egg donors eggs embryos property

Are These Embryos Really Mine?

By on January 24, 2010

Over the past month the topic of egg donation contracts continues to come across my desk. As of late I have been asked by at least a dozen recipients if I thought it odd that egg donors are stipulating in their contracts that the recipients not donate their left over embryos to other couples but either keep them frozen, use them, or destroy them. And finally did I think that odd or would that be a deal breaker for me?

For me it would clearly be a deal breaker. Once my egg donor’s eggs were retrieved and then fertilized with my partners sperm and became embryos they were mine.

Mine, Mine, Mine.

Mine to do what I saw fit. If I wanted to transfer them back into my womb then I would. If I wanted to share them with my sister, I would. If I wanted to donate them to science I would. If I wanted to destroy them I would. If I wanted to pay storage for them for the rest of my natural life and then bury them with me when I die then I would.

The bottom line — they are mine. Mine. Mine.

As I talked to these women and read their letters my first thoughts were — “Who raised this concern with the egg donor? Their lawyer? The clinic? The agency? Their family? Themselves?”

It seemed to me like such an arbitrary request to make.

Egg donors are educated from the start what egg donation is all about. They also understand for their time, trouble, pain and suffering they will receive compensation in the form of money for a complete egg donation cycle and in turn the eggs retrieved become the recipient’s part and parcel. No questions asked.

I also wondered why these egg donors who make these requests weren’t screened out by Psych when they underwent their evaluation. Why would an egg donor claim ownership to eggs after retrieval to another couple.

What I do know about egg donors is that they don’t agree to be egg donors to become parents. If they want to become a parent they have children themselves when the time is right for them. And so when I read questions about egg donors not wanting couples to donate left over embryos to other couples I am left scratching my head.

Are they worried there will be too many of their genetics running around?

Is it a control issue?

I am very vocal in my thought process when asked about this issue in particular and my feelings are always the same – The eggs donated to you from your egg donor that become embryos are yours to do with as you see fit. Your egg donor is not entitled ever to make provisions about how you dispense with those embryos — and if presented with those stipulations just say no — or find yourself a new donor.

  1. Reply


    January 24, 2010

    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!

  2. Reply

    Egg Donation

    January 29, 2010

    Egg Donation is a very impressive one which helps incapable parents in fulfilling a wish to have a baby….I appreciate.

  3. Reply


    February 20, 2010

    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.

  4. Reply

    January 14, 2012

    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



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