We understand that choosing egg donation as a path to building your family is not an easy decision. There are complex emotions to navigate, often compounded with misconceptions about egg donation and the donor’s role in helping to create your family. Here we address some of the most common misconceptions.
1. I’m choosing my replacement. This is one of the hardest misconceptions for many intended mothers to overcome as they feel choosing a donor equates to a finding replacement for themselves. However, it’s simply not true.
You will be your child’s mother. Needing the help of a donor to have your family does not eclipse your role as the parent.
As you begin looking at donor profiles, we encourage you to spend some time reflecting on these statements and to approach your search from the perspective of choosing someone to help you create your family instead of looking for your replacement. Think about what’s most important to you, beyond just physical characteristics, and look for a donor with whom you feel a connection.
2. It won’t feel like my baby. Concerns about the ability to bond with their donor-conceived child are also common among intended parents. Yet, as we know from adoptive parents, a genetic connection is not required to create a family or to love a child. You are making the decision to bring a child into the world; therefore, it will be your child. Any concerns you have now about bonding will likely be alleviated once you are expecting a child.
3. Egg donors are only in it for the money. While it’s true that donors are compensated for their time, commitment and risk in the process, it is not their primary motivation. Many young women decide to become egg donors after witnessing a family member or close friend struggle with infertility. Overwhelmingly, the majority of our donors say the best part of their experience is knowing they helped to create a happy family.
4. The donor will have a legal right to my child. When working with an agency like Egg Donor Solutions, you will have a direct legal agreement with your donor, specifying that you (and your partner) will assume all parental rights, responsibilities and financial obligations for any children born from the eggs. This is for your protection, as well as the donor’s. One of the main concerns expressed by donors is that they will have a legal responsibility to the children created from their eggs. They want to help create a family, but they don’t want to be a parent or have a legal responsibility to the child.
5. I don’t need to tell my child about the egg donor. I don’t need to tell my child about the egg donor. It is ultimately the intended parents’ decision whether or not to tell their child(ren) about the egg donor. However, psychologists who specialize in third-party reproduction, as well as donor-conceived adults, advocate for telling children from an early age. Additionally, with commercial DNA tests like 23AndMe and AncestryDNA readily available for purchase online and in stores, it is unrealistic to think donor conception can remain a secret. There are several resources available to support intended parents in this area, including children’s books that help explain egg donation. You can also read this interview with psychologist Wendy Bauer for tips on how to begin the conversation with your child.
Do you have questions about egg donation as an option for creating your family? Please reach out to us at [email protected]. Our compassionate and experienced team at Egg Donor Solutions, which includes former egg donors and intended parents, nurses and social workers, would be honored to answer your questions and support you on your journey to parenthood.