You know anonymity is a thing of the past don’t you?
Way back in 1999 when I first began researching the idea of Egg Donation To become a parent I learned unless I would be receiving an egg from a relative or a very good friend my choices were anonymous egg donation.
No photographs, no personal information, and no ability to connect later. That’s the choice we made because there were no other options. The clinics called the shots, and we wanted to be parents more than anything so we didn’t push back on that aspect because that’s just the way it was.
Over the years the landscape has changed – dramatically. We now have social media, face recognition software, reverse image searching, dna testing ability from places like Ancestry, 23 and me, My heritage, etc., which makes being anonymous a thing from the past. Because of the internet nothing there is no such thing as anonymity.
So when I read stories and talk to individuals who proclaim that they have selected an anonymous egg donor in my head I say to myself “No you didn’t, you just don’t know who it is right NOW..” because the reality is all of these donor conceived children will have the ability right at their fingertips to research their biological/genetic origins.
And really why not? It’s their genetics we are talking about – it’s that invisible side of themselves that is going to be important to them regardless of how we as a parent may feel about that.
What’s even more disturbing to me (aside from the anonymous Egg Donation part) are the parents that are still stating that they are not going to be transparent or honest with their children and tell them how they were conceived.
You know your child is going to find out right? It may not be when they are five or ten. It most likely will be when they are a teenager doing a DNA test in biology, or some well-meaning friend or relative will let it slip because we all have this propensity to talk. Or – one of these days you’re going to die. And who is going to be responsible for going through all of your personal effects? Your kids, right? If you have told anyone other than your partner (if you have one) or your reproductive endocrinologist that information is out there. Because again – people talk.
If you haven’t destroyed every piece of paper connected with your donor egg cycle and you put those papers away in a safe place like a safety deposit box – your kids are going to find them. And when they discovered you’ve lied to them they are going to wonder what else you’ve lied to them about as well – and you’re going to cause them great deal of pain and psychological damage.
So here’s the thing – this really isn’t about you. It’s about your child or children- it’s about doing the right thing and being open, honest, and transparent with them. It’s their right to know their genetic/biological connections and history. It’s what they are entitled to.
After all, they didn’t sign up for this you as their parent did.