take issue with her having donated eggs. Its entirely possible to donate eggs or sperm to be studied without consenting to allow them to be fertilized and certainly without having agreed to abandon her offspring once they were born.
I think the tough pill to swallow is that referring to her as an egg donor describes something she did before she was his biological mother back when he did not exist. What she agreed to do after he was born is the thing he’ll have a right to take issue with. That has nothing to do with whether or not you do a decent job of raising him. The issue is not even that she opted to relinquish her parental obligations but that she would do it without him having the benefit of a court approved step parent adoption or adoption the way other people have before they are claimed as the child of someone who they did not originate from. It is black market adoption. The genetic parent does not have their identity recorded, the person that wants to raise the child is recorded on the certificate as if there was no parent relinquishing his or her parental rights. None of this happens in court. Additionally in many cases the abandoning mother is paid to abandon. She is not paid for her egg. Would they have paid for the eggs if she had not agreed to abandon? Well then its not the eggs that they are paying for its her baby and her agreement to stay away for 18 years.
It’s not a matter of debate here in the UK, it’s the law – any child conceived through egg donation have the legal right to contact the HFEA for identifying information about the donor when they reach 18 … it is considered to be in the best interests of the children that they have the right to know about their identity.
You have definitely made some excellent points here. I specifically appreciate the way you’ve been able to stick so much thought into a relatively short submit (comparatively) which makes it an thoughtful submit on your subject.
Thank you for posting this. As someone who used donor eggs from her sister and has a healthy baby as a result, this post thrilled me to no end.
Yes I agree with Alison , every child rights to know about their donor. This makes child to know his/her actual identity.
Great song and so very true. I could not be my daughters mother any more than I am (save for genetics). Our children are truly a blessing…no matter how they come to us.
Thank you SO much for saying this. I believe the decision to tell, or not tell, is a personal choice. I might also add, the reason so many celebrities are silent about using donor egg, is not because of shame, but because they might fear criticism from the pro-adoption public, who believes everyone who is infertile should “just adopt”. Adoption is not the best decision for everyone. There is also no reason for celebrities to discuss all of their personal health or medical issues with the public.
Egg donors are not manipulated or exploited. They are adults who know what they are doing.The procedure an egg donor goes through is the exact same medical procedure undergone by any woman who does IVF.
I am an egg donor, currently on my third donation. I love the anonymity of the process, however, if my IPs did decide to search me, I would have nothing to hide. I have never drunk alcohol, smoked or experimented with illicit drugs. My husband and I live a generally pleasant lifestyle. I would like to think my IPs would like what they saw on the internet of me– getting into medical school and all. I am fine with them internet searching me, however, I would NOT be okay with them making contact with me. I like to believe that whoever my IPs are, they are going to be fantastic parents! I have this picture-perfect vision in my head, and knowing their identities would ruin that image for me. I wonder how other egg donors would feel though?
When I try to explain to people why I donate, most individuals ask all sorts of questions like, “Won’t that child miss you?”, “Don’t you feel like that child is yours?” They could not be more wrong- at least in my opinion. I feel like I have something that I that could help another female peer, so I helped. Other than genetics, I don’t feel any sort of “maternal” connection to the children I help other IPs have. I will not be there when they need help with their homework, teach them how to drive a car, or take pictures of them on their graduation day. I do NOT think children that I help conceive via egg donation are going to miss me. Why would they? All I did was give the parents the seed. I did not water it or care for it. Other than some mild curiosity about me, I don’t see how a child could miss what he never had.
When you say “waived” fees is for the agency / doctors office of the participants choice?
You would be working with the agency and IVF clinic the production company is contracted with and who have agreed to do cycles for free.
Where is the IVF clinic located?
You need to write to the production company at the email listed. I believe the clinic is located in southern california. I hope this helps.
Thank you for doing this.
I agree wholeheartedly with your argument that there is nothing more “Christlike” than the altruism of giving gametes. The religious arguments against ART and third party conception make my blood boil, and I appreciate your well thought-through argument discussed above. Thank you.
Having children via egg donation is intensely personal, and often is part of a process that involves loss, from miscarriage to the possible inability to carry ones own child, and then to the perceived loss of having your own biological child. And often, all of this is the culmination of a long road of infertility intervention that stresses you emotionally, financially and physically. Sometimes marriages don’t survive it. No matter how you look at it, loss and grief are part of this complex package and sometimes YOU JUST ARE NOT ABLE to talk about it. And at then end of this long long road, if you are lucky enough to have a take home baby, YOU JUST WANT TO FEEL NORMAL again, because goodness knows that after years of fertility treatment, you dont feel normal. All yiu want is to finally be a family and think about something other than how your child came to be.
As a mother of a child via donor egg, I do not feel celebrities owe us any explanation at all. In fact I think it’s outrageous to suggest that ANY of them should open up about it. I think we should let these new mothers enjoy their babies, and their new found families, and have some semblance of privacy around this issue. I am quite sure their decision to have a family via donor egg was a huge one, not taken lightly, and such decisions need to be respected, and if THEY VOLUNTEER this information, it should be received with the deference and respect it deserves.
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well my little one is two and I did use an egg donor, and we don’t look very much alike and it already draws attention….so I would like some advice on how I can make this a beautiful experience and let her know how grateful I am to have her in my life and how loved she is. The other part is that she was really planned but I found out when she was 11 months old that her father is a meth addict…and right now we are in the middle of a terrible custody battle. I pray every day for divine order in this and that she is spared any damage and that the light will soon be at the end of the tunnel. She sees her biological father at supervised visits now…so it’s very complicated and I am trying to focus on my gratitude and that this will pass, even though I have a great deal of fear. Thank you.
THANK You!!! Your words and thoughts really reflect the reality of the needs of countless people using donor eggs. We are a middle class family trying to make a family. We did not choose our donor in order to create a designer baby. We just want a uniquely regular baby to love. It saddens me to see how the media refuses to tell our story. I guess the ordinary is just too boring.
Thank you, thank you, thank you – I see the posts as well “Don’t give up!” and while I am thrilled for the women who have that miracle, I cringe at the false hope it gives so many other women. Just because it happens for one woman has nothing what so ever to do with the reproduction possibilities of another…
This is 100 percent accurate! I started fertility treatment at 39 and wish it would have been explained clearer in the beginning how low my chances were in conceiving by my doctors. Fortunately I found a doctor who was very clear and knowledgeable and he told me at 40 my chances were less than 10 percent doing oe Ivf. That was a no brainier for me. I did de Ivf and have a baby girl. I am so grateful for donors and donor eggs because it is the only way that I am a parent today.
Damn. Right my baby is not a consolation.
As a mom via egg donation. .I was so saddened to read that home depot remark . It breaks my heart to think the writer had those feelings. .so far from my own experience of instant love connection and gratefulness for my sweet beautiful son ..that love seems to grow bigger as I know him more and watch him grow . Yes MY son .( period) I believe this is how the majority of parents via egg donation feel about these very longed for babies we are so lucky to finally have !
I find myself hoping these feelings were a result of post partum depression which were treated . I agree that potential donor egg parents Do owe it to themselves and future child to work through their grief or issues and be relatively at peace with the decision before taking that final leap of faith to pursue donor egg I v f. How can your child feel positive about his/her self and their conception if their mom isn’t at peace with it ?
Bravo Marna !
Beautiful. Thanks to you, I started telling our daughter when I was pregnant. When she was two months old, friends asked how I planned to tell her. I grinned and said, “Well, I’m working out the flow of the story, but it goes a little something like this…” I don’t do it every day, but this post reminds me it’s time I practiced again.
I’m not sure how I found this post, but it really hit home. Part of the reason why I waited so long to accept the DE path (I’m 47 and only now 18 wks pregnant with my first), was because I believed the idea that “with diligence, faith and dedication,” I could still conceive naturally. God knows I tried. I even hired a Fertility Coach who herself had conceived naturally at 46. With every failed cycle, I felt that I must not have had strong enough faith; that maybe some women were more favored by the divine than I was… It really messed with my head.
Do I believe it’s possible for women to conceive naturally after 45? Sure. But as you point out, it is exceedingly rare. In my case, when my husband and I finally moved on to DE, we discovered, among other things, that he had some of his own gamete issues – that despite being on a strict “fertility diet” with me, which included acupuncture and handfuls of supplements, he had been firing a lot of blanks! There was no question that we would need ICSI.
I thought back on the deeply wounded, existentially-despondent self I was every time I got my period and wanted to give that diligent, dedicated lady a hug. Turns out, it wasn’t (only) me, and I DID have enough faith, damnit!
There are a lot of factors that go into infertility, many of which are unfortunate, scientific realities. Plus, it should go without saying that DE parents by and large choose this path after exhausting all other possibilities. So to suggest that conceiving after 45 naturally is a realistic possibility for most people is not only untrue, it is insulting and even dangerous.
Thank you for speaking up!
Thank you for this post! It’s very interesting and useful…I think all decisions about meet the donor, tell the child this situation etc is a decisión of the parents…fortunately exist some agencies that offer psychologists that can give a hand to this unfortunately couples.
For me the religion and the science must be divided….It would be fantastic that everyone could be happy, have owr family and owr children…but this isn’t always possible…so I think it’s correct use the science and especially surrogacy.
I’m agree with Anonymous Egg Donor…finally they aren’t your children…one person becomes a mom or a dad when loves, looks after, sees growing these children and not who has the same DNA….and for me is the same for the children.
I’m a little bit offended by this particular post. My husband and I are going for anonymous donor eggs in August…….because we don’t have much of a choice! We’ve been completely unable to source a donor in Australia…..which would be known donor, as anonymous donation isn’t legal.
And yes, you’re right….there are a good many points that apply to us as well, and most are rooted in fear. I DON’T want our donor casting a shadow over our lives. Had we been able to find a donor in Australia, it was almost 100% certain she would. Because she’d have most likely been like every single,other altruistic Australian donor I’ve read about: wanting some sort of relationship with, access to, and/or updates on our child. And I’m sorry but people who conceive with their own eggs and sperm don’t have to share their kid with anyone. Why should gamete recipients have to? Calling it sharing might seem like a bad choice of words but for us, that’s exactly what it is.
If we could have found an Australian donor, who was happy to donate, be available for contact IF AND WHEN the child had questions, and basically (for lack of a better term) just go away and live her life and let us live ours…..it would have been great. That, decent health record, under 30 and Caucasian race was pretty much all we wanted. Aesthetics, education and professional status, hobbies and interests weren’t even something that concerned us. They still aren’t.
But we couldn’t find a donor, period. One that did, or didn’t, want to establish a relationship. How long were we meant to wait? After 12 years of trying? You bet going overseas was easier, less complicated and less time wasting than sitting waiting for what quite likely wasn’t going to happen any time soon. Sorry, but I’d like to play with my baby in the floor without having to rely on my medic alert bracelet to get up.
This article…..which I have read over and over trying to find something that makes me think I am simply taking it the wrong way …….really puts me on my back foot. Because the reality is, we didn’t feel we HAD any other choice but to go anonymous donor overseas. We couldn’t afford to buy frozen eggs from W.E.B., any more than we could afford to source a donor from there. If money had been no object, I’d have sourced a donor from my home state so I could gave cycled with my family nearby for support.
We just want to be parents. And I am completely aware that it’s not fair to be unable to answer some of those existential questions our child/ren will likely have at some point……and it breaks my heart before they’re even conceived that I gave. Effectively failed them already! but life is full of unfair, and I’d far rather them feel slighted over not knowing where half their genes come from than not have them around to feel slighted! I would love to be able to answer any and all questions they will have, but the fact is, I had to sacrifice SOMETHING to gain what I feel will be everything. It had to be that. Not the first and certainly not the last garden sacrifice I will have made in my life. If we’d waited for a donor that could give us what we wanted, I’m certain we’d go to our graves childless. At last this way, we will have children (God willing).
I realise this article was probably geared more towards American recipients, because PVED is based in The USA. And I live in Australia. But I’m an American expat, and I’m a hopeful donor egg recipient. It still applies to me on more than one level. And it just really feels like a finger is being pointed and I’m being judged because I’m scared. Yes….I’m scared. I’m terrified. I’m terrified to do it, and terrified to not do it. I’m terrified my kid is going to grow up and completely resent me because I won’t be able to tell them more than 5 or 6 completely unimportant facts about the woman who donated so they could be created and we could be their parents. But I’d rather take the risk of being resented, instead of taking the less risky option of childlessness. The less risky but more saddening option.
Sorry if it seems I’m ranting, I’m really not but after a few weeks of ruminating on thus, I still feel the same, so feel it’s not just a knee jerk reaction.
Pumping patients for information isn’t helping them. Isn’t it more like they help you by giving you information about their treatments, their clinic, etc?
Hello – You have an opportunity to give information about your specific treatment at this site – and your honest thoughts and opinions about the clinic you received treatment from, as well about reading experiences of others.
One of my preferred responses to “Why don’t you just adopt?”
Why don’t you?
Diana, Thank you for posting. My wife and I went through a multi-year and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to adopt and eventually turned to surrogacy. We were open to interracial adoption, US adoption, some special needs situations, international adoption, etc. We were not prepared to take on older or troubled children because we already have a now 13 year old daughter and didn’t want to rock her world too much or put her in danger.
On paper (and perhaps in the minds of the kinds of sanctimonious advice-givers you refer to above) we should have had “no problem” adopting: we are educated, upper middle class, have good, stable jobs and live in a community with great schools. But it’s not that simple because we also have some challenges: we were “too old” (mid 40’s at the time), already had a daughter and us not being religious may have been a barrier for some birth mothers.
In two years of trying we never even had the option to choose a child. The birth mothers we did see all chose other families. The situations we saw were not good and it was hard for us to imagine a child emerging from those situations in a position to live up to their potential. These were kids with real issues.
All of the international options were closed to us either due to short-term political issues specific to that country, because we didn’t meet religious requirements, or because we were too old to qualify. I still find it infuriating that children are dying from all kinds of preventable issues and for the most part their countries will not allow people like us to adopt them because of the political or religious biases of their leaders.
So we turned to surrogacy and now have 2 year old twins. We are so very happy with where we are right now. The genetics seem like a non-issue to us now although we worried about it before the twins were born.
What we are thinking about now is this: we are just getting to the point where we are going to have to start telling them where they came from and would love the support of people in a similar situation. Frankly this is just one of those things where it is hard for people who haven’t been through what we’ve been through to “get it.”
If you’re open to it, we would love to connect with you and other people in similar situations via some kind of private channel: a private FB group or whatever.
We don’t know anyone else who has had children through surrogacy. We know a lot of lesbian couples, a few gay couples who adopted, and several single moms who used sperm donors. We love having those perspectives in our lives, but that’s not really our situation. It’s not that we are heterosexual, it’s that going through surrogacy is a different experience than going through IVF or adoption. I value hearing what you have to say above because it touches the reality that we have experienced that it seems few people share.
If you don’t have luck connecting on PVED with other couples who needed a gestational carrier, feel free to reach out to me. I can put you in touch with two [hetero] sets of parents (well, the wives) who used a surrogate.
Hi Lauren- My husband and I are trying to find hetero couples that have used surrogacy/gestational carrier. Would love to get feedback/resource information…We are considering this option for our family but literally know zero persons who have gone through this.
I loved this part: “Be confident in your decision with your friends, family, and most importantly, your child.”
Thank you for writing this! 🙂
Interesting post! This is really good blog it will help me a lot to achieve my dream of having a baby as soon as possible.
Thank you for sharing helpful information.
I need experience on the feelings of mother via ED also having her genetic own child/children
“This is an absolute gift that we have this opportunity. Do you realize what all must happen for us to even get pregnant with donor eggs? Our bodies must be in the perfect condition with our fluffy uterine lining and healthy hormones. Arguably, we play the biggest role in the whole event!”
This is such a great point. You also CHOOSE your egg donor as part of that big role you play. The egg cell itself is only one aspect of the process!
I think being able to freeze your eggs is a modern medical miracle. So many of us delay having kids either because of career or just not meeting the right person. There are also many women experiencing fertility issues. Egg banks are allowing women that cannot have children the chance to become mothers.
After 2 failed IVF cycles we were recommended to look into egg donor options. Having been told it could take up to 18 months to find a suitable donor in the UK, we were advised to look abroad where the process would be quicker. After lots of research and conversations with various clinics, we chose Ukrainian BioTexCom. We were impressed with the information available on their website, the latest technologies on offer and the communication from our manager who was excellent throughout. Her response was professional, helpful and prompt.
Our doctor made a plan to suit our needs involving a simultaneous donor egg and own egg cycle and we were contacted well in advance so had plenty of time to organize travel. The clinic took care of all our medication before, during and after our treatment which was a worry off our mind.
We travelled to Kiev in August 2013 and found the city to be a great place to stay and explore. Having never been to Ukraine before, we were not disappointed with all it had to offer.
On arrival at the BioTexCom we were impressed with the facilities and the warm welcome from all the staff, who spoke excellent English. Our experience could not have been made any easier from start to finish. Although this is a stressful and emotional time, the reassurance and care we were given allowed us to be more relaxed.
The nurses, embryologist and doctors explained all the procedures, gave us time to ask any questions and made sure we were completely happy before treatment commenced. We would not hesitate to recommend this clinic to all that require fertility treatment in the future.
I’m am the creator of a podcast that tells stories about non-traditional families. I am looking do speak with some Parents via Egg Donation about the choices and circumstances that went into their decisions to use an egg donor.
I realize this is an extremely complex and personal topic but would love to make more people aware of these kinds of stories and remove some of the stigma that exists around them.
Please let me know if you can put me in touch with anyone willing to be interviewed. I am based in New York City but could do an interview via skype or phone for people not in that area.
The podcast is still in production so we don’t have any episodes up yet but I am hoping to have the first episode (concerning marriage) up very soon.
As an egg donor and a lesbian who will likely take advantage of sperm donation, I can’t stand these questions! There are children out there who were born as a result of my egg donation, but they are not “mine”. I am not even remotely close to being considered someone’s mother right now. That’s incredibly disrespectful and rude to imply. Donors are not parents.
My husband and I are in search of a clinic to do a donor egg cycle with as soon as possible if we can find the right match. We are especially interested in a shared cycle to save cost.
Stephanie and Mike
Hi 🙂 email email@example.com she might be able to,guide you in the right direction.
Do you have more info on this?
Please kindly inform the procedures if you infertile what procedures should I follow in becoming a mother your reply will be highly appreciated
Officially, in medical text books or in Webster’s dictionary, the primary definition of a parent is ‘one who has offspring’ and the definition of a family is a group that originates from the same source individuals. There are secondary definitions that do include child birth and child rearing and social connections which would be the definitions that apply to situations where people give birth to or raise someone else’s offspring. But at the end of the day if that primary definition applies to two individuals – that one is the other’s offspring or that two individuals are descendants of the same people it means they are related and are therefore members of the same family. There is no way around the fact that the boy in the article is the offspring of a female and that her relatives are that boy’s maternal relatives and they are all from the same family according to at least one definition of the word family that everyone knows and understands. At the doctor if he is asked about the health history of his mother and mothers family that group of people will be the people that the doctor is referring to – child birth and child rearing are not germane to that situation.
So in a very real and practical way the boy in the story is going to have to understand that those people are his family for no other reason than that they are related to him. He may or may not choose to treat them socially as his family but he will know that they are his family and he can then opt not to date his cousins for instance. I would hope that the woman who wrote the article would at least want him to think of his maternal relatives as being his family at least for the limited purpose of excluding his family members when choosing prom dates!
Also if the woman who wrote the article had a sister who had a child wouldn’t she still think of that child as being her sister’s son and her nephew? Would the fact that someone else was raising her nephew be so alienating that she would decide not to use the technical term to describe their relationship as being aunt/nephew? What about his grandparents? Surely they would want to meet and know their grandson.
Hello – And thanks for your comment. In regards to third-party reproduction, I think it’s more involved than just the nuts and bolts of the process – the DNA.
There is no argument that my son who is the boy that you refer to in the blog entry is the offspring of his egg donor and my husband. No one is denying that at all. In fact, he’s known his story since he was born. In our family, we use specific language. We were for to our egg donor by name. And when we are at the doctors office talking about health issues that are hereditary will use the term our egg donor. And that’s my sons choice – he doesn’t want to confuse the doctor, because if you ask him he has one mom and that’s me.
I am smiling as I read your words that you are telling my son that he’s going to have to understand that those people are his family for no other reason that they are related to him. As I am reading this passage to him out loud he shaking his head and saying I’m sorry the commentor just doesn’t get it.
The person who wrote the article is me, his mom. But as I said in my original post this is all child lead and my son is now the side of being an adult is 17. It’s up to him to choose whether or not he wants a relationship with the maternal side of his genetics. For instance, he has a deep and abiding relationship with his egg donor. In fact, our entire family loves her so much. Our philosophy is that a child can never have too many people in their lives that genuinely and purely love them. She is invited to every family function that we have, any recital, any school related function – for that matter she sat right next to me when he had surgery last month, she will be sitting next to us at his wedding, and I’m sure she’ll be sitting right next to me as we wait for a child to be born.
But the truth is he really has no interest in the rest of her family – and that is probably because they don’t acknowledge him either and that’s okay. So I don’t think it’s up to me to want him to think of his maternal relatives as being his family – that’s up to him.
He also doesn’t have a burning desire to search out his half siblings. And that’s his choice. We respect that.
And it’s not as black and white as I think you’d like it to be. There are many layers I believe and it’s my job to support him in whatever he decides.
Genetics/biology doesn’t earn you automatic family status and the rights and privileges that go with that.
Are you by chance an egg donor or sperm donor?