Women who give birth to donor egg babies are the biological moms
Freedom Pharmacy published this great booklet about egg donation — here an excerpt:
“Perhaps the greatest myth surrounds pregnancy. Many believe the uterus is simply an incubator. Nothing could be further from the truth. The most important aspect of all pregnancies- including egg donation pregnancies- is that as the fetus grows, every cell in the developing body is built out of the pregnant mother’s body. Tissue from her uterine lining will contribute to the formation of the placenta, which will link her and her child. The fetus will use her body’s protein, then she will replace it. The fetus uses her sugars, calcium, nitrates, and fluids, and she will replace them. So, if you think of your dream child as your dream house, the genes provide merely a basic blueprint, the biological mother takes care of all the materials and construction, from the foundation right on up to the light fixtures. So, although her husband’s aunt Sara or the donor’s grandfather may have genetically programmed the shape of the new baby’s earlobe, the earlobe itself is the pregnant woman’s “flesh and blood.” That means the earlobe, along with the baby herself, grew from the recipient’s body. That is why she is the child’s biological mother. That is why this child is her biological child.”
“While not discounting that genetic tendencies may exist, supporters of the nurture theory believe they ultimately don’t matter – that our behavioral aspects originate only from the environmental factors of our upbringing. Studies on infant and child temperament have revealed the most crucial evidence for nurture theories.
•American psychologist John Watson, best known for his controversial experiments with a young orphan named Albert, demonstrated that the acquisition of a phobia could be explained by classical conditioning. A strong proponent of environmental learning, he said: Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select…regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations and race of his ancestors.
•Harvard psychologist B. F. Skinner’s early experiments produced pigeons that could dance, do figure eights, and play tennis. Today known as the father of behavioral science, he eventually went on to prove that human behavior could be conditioned in much the same way as animals.
•A study in New Scientist suggests that sense of humor is a learned trait, influenced by family and cultural environment, and not genetically determined.
•If environment didn’t play a part in determining an individuals traits and behaviors, then identical twins should, theoretically, be exactly the same in all respects, even if reared apart. But a number of studies show that they are never exactly alike, even though they are remarkably similar in most respects.
So, was the way we behave ingrained in us before we were born? Or has it developed over time in response to our experiences? Researchers on all sides of the nature vs nurture debate agree that the link between a gene and a behavior is not the same as cause and effect. While a gene may increase the likelihood that you’ll behave in a particular way, it does not make people do things. Which means that we still get to choose who we’ll be when we grow up. “
Genes must be ‘expressed’ within an individual in order to have an effect.
The same gene or genes can express in a number of different ways depending upon the environment. A gene can remain ’silent’ or unexpressed; it can be expressed strongly; it can be expressed weakly,and so on. There is also an entire field of study called imprinting having to do with which gene you ‘activate,’ the copy you received from your mother, or the copy you received from your father.
The field of epigenetics studies these phenomenon, and popular journalism is just starting to write about it. While the Human Genome Project was still underway, we usually heard genes referred to as ‘the Bible’ of the human being, as a kind of absolute truth concerning the fundamental nature of the individual.
That is now changing.
In a donor egg pregnancy, the pregnant woman’s womb is the environment.It is her genes, not the donor’s, that determine the expression of thedonor-egg baby’s genes.
A donor egg baby gets her genes from the donor; she gets the‘instructions’ on the expression of those genes from the woman who carries her to term.
This means that a donor egg baby has 3 biological parents: a father, the egg donor, and the woman who carries the pregnancy.
The child who is born would have been a physically & no doubt emotionally different person if carried by his genetic mother.
In horse breeding for example, it’s not uncommon to implant a pony embryo into the womb of a horse.
The foals that result, are different from normal ponies.They’re bigger. These animals’ genotype – their genes – are the same as a pony’s, but their phenotype – what their genes actually look like in the living animal – is different.
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.
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.
As a donor conceived person, I have never read more of a dismissive article solely catering to the parents’ insecurities. Since the author has decided to re-define the term “biological mother,” donor conceived offspring will in turn make a point of using “genetic mother” (which she is not) to differentiate, in the many donor conception circles in which DC offspring grow weary of having our genetic connections marginalized for the sake of our parents’ feelings.