Intended Parent Blog

Welcome to Egg Donor Solutions Intended Parent Blog. This is a place for you to gain knowledge about Egg Donation and also talk with other intended parents who can directly relate to your experiences. Feel free to ask any questions and post comments. We want this to be a positive resource for you. We also welcome your feedback and how we can tailor the blog to meet your needs.

Writing a letter to your donor

Once intended parents (IPs) have chosen a donor, and she begins the medical screening process, our coordinators at Egg Donor Solutions will ask the IPs to write a letter to their donor that will be shared with her before or at the retrieval. Receiving the letter is often a wonderful surprise for the donor that further validates her decision to help create a family. It allows for a sense of connection with the IPs and helps her to truly understand the difference she is making in their lives.

If you’re unsure about writing a letter to your donor or the impact it will have, consider these responses some of our donors shared upon receiving a letter from their IPs.

It was the coolest thing because it let me know a little bit about them and their family, as well as why they chose me to be their donor.

Before the retrieval they sent me a letter telling me all about them and their journey and how grateful they felt for my willingness to be an egg donor. It made me even more sure in my decision to donate and that we truly were meant to be matched! I love feeling a connection to the IPs by knowing more about them. It made me cry (in a good way). It just reinforced what I was doing, and it was so sweet and thoughtful. I felt they were very genuine and was so happy I could make that difference for them.

I enjoy knowing they felt the same as I do about this journey. It made me feel special, like we had a connection.

I smiled the entire time and ended up crying happy tears. I loved hearing their story and felt a special connection to them.

Here are some tips to consider when writing a letter to your donor.

1. Let her get to know you

Share as much about yourself and your story as you are comfortable including. You can talk about your hobbies, your career, your fertility journey, how important having a child is to you, etc. For couples, consider sharing how you met and how long you have been together. Just as it’s important for you to feel a connection with your donor in reading her profile, she will love getting to know you through your letter.

2. Explain why you chose her

There is reason you chose your donor. Perhaps it is a common interest or experience, similar features, her answers to the profile questions or her motivation for becoming an egg donor. Whatever the reason, she will appreciate knowing why you chose her out of all the other potential donors.

3. Acknowledge her commitment and sacrifice

Being an egg donor is not easy. It requires following strict guidelines, giving herself injections, numerous medical appointments and procedures, and time away from work and family (especially if she’s traveling). Acknowledge your donor’s sacrifice and commitment to the process and let her know how much you appreciate her.

4. Share what having a child means for you and your family

Describe the life you envision with your future children. What will having a child mean for you, your partner, the grandparents and extended family? Sharing this with your donor will help her

realize the incredible gift she is providing for a family.

5. Take your time

Don’t feel pressured to finish the letter in one sitting. It may take several drafts before you are happy with it. Take the time to process your feelings and what you want to say to your donor.

6. Read examples and ask for help if needed

We have examples of letters from former IPs on our website that may be helpful to review if you are having a hard time getting started on a letter to your donor. Please also reach out to our team at Egg Donor Solutions and let us know how we can help you. We are always here to support you!

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Donor’s Favorite Experiences

What is the best thing about being an egg donor? This is a question we often ask our donors after they have completed their cycle. It may be surprising to some to learn that the answer is not the financial compensation. While the compensation is certainly one of the benefits of being an egg donor, it is not the primary motivation. Egg donors most often say that the best part of their experience is knowing they helped create a family. It is a feeling that cannot compare to anything else.

We know how grateful intended parents are to their donors, and that gratitude goes both ways. From the excitement of being selected as an egg donor to learning that their intended parents are expecting, most donors are sincerely thankful for the opportunity to help intended parents have the child they have longed for.

We recently asked some of our donors to share why they chose to become an egg donor, how they felt when they first matched with intended parents and the best part of their experience. Here is what they had to say.

Why did you choose to become an egg donor?

I witnessed my best friend struggle with infertility, and her journey led me to want to help others who desire to become parents.

I choose to be an egg donor to be able to help complete the missing puzzle piece for a family. That of course is the hardships and inability to conceive a child. I would do it all over again for another family.

I had a family friend who learned it would be difficult for her to have children. Hearing her journey of how hard it has been and all the obstacles she and her husband have had to overcome put it in perspective that there are many couples who desire to have children and a family. It is something many of my generation take for granted that I could help with. I was moved and honored to be able to contribute to someone’s happiness.

Giving a family or someone an opportunity to have a child is the best thing I could ever do.

A close friend of mine was struggling with infertility. I saw the toll it took on her.

I needed to do something fulfilling in my life, and since I have the ability to do something that some people cannot, I went ahead and did it and could not be more proud about it.

I never planned on having children of my own. I am young and healthy, and I know there are families out there that really want children! I want to help complete that dream.

I have a close friend who needed an egg donor and explained to me her side of the process. I was inspired to help families like hers.

I wanted to be able to help build a family and give the joy my children give me to others.

I chose to become an egg donor for all the women that are having a difficult time conceiving because I have experienced firsthand the troubles and tribulations that come with trying to conceive.

I wanted to help make this amazing journey of parenthood a possibility for others.

How did you feel the first time you were matched with intended parents?

I felt so grateful that out of all the applicants they wanted me to help them and so much excitement, as well, knowing I will be able to help them create a family.

I was excited and a bit nervous about the process because matching happened very quickly.

I was so excited that they picked me out of all the other candidates. We each are special in our own way.

I was excited like a kid on her 16thbirthday with a brand-new car. (I am that excited every time I get matched.)

I literally jumped for joy. It felt amazing to be picked.

I was excited knowing I was about to potentially help them with their dreams!

I cried…I was beyond excited!

I was very nervous because I was not sure how the experience would be for me, but it was all so easy working with Egg Donor Solutions. My first family sent me flowers and a voucher for my husband and I to go out to dinner, which really made me feel appreciated.

I was over the moon excited. I could not believe that someone chose me to help them.

I felt so honored and was ready to donate the next day! I was excited and anxious (in a good way).

What is the best thing about being an egg donor?

Receiving the news that the transfer was successful! My heart was exploding with so much happiness, and I cried as though I just found out a close friend was pregnant. It is one of the most amazing feelings!

Feeling really accomplished and knowing you are making a difference for another family and that means everything to them.

To know that there are children in the world who carry a part of me with them, that makes me feel so wonderful and proud.

Knowing that soon someone will be welcoming an amazing human being into this world.

Knowing that when this process is done on my part, a family could potentially finally be complete, and I had a helping hand in it.

I would say the best thing about being an egg donor is knowing that you are making a difference in someone’s life that will have a huge impact on them.

Being able to give a loving couple a family.

Getting the news that a family just gave birth to their new blessing.

Hands down the best feeling is when you find out everything was successful with the donation on both ends and you just helped a loving family achieve their dreams of having a baby.

Are you an intended parent searching for the right egg donor to grow your family? Our team at Egg Donor Solutions has more than 30 years of collective experience helping create happy families. Would be honored to guide and support you through the process. Please feel free to contact us anytime at Match@CreateAHappyFamily.com.  

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Talking to your children about egg donation

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Dallas-based psychologist Wendy Bauer has been working with infertile couples and individuals for
35 years with a special interest in families created via donor conception. Specifically, she counsels intended parents, egg donors, sperm donors, and donor-conceived children, teens, and adults. In her work with intended parents, Wendy helps them navigate the often-complex emotions that come with learning a donor is their best chance for having a baby and helps prepare them for raising a donor-conceived child.

A topic she regularly addresses is the importance of telling donor-conceived children the truth about their conception. “In the early days, parents were advised not to tell, but today, with the availability of commercial DNA testing like Ancestry DNA and 23andMe, anonymity is no longer a realistic option. Plus, secrecy can damage the bond between a parent and a child,” Wendy explains. “I advise parents to tell their children early, so when they look back, it’s just something they’ve always known versus recalling a specific time when their parents sat them down and said, ‘we have something to tell you.’”

At Egg Donor Solutions (EDS), we are committed to providing ongoing support and resources for our intended and recipient parents. We asked Wendy to share her expertise and advice for parents on how to talk with their children about egg donation and explain their unique conception story.

EDS: Why is it important for parents to be open with their children about using an egg donor?

Wendy: Psychologically and emotionally speaking, children do better dealing with facts than they do with secrets or information coming out that is not within the parent’s control. Children have more difficulty processing feelings of anger, distrust, and betrayal than just acceptance of their story and embracing who they are. If parents avoid telling because they are afraid or do not want to upset their children, put that in perspective and imagine how the child will feel if he or she finds out as a teenager or an adult. Then you have a whole other set of dynamics to deal with within the family.

EDS: How can intended parents prepare for future conversations with their children?

Wendy: I encourage intended parents to write a letter to their child(ren) now as they are going through the process. If there are two parents, they should each write a letter. Talk about how you feel before the child is conceived. Why are you excited and enthusiastic and in wonderment about how they are going be here? Explain why you chose your donor. What things did you like most about her? What made you gravitate towards her? Explain your goals and intentions for using an egg donor. For most parents, it’s that they want to bring home a healthy baby with every opportunity genetically that they can control. And why wouldn’t you want to give your child every opportunity to be healthy?

It is important for parents to understand that telling is an ongoing process, not a one-time conversation.  It involves the child’s self-esteem and their self-confidence. You are helping them build their identity and their relationship with you. An older child being able to read a letter from his parents is going to help him continue to process everything he has learned up to that point.

EDS: When should parents first bring it up and how can they begin the conversation?

Wendy: It is best to start very early so that it just becomes a part of the child’s story. Parents can begin by telling their child how much she was loved and how much she was wanted before she was even conceived. Early on, I think you educate the child about what defines a family, and over the years, the way you explain it evolves. You tell the child there are many ways to create a family, and there are all different kinds of families – families with a mom and dad, two moms or two dads, single parents, and grandparents.

When I work with young children, I’m sometimes known as the ‘cake lady’ because I use the analogy of baking a cake to help explain donor conception. We talk about the different things we need to bake the cake – eggs, flour (the sperm) and an oven. Let’s say we don’t have eggs, but Ms. Jones next door has plenty of eggs, and she’s willing to share. So, we go next door and get a few eggs from Ms. Jones.

The idea you are trying to instill is that there are all different ways people share and help other people. You can build on that for a donor-conceived child by explaining that the donor is someone who helped the parents. Coupled with the assurance that the child is loved and was very much wanted, it starts to lay the groundwork for helping the child understand their story and embrace it with confidence.

EDS: How should the conversation evolve as the child gets older? Or, what if parents have an older child they have not told yet?

Wendy: As the child gets older, parents can begin to explain why they required the help of an egg donor.  Typically, there was a medical reason the parents could not conceive on their own, and they needed help from a doctor and an egg donor to have the child. Reinforce how much your child was wanted and loved from the very beginning, and while you might have been sad initially that you couldn’t have a baby, you were excited to learn that you could still be a parent because there were people willing to help. You can tell your child how the donor provided the cells you needed to have a baby and begin to explain DNA in a very basic way.

If you are telling an older child for the first time, you can start by saying that you want to be open with the child and not hide anything. Then you can go into why you needed help from a doctor and an egg donor to conceive and the medical reasons behind it. Acknowledge that you are giving them a lot of new information, and you want to help them process it. I think the most important thing to get across to your children, especially as they get older, is that they can ask you as many questions as they want, and there is nothing you won’t answer.

As I mentioned before, telling is an ongoing process. It’s important for parents to share any and all information in an enthusiastic and positive manner. You don’t want your child to feel ashamed or embarrassed. You want them to feel secure and confident within themselves.

EDS: If the parents already have a biological child, how can they explain the need to use an egg donor and help prepare their child for a sibling?

Wendy: I don’t think parents need to announce to the biological child the specifics about the genetics of his or her sibling. I would advise they wait until they begin sharing the story with the donor-conceived child and tell both children at the same time. The parents should be the ones to control the information and when it’s shared, so I don’t like the idea of an older sibling feeling like he or she has something over the donor-conceived child. It’s important, especially early on, for siblings to bond over how they are alike versus different. As for sharing the story, parents can focus on how both children were loved and wanted and reinforce the special bond they have as siblings.

EDS: Can you recommend any children’s books that help explain egg donation?

Wendy: The Donor Conception Network has a wonderful series of books for children of all different ages. Other books I recommend include: The Pea that Was MeMommy Was Your Tummy Big?A Tiny Itsy Bitsy Gift of LifePhoebe’s FamilyYou Began as a Wish, and Happy Together.

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