How Old Should a Woman Be to Donate Her Eggs: An ethical debate

DrSweet Headshot 17 03 28 150x150 How Old Should a Woman Be to Donate Her Eggs: An ethical debate

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1,131 Responses to “How Old Should a Woman Be to Donate Her Eggs: An ethical debate”


  • I look forward to the comments on this important topic! CRS

  • Comment from Keiko Zoll

    Dr. Sweet, I think your statement:

    I am concerned that the belief that women are more emotionally attached to their children than men is not only inaccurate but also potentially damaging.

    is one of the best lines in this entire piece.

    As someone who’s pursuing IVF with an egg donor (known), we did consider anonymous egg donors for a while. I noticed I gravitated towards those women with proven fertility and/or who have cycled previously. Age wasn’t too much of a factor. If anything, I felt odd about choosing someone I considered to be too young, in the 18-21 range. Maybe it’s in thinking of my own experience of being a young college-aged woman not too long ago; I don’t know that I would have had the fortitude to be an egg donor were it even a possibility still for me at that age.

    I also wonder if part of ASRM’s discrepancy between gender and gamete donation lies in the relative risks associated for sperm versus egg donation. Presumably, men go in, do their thing, and move on with their lives. Women are required to take drugs and undergo procedures that while yes, are FDA approved and generally safe – there are still those who may experience complications that could endanger their future fertility and even their lives, however rare the case. Men don’t really face that same level of risk when it comes to sperm donation. I think you touch on a great point though that if a woman at age 19 fully understands those risks and is more mature beyond her years, why shouldn’t she be allowed to become an egg donor.

    A really great post with lots to consider – will definitely be sharing!

  • Comment from Amy Demma

    As someone who has, until very recently, worked exclusively with egg donation parties, I’d like to share my perspective as both a former agency owner and as an Assisted Reproductive Technology attorney. I am not at all uncomfortable working with 18 year-old donors, for several reasons. While the above states “…18 years old is the age at which we are able to provide true informed medical and legal consent”, I am not so sure I agree (from a competency stand-point). I have worked on hundreds of egg donation cycles and when a donor candidate presents under the age of 21, red flags fly not only for me but my agency colleagues and my donor-egg nurse (clinic) coordinator colleagues. Compliance is a huge and practical issue to be considered here and I’m just not convinced that we can or should rely on such a young person to make her appointments, take her meds, following abstinence and other clinic directives. etc. Further, I worry, tremendously, that someone so young has not had enough “life-experience” to fully understand the long-term ramifications of sharing one’s genetics. Relinquishment of rights, particularly parental rights is a significant legal issue and I am just not convinced that someone so young, generally speaking, of course, can truly give legal consent about this matter. Lastly, with so many clinics relying on in-house staff to issue consents in lieu of independent legal counsel reviewing an egg donation agreement with the donor, I worry whether or not a younger donor is informed, at all, (from a legal perspective) about the legal aspects of gamete donation. Frankly, with such a boom in donor candidate applications, I believe we can meet the needs of the patient without recruiting women of such a young age.

  • Dr. Craig Sweet Comment from Dr. Craig Sweet

    Great comments from Keiko and Amy! Thanks for taking the time to post.

    Keiko’s comments regarding the increase of potential medical complications is excellent. The reality, though, is that at age 18, these young women are able to make a host of decisions with potential complications including other surgical procedures, financial purchases and again, to lay their lives on the line for their country. We allow them latitude to make so many other decisions and yet donating eggs seems to be an exception.

    I also agree with Amy that very young women may not be responsible by coming to appointments or takin the process of donating their eggs very seriously. We screen these patients well and can tell fairly quickly that there is a problem. Any young patients we accepted were some of the best patients we ever had never being late, missing an appointment or messing up on the medications. The reality is that these concerns are present for all egg donors and not just those that are 18-20 years old. It is not all about age but about maturity and responsibility, something that many 21-25 year olds may be missing.

    Lastly has to do with the consent process itself. I do wonder if these young women understand the gravity of the decision and the potential long-term issues. I am not convinced, however, that a 21 or 22 year old is consistently any better. With Amy’s concern in mind, what about the men who are donating their sperm at the age of 19? I don’t hear a clamor of concern that these men are too young to understand the consequences of their actions. Yet, shouldn’t that be a point of concern if we are expressing the concern for women of this age? Why is it different? Why not the same level of concern?

    I contend that we all have our sets of bias. Gender bias runs deep and can be subtle. I believe it goes to the assumption of potential emotional damage to the party. I feel it is assumed that the damage could be more severe for the female than the male, thus the young women need more protection. This is a stereotype. This is a bias. Has this already become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

    I strongly feel that age at which gamete donation be allowed be the same between the sexes. This may be very hard to argue. If we could accept this point, then the decision to be made is when. We could be consistent and make it 21 for both genders, which might make many quite pleased and make a great deal of sense. This cutoff, though, fails to take into account all the other rights that are give to 18 year olds in this country and around the world. We have to make a cutoff somewhere and the issue at hand is should it be the same for both genders and when it should be.

    Keep the comments coming!

  • Comment from Amy Demma

    The matter of a young woman’s supposed “right” to donate her eggs at the age of 18 simply because she has attained certain other privileges relative to her birth date or because young men can donate sperm at 18 is not compelling enough. Recipient parents have so much invested in the outcome of a cycle, to ask them to have faith and trust in a less mature, less sophisticated donor puts them and the cycle at risk. In my experience, there are just so many problems with even considering an 18 year-old egg donor: Is she mature enough to understand the commitment of compliance she is understaking? Has she had enough life-experience to truly understand the medical, psychosocial, legal issues of donation? What is her motivation? Can’t she just wait? Why the rush to donate? Gosh, I did IVF, many times….it was overwhelming, stressful, demanding, cannot imagine being able to manage all of that at the age of 18.

    If we are to revise the general policies of gamete donation, we need to be thinking about: 1. raising the age limit of sperm donors; 2. requiring that a prospective sperm donor meet with a mental health professional to discuss his mindfulness and understanding that his genetics will be shared w/parties to whom he will, most likely, have no contact and 3. requiring that all sperm donors meet with a lawyer so that he can become best informed about relinquishment of parental and other rights, etc.

    Let’s raise the bar on protection of all parties engaged in third-party reproduction, not lower it.

  • Comment from Carole Wegner

    I think this is a great ethics topic for discussion and took it up on my blog post http://fertilitylabinsider.com/2012/07/ethics-question-what-age-is-old-enough-to-donate-gametes/ For me the issue is all about life experience, not age. I think having a child yourself puts you in the best place to make a well-informed decision about donating gametes– especially whether you might regret your decision to donate in the future. I find myself torn between the arguments of autonomy and resisting paternalism and the real problem of not being experienced enough to make a good decision for yourself. I agree with Amy that we should probably raise the bar for donation, not lower it. Anyway, my two cents.

  • This topic is very very complicated with lots of layers. I love this blog post written by Dr. Sweet because it shows me he’s given this topic serious thought and has written a meaningful post.

    I think it’s important to note that I don’t automatically think a donor who is 25 is going to be responsible. I think that’s going to be determined by the MHP which is why MHP evaluations are imperative with any sort of egg donor cycles.

    Over the years I have met many many really mature 18 year old young women who know what they want and are very capable of being compliant. I have also met many many really irresponsible immature 18 year old that I wouldn’t trust babysitting a dog.

    Same with those over 21. I think it should go case by case.

    There are many clinics that don’t agree with and won’t work with egg donors under the age of 21 because they view anyone under the age of 21 not old enough or mature enough to really know what they are undertaking or doing. While I can understand the thought process behind that I can’t agree with that 100%.

    As I said it’s complicated.

    The other part of this equation is the question: “Are 18 year old women old enough and mature enough to understand they are parting with their genetics?”

    And that’s the part I haven’t figured out. While at the age majority we are signing up to join the military, get married, drive, have our own children, and sign legal and binding business contracts (cars, boats, houses, credit cards etc..) 18 year olds are considered by law adults and are tried in courts as adults for breaking a law.

    Again, I know many 18 year olds who are mature enough and responsible enough to understand fully and take on the kinds of responsibilities stated above, but I know many 18 year olds who have no business driving,getting married, signing up for the military, or even using a credit card for that matter.

    This is all good food for thought.

  • Dr. Craig Sweet Comment from Dr. Craig Sweet

    The comments are extraordinarily thought provoking. I also suspect we will never come to an agreement on the maturity issue.

    What I really would like to hear from the group here, and from others, is WHY everyone thinks the recommended ages of gamete donation with respect to gender are different. What is deep inside our minds that allowed us to not even significantly question the inequality? Is it just the idea that we feel we should protect young women? Is the concept born from the idea of protecting women from the rigors of egg donation or is it, in part, that we feel we must protect these young women from the theoretical emotional harm in parting from her gametes? Why do we not fear the same with men?

    I await a plethora of ideas from my learned readers!

    • Why are the recommended ages of gamete donation with respect to gender different? Honestly, it’s gender biased, and frankly it has to do with the what women have been fighting against for years in regards to equality. That’s why – it’s part of the good ole boys club.

      The reality is men should have to undergo an MMPI, and a psych eval to counsel them about sharing their genetics just like women do who want to donate eggs.

      And I have to say Dr. Sweet I was pretty darn firm in the “It’s okay to donate eggs under the age of 21″ camp, but after reading many of these comments, both here and on the ASRM listserv I have to say I am learning so much that I didn’t know before and my mind is changing.

  • Comment from Connie Largent

    I think it’s interesting to note that it has often been said that girls mature faster than boys, yet young men can make this decision at age 18 or 19 while young women are not considered mature enough to make this choice.

  • Dear Dr. Sweet:
    This is a topic I have many times discussed with Marna and other colleagues, particularly agencies. As someone who does mental health evaluations on donors and gestational carriers, educational consults for recipient/intended parents, counseling and therapy for all those experiencing therapy, as well as a parent through adoption and egg donation, I support a minimum age of at least 21 for both ovum and sperm donors. I agree there is a clear double standard on so many levels, including the fact that sperm donors do not have to have a psychological consult or screening but ovum donors do.

    Research has long shown that the adolescent brain doesn’t really stop being adolescent until about the age of 25 and for men, it is closer to 30. Adolescents, by definition, but of course with exception, act impulsively, think in the moment, have great difficulty considering the future, have some difficulty considering consequences for their actions, and believe they are invincible.

    Adolescences drive fast, don’t wear seat belts, text and drive, drink and drive (yes, so do adults!), often have unprotected sex, not considering what might happen and indeed believing whatever it is won’t happen to them.

    Of course it is also true that there are adolescents who don’t do these things, are academically successful, mind their parents, and have great maturity. But even the most amazing 18 year olds are 18. They have not or have barely left home. They have not taken care of themselves, balanced a checkbook, not overdrawn their ATM card. They have had little experience thinking for themselves, in college, at work, making independent decisions on their behalf. They have had little to no experience reviewing a legal contract, indeed making decisions with lifelong ramifications.

    Yes, they can join the military. But let’s look at those that.

    Israeli children grow up knowing that at age 18 they will be required to serve their country. They are groomed in many ways to know that at a tender age they will carry uzis. They are trained and trained again to know how to respond in a crisis, make decisions on the spot, understand the inherent risk in what they are asked to do. There is no doubt in my mind that to understand that one might die in combat, an imminent danger, is different than asking an 18 year old to imagine a 15 year old conceived with their genetics, asking questions, wanting contact, trying to develop and identity that includes the donor’s identity. They are not the same thing at all.

    Egg donation is the only thing mentioned in the original post which has financial compensation with the exception of the military which is employment. Joining the military certainly has lifelong consequences, but gamete donation affects the life of a yet unborn and unconceived person, the donor, the donor’s future and present family and generations to come. That’s a LOT to consider.

    Most egg donation in this country is motivated by financial compensation and, secondarily, altruism. If egg donation was uncompensated, it might be that the age of 18 could become more appropriate because the inherent coercion of the money would be gone. An 18-20 year old, let alone a 21 year old who is in need of college tuition or modeling photos or rent, is less able to consider the consequences of her actions.

    The reality is that if you ask an 18 year old to wait three years before donating, the extreme likelihood is that she will NOT return at 21 to donate. Why? If she thought it was such a good idea, why not do it later? Because what seemed like a good idea to many of us at 18 seemed like a very not good idea in our 20s. We’ve all been there, right?

    Part of an egg donor evaluation following questions:

    How might you feel if you were to never be able to conceive when you want to but you had an offspring somewhere in the world parented by others?

    With whom have you shared your intent to donate? (If no one, is she ashamed, scared?)

    Have you thought about whether you will share this information with a future partner and children?

    Would you like to meet the recipients?

    And the statement: Please know there is no such thing as anonymity and the likelihood is that an offspring can and may find you in the future.

    To each of these questions, most women under the age of 25 have answered: “It’s fine. I’ll adopt if I can’t have kids later. My future husband doesn’t need to know. They promised I’d be anonymous, they won’t contact me” or “it’s fine if they find me.” In other words, the answers cannot really be well contemplated. I have found that older donors are more likely to give answers that reflect an understanding of the complexity of the kinships being created, and an ability to really consider a future that looks different from today.

    I will not evaluate a donor under 21 because I adhere to ASRM guidelines as a professional in the organization and because I think that age is a bare minimum. It is my personal moral litmus; some say it is paternalistic; I say it is my job as someone who works in the field of creating healthy families and protecting the mental health of providers and recipients.

    I do agree that sperm donors should absolutely have equivalent evaluations with a mental health person AND that the age limit should be at least 21 and I’d be more comfortable with 25, which I know is not realistic.

    Thank you for the opportunity to express my thoughts on this topic which is of great concern to me.

    Carole LieberWilkins

  • Dr. Craig Sweet Comment from Dr. Craig Sweet

    Carole Lieber-Wilkins has clearly put some thought and experience into this discussion.

    I doubt anyone reading this blog feels that the weighty decision to donate gametes is simple decision. On the contrary, it is an extraordinarily complex decision on so many levels.

    The concept of enticement is important in the egg donor world. I have always kept the reimbursement level for egg donors much lower than the national average finding that the quality of egg donor is seemingly improved over those that are traveling from Florida to Carole’s state of California making twice the amount we reimburse.

    I don’t necessarily agree with the statement about an 18 year old who would like to donate their eggs would be unwilling to wait until they were 21+ years of age to do so. As the concept of egg donation has become better understood by the general public, I have had a number of young women state they had wanted to donate for years prior to their coming in to do so at 21+ years of age. The delay did not deter them, but rather, solidified their resolve.

    Always remember that ASRM provides GUIDELINES. They are not laws. I will always give ASRM and those that create the guidelines tremendous credit for the work and thought that went into developing them. There are instances, however, that I and many others in my field disagree with them. Some will act on their disagreement while others are concerned the guidelines could be used against them in a court of law should an untoward event occur and will not take the risk.

    Let’s say we are in absolute agreement that there should not be an age of donation difference between the genders and I suspect many reading this will agree with this.

    But we continue to discuss the maturity issue which is an utter moving target. Our final decisions will be based on our experiences and biases, which will never be the same between any two people reading this blog. I was once in a meeting of esteemed OB/GYN’s who were trying to define the phrase, “multiple sexual partners,” as it is a clear risk factor for sexually transmitted infections and resulting infertility. Some felt there should be no more than one per year after age 18. Others felt that more than one, by definition, meant multiple. The numbers tossed around and rationale used to explain them were all over the board. After listening to this banter for about 20 minutes with no two people in agreement, I finally stood up and provided my definition, “The definition of ‘multiple sexual partners’ is one more than the person asking the question ever had.” After the laughter died down, my point was made; we would never come to an agreement on the definition based on our personal experiences and inherent biases.

    Some other countries have the donation cutoff at 18 while ASRM suggests 21. In a perfect world, Carole would like the age to be 25. Carole has made some great points and so have others.

    What I challenge Carole and others to explain why did ASRM recommend a difference in the ages in the first place? Why does ASRM suggest that egg donors have a mental health evaluation but not sperm donors? (Oops, did I just bring up an ASRM guideline that Carole would really prefer to not follow?) Let’s toss this around for a while, as this goes to the heart of what has been bothering many of us for so many years.

    • Dr Sweet wrote:

      Always remember that ASRM provides GUIDELINES. They are not laws. I will always give ASRM and those that create the guidelines tremendous credit for the work and thought that went into developing them. There are instances, however, that I and many others in my field disagree with them. Some will act on their disagreement while others are concerned the guidelines could be used against them in a court of law should an untoward event occur and will not take the risk.

      I realize this post is not about money but I can’t help but go there. And I am not meaning to rack up frequent flyer miles in the PITA club but are not ASRM guidelines about egg donor compensation just a guideline? Not a law? Are you in favor of those guidelines? Why would is be okay for instance to cycle with an 18 year old egg donor but it wouldn’t be okay to compensate her more than 10k? Would this be because she isn’t mature enough to look past the money part and consent to what she’s going to undertake? Would 24 year olds who were compensated more than 10k be more apt to make a mature decision than an 18 year old?

      Again, these issues are incredibly complicated with lots of layers. And I am enjoying the debate and I am learning so much.

      Thank you Dr. Sweet for being so very brave as to post something so incredibly controversial.

  • Comment from Carole Wegner

    Why were different age limits set for egg and sperm donation? Since I don’t have any special insight into the thinking of the thought leaders that proposed these guidelines, I can only guess. I think that our concern with psychological risks is a fairly recent development. If you look at the physical risks of sperm donation, assuming collection is via masturbation are typically insignificant. So then it becomes a matter of the legal authority to make adult decisions, reached at 18. The real question is why the recommended minimum age is later for women. The physical risks aren’t less for egg donation when you reach 21 vs 18. So having dismissed physical risks, I would guess that the psychological risks are given more weight for determining age. Craig, you may be correct in your theory that men are assumed to have a weaker attachment to their offspring. Or it may be that we have not moved much beyond the paternalism of men deciding for women what to do with their bodies. Having watched the political discussion (War on Women debate) we seem to be fighting the same battles all over again. Is it possible that at 18, daddy or boyfriend may vehemently object to egg donation, but by 21, the young woman is more assertive in making her own decisions and can keep her male “protectors” away from the clinic? That’s it Craig. That’s all the wild ideas I have to explain the difference. But as I have said before, I’d rather see life experience (parenthood) as the prerequisite for gamete donation. If you are 18 and have kids, I figure you know what you are giving away, even if you are only 18. My two cents.

  • Dr. Craig Sweet Comment from Dr. Craig Sweet

    Let’s take a moment to visit a tangent that Marna has added to the discussion
    - We never want to provide so much money that we will entice people to do something they would otherwise never do. I call this inappropriate enticement.
    - When we increase the reimbursement so much, we also get a different kind of egg donor. The women who donate at lower reimbursements donate more for altruistic reasons than those who are paid more. While it may not make a huge difference in the big picture, I feel more comfortable working with an increased level of “paying it forward” motivated women than the “pay it to me” group.
    - As we increase the amount of money we reimburse, we risk having women lie on the application. How can I be sure her father is healthy? Do I need to get her high school transcripts? How many partners has she really had? The higher the amount, I suspect the less reliable the information.
    - In a truly free market, one could argue that a donor should be “paid” what ever amount she can get. If you stay within the concept of reimbursement, this argument may not hold.

    I think posing the argument in the reimbursement context, one would have to show that one woman should really be reimbursed 12K for the time away from her work and effort if she wants to exceed the general guidelines. On the other hand, I would be concerned that someone that worked at home raising children should surely be reimbursed at some reasonable level even if she doesn’t make an obvious hourly wage.

    So, if you feel the discussion should not revolve around the concept of reimbursement, then the sky is the limit. In our capitalistic society, the payments (no longer reimbursements) could go quite high.

    In this case, I think ASRM’s guidelines are reasonable. Still, they tend to reach an upper limit which might not be true for all women in higher levels of employment seeking a higher level of reimbursement for the time spent in the process.

    It all depends on how you feel about the process. Reimbursement vs. payment is the question at hand.

  • Comment from Pride Angel

    Egg donation is an invasive procedure that requests that the donor takes hyper stimulation drugs.
    It is not as simple as sperm donation and therefore difficult to assess.
    If a young lady for example, requires for medical reasons hyper stimulation in order to achieve pregnancy, and understands about egg donation. Then would it be wrong to deny her the opportunity to donate should she have the desire.?

  • Comment from Anonymousus

    http : //www . anonymousus . org/stories/index . php?cid=3

    Stories from Donors/Surrogates/Birth Parents

    Don’t
    I grew up in foster care and aged out at 18 without ever having a family. I was a good kid, talented in the arts and academics. I worked hard with the hope that a family would want me. I was never adopted so needless to say I’ve been desperate to be a part of a family my entire life.

    I was never paid for my eggs. I gave my eggs away. A few years ago, I gave my eggs to good friends with the naive belief that this was a way for me to be part of a family–and I would even have a genetic connection! I was promised that I would always be part of the family and the child’s life. I was told that I was “always meant to be part of their family and that their family never felt complete until I came along.” I wanted to give my friends what I never had–a family. I thought, “When would I ever have a chance to make such a huge difference in someone’s life again?” And I would be part of a family too. How could I not do it? I was so eager for love and had no one looking out for my best interests which made me easily exploited, even if unintentionally.

    I took Follistim, Menopur, and Lupron. The doctors assured me there were no long term side effects from egg donation. The only risk was OHSS which only happened in 1% they said. Knowing what it’s like to yearn for family, I went through with the egg donation for my friends. I had to take some genetic tests for diseases, health tests, and a counseling session over the phone. The counseling session was about my life history and how the egg donation might affect my friends. It was never about my psychological needs. I produced an unreal 47 eggs. At first I felt pride in that. Now that I know better, I am angry that the doctors risked my health and allowed twice the normal amount of eggs normally produced by donors to develop and allowed my ovaries to stretch beyond safe levels. I was so uncomfortable. I looked pregnant. I had to hold up my distended abdomen just to walk during the last few days before the retrieval.

    During the egg donation process the doctors and nurses were super supportive except for when I questioned anything like the fact that all the drugs came in my friend’s name. When I questioned it I was told “Because she’s the one paying for everything” in a pretty harsh tone. Um, she may have been paying financially, but she was not the only one paying for the donation. Plus, it’s illegal to take drug prescriptions written for someone else isn’t it? After the egg retrieval their attitude towards me changed. They did not want anything more to do with me, especially when I had complications. I became an annoyance. During the whole process I had some eye problems. My vision was a little blurry and my eyes ability to focus changed. My eyes returned to normal about six months later, but when I asked the fertility doctor about it he told me that he never heard of that happening. I later researched it and discovered that the FDA lists it as a side effect of the drugs I was given.

    Immediately after the retrieval, I had a lot of bleeding and discomfort. I became severely depressed to the point where I needed antidepressants but my mental health continued to decline. My periods stopped. My hair became dry and brittle. My skin changed and I got a lot of acne. I gained weight at an alarming rate but my diet did not change. Driving over bumps, jumping, or any type of rough movement was a little painful for months after my donation. I kept calling the clinic with my concerns but each time I was told my side effects were normal and would get better. Six months without a period was normal? The side effects did not get better.

    Finally I went to see my doctor who ran tests and found that my hormone levels were “all over the place.” He referred me to a specialist who told me I had what seemed like PCOS and then I was referred to an endocrinologist. I will be on drugs to control my hormones for the rest of my life. I still go months without a period. My mental health continues to be an issue and is very much linked to my hormones. My ovaries have remained enlarged and I will most likely never be able to conceive naturally, if at all.

    My friends promised me I could have the remaining embryos, but they have since changed their minds. They’ve changed their minds about a lot of things.

    My friends have decided that I am no longer part of their family. She cannot handle that her son looks exactly like me. She is devastated that her son has no genetic link to her. She wishes he had come out looking like her husband because I remind her that he’s not hers. I’m not sure what she expected when she took my DNA. I’m no longer part of my “nephew’s” life after loving him for over two years; I have to stalk the father’s blog to watch him grow up. I would have never given them my eggs had I thought I would not be a part of the child’s life.

    Despite my gift and sacrifices for the people I love, they have abandoned me. My devastation and drastic mood swings became too much for me and I attempted to end my life. This was a scary blessing. Antidepressants didn’t work well for me so the psychiatrists ran tests and found the right medications to balance my hormone levels and I feel so much better and a lot more stable. I donated my eggs out of a desire to mend the broken hearts of people that I love and my own. What I got in return was a hormonal disorder, major depression, infertility, and another family abandoning me for reasons I do not understand. I wish I could go back in time and spare my body, fertility, mind, and my heart.

    Egg donation is NOT harmless like I was led to believe. It has seriously affected every part of my life. I often cry about the loss of my friends, my family, the little person with half my DNA and my ability to have my own genetic children someday. If you’re thinking about donating your eggs for ANY reason–DON’T. It’s not worth it.

    Date submitted: July 20, 2012

    • Dr. Craig Sweet Comment from Dr. Craig Sweet

      What you did for the other couple was a wonderful thing. It is commonly called “designated donation”or an “open donation.” This is an extraordinary exception to the process. I can first list a few important points so others can learn from what you have had to endure:

      - Any kind of egg or sperm donation where the parties know each other must have legal consultation for the two main parties (commissioning couple/intended parent and the donor). While it may not have been able to fix a broken relationship, it would have made the couple take pause before negating the contract you had with them.

      - Each egg donor is required to undergo a psychological evaluation and counseling session. It is important that you be aware of the potential emotional consequences of donating your eggs. In a designated donation process, it becomes even more important to examine the potential scenarios and outcomes making sure you were not being coerced, that you have no underlying psychopathology (including a subtle form of the depression you later experienced) and that you understand the process and consequences thoroughly.

      - The fact that you overstimulated is clear. Your peak estrogen level was most certainly very, very high and they probably should have cancelled the cycle before you were given the final HCG shot. There is no question that you were the most important patient in this process at that time. I have absolutely cancelled cycles when I thought an egg donor was at risk. It is frustrating, but it is always better to come back to try another day.

      - The current Lupron trigger is a tremendous way to avoid OHSS in the egg donor and those at risk should be given a different protocol to keep them safe. It was probably not available when you went through the process.

      - I cannot venture much of a guess regarding all of the medical issues that followed. The very fact that you had 47 eggs really only occurs to PCOS patients, so you most likely had the problem from the start or, at the very least, the predisposition to have the syndrome once your weight started to increase.

      - I would imagine that the pain you were in over the many days would depress anyone. The fluid shifts could change your vision but I also have never had a prolonged complaint such as yours over the past 23 years. That doesn’t mean it didn’t take place or wasn’t caused or at least made worse by the OHSS, it simply means that it had to be very rare, indeed. A search tonight on the National Library of Medicine’s website failed to pull up any published articles.

      The situation was terrible but it sounds as though professionals were not involved as they should have been. The medical practice, unless your peak estrogen level was misleadingly low, should have know you were at risk by ultrasound and possibly cancelled the cycle. I think if attorneys and mental health professionals had been involved in this precarious arrangement, the outcome would have been different.

      I feel so badly for all that you have gone through. I agree with Marna that you gave an amazing gift and that child would not be on this earth were it not for your generosity. I know it isn’t much but it something you should be very, very proud of.

      I understand how you might give the advice “Don’t” whereas I would give the advice to “Do it carefully, do it with people who care, do it with skilled professionals and, above all, do it with people who will put you first no matter what.”

      I hope that you heal in all the ways you need to-

      Craig R. Sweet, M.D.
      Reproductive Endocrinologist

    • Comment from Deeonn

      I am so sorry that your so called friends took advantage of you. I am also sorry that you were never placed in a loving home because I know so many people who would love to adopt. I am so sorry that you are suffering; I can read it in your post. I am not a medical expert, but based on what I have learned from friends with PCOS, Dr. Sweet is probably right. With 47 eggs retrieved, you probably had PCOS at the time you donated. I have a friend with PCOS. During her first IVF, they retrieved 64 eggs!! None resulted in a child. Her second IVF did not result in a child either. She looked into adoption, but that failed too. So, at my encouragement, she pursued donor egg (actually embryo donation). She is now pregnant with twins. So, here’s the irony in your story. You are someone who would benefit from egg donation. It sounds like you would love to have a family and, notwithstanding Marilynn’s opinion on the subject (which I disagree with), donor eggs would provide you with an opportunity to have a child (your child). I am the mother of two children. One was conceived with my own eggs and the other with donor eggs. I love them equally because they are both my children.

      I hope that you are able to someday realize your dream of having a family. When that time comes, you may find that your child is the result of someone giving you the same gift that you gave to someone else.

      • Comment from marilynn

        If she was a designated donor where did the other 63 eggs go? Can she get proof from an independent testing lab that they were destroyed? This woman needs to join DSR and FTDNA so the other 60 kids can ultimately find her and she needs a lawyer because no way in hell did they throw away all those eggs and no individual couple could afford the ivf on all of those. That doctor or clinic made a freaking fortune off of this girl. They were selling her eggs under every imaginable remotely close profile: “sure she plays the violin” “ivy league grad? why of course” “star basket ball player? yes” “type O blood? sure why not? Or A or B she is what ever you want her to be because she’s got 63 eggs and we don’t have to pay for them so we’ll make 100% profit”

        • Comment from Drew

          While you’re throwing around accusations of unethical behavior with no proof whatsoever, you might want to consider a few things:

          1) Not every egg will fertilize
          2) Not every embryo will survive freezing and thawing
          3) Not every embryo will transfer successfully
          4) Not every fetus will carry to term.

          Also, while I cannot speak for anyone else (see how that works?) I can tell you that my health insurance will pay for as many transfers as we want to do, be that one, ten, twenty or more. Not everyone is as lucky, of course, but it’s yet another fact that you disregard as you pursue your personal agenda.

          Lastly, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists considers the the practice of selling “extra” embryos to be highly unethical. So there’s no profit to be had anyway.

  • Dear Don’t – Oh where to begin, where to begin. First and foremost I want to just hug you and thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing one of the most loving and selfless thing any woman could go by giving such a gift to another family.

    As a parent myself via egg donation I wouldn’t have my son if it weren’t for the generosity from people like you. And I sincerely mean that.

    What happened to you is not what’s supposed to happen at all. Not in a million trillion years. I am just so sad and angry for you.

    I hope you have the support that you need and while I can’t do anything about what you experienced I can tell you someone from Oregon is so appreciative of you, what you have done for this other family is just beyond generosity.

    Warmly,

    Marna Gatlin
    Parents Via Egg Donation.

  • Comment from marilynn

    I think age is irrelevant. What needs to be understood is that egg donation to a fertility clinic is a 2 part deal. Sure many women just donate their eggs and that’s it. Some women donate their eggs AND their children. So what we have to do is look at the forms they are asked to sign. Are they donating for research? Or, are they donating their eggs for reproductive purposes and being asked not to raise their own children for a fee?

    The most important thing for them to understand is that if they are donating their offspring to be raised by someone else that they understand that it is in fact their very own child just the same as if they were in love with the guy they are reproducing with and I think that is often the part that egg donors don’t get: it does not matter whether your in love with the man who fertilizes your egg, the resulting baby is still all yours and is still only related to you and your family as their maternal family. Are they prepared to compromise the rights of their child to know their maternal family and are they willing to compromise the rights of their relatives to know a child that is their own neice, nephew, grandchild cousin etc. Its important to remember that while the children you have later in life will be half siblings the child will be your own full 100% child and will be your parent’s 100% grandchild your sister’s 100% niece or nephew and of course the 100% 1st cousin of your own nieces and nephews and you’ll be compromising their ability to make informed decisions about who they date and have children with. Lots of legal rights flow from being named on your offspring’s birth certificate; they will loose the right to be considered legal kin to any other children you have whether you raise them or not because you won’t be listed as the mother on their birth certificate even though in reality you are. Remember anyone can gestate and nurse a baby it does not make them the child’s mother the child did not originate from them. A grandmother can raise her grandchild but it does not make her a mother. Raising a child can’t make you a mother. Lying can’t make you a mother only reproducing can make you a mother.

    The ethical path would be to donate the eggs be named as mother then give the child up for adoption so that no other woman could pretend to be the child’s mother. It’s important to remember that many women who give birth to egg donor’s children are willing to falsify the birth record and make it appear that the child is their own offspring. Those women are undermining the accuracy of the nation’s birth statistics and their information is contaminating statistics that are used for research to combat birth defects when they are infertile and have no business being recorded as having reproduced. Their selfishness and desire to be thought of as the ‘real mothers of the children they deliver has made the margin of error so great that birth records can no longer be relied upon as the basis for medical research in the field of genetic birth defects.

    So if the recipients of an egg donation are willing to have the mother recorded as the mother and go through the adoption process with her she is dealing with ethical and forthright people. Of course if she is accepting no compensation or reimp=bursement of any kind she is ethical and forthright as well. All others are commodifying life and exploiting helpless infants.

    People change. Just because you don’t care about violting your child’s rights when you are 18 does not mean you’ll feel the same at 20 or 30. The important thing to remember is that if you reproduce your your offspring’s parent and you have an obligation to take care of them. So if you a bandon your child at 18 and wake up at 25 mobilize to do something about it fight for you r child as hard as you can. Sue for visitation do what ever you can to make it clear to your child that you never gave up on them. I reunite families separated by gamete donation and it is never too late to start being their for your child. The truth is the truth obligation flows from having offspring. Their child can think of someone else as their mother but its only because she raised them and was there for them.

    • Hi Marilynn –
      As I have commented many times over third party reproduction can become very complicated and it has many many layers. Being in this field and being a parent via egg donation myself (and boy am I grateful to our egg donor who is a rockstar!!! Through and through!) is that education is the key piece to all of this. You make a good point that it’s important for the egg donor to understand that her genetics are going to be combined with someone elses genetics to bring a much wanted child into the world by someone who could not do that on their own. What I don’t agree with you about is that this is not as if they are in love. Sex and love (the romantic kind) have nothing to do with this I don’t think.

      With that being said this is where I also disagree with you – the egg donor may be genetically related to the children she helps the families she donates to but those are not her children. Not at all. Those children are the children of the recipients. So that baby is not yours, it’s the recipient mothers.

      That’s why I said this can become very complicated and has layers to it. This is why it’s so very important that both recipients and donors have that all-important psycho-educational piece to this. And that’s why it’s important to have a legal agreement and/or contract in place.

      I can tell you from a recipient mother’s standpoint this is the ultimate fear of every single recipient mother that an egg donor is going to want to change her mind and attempt to come back and take a child back. That is why so many recipient mothers are more comfortable with anonymous egg donation.

      Donors don’t donate eggs to do mommy duty. If they want to become mom’s they would get pregnant on their own and have their own children. And those egg donors who feel uncomfortable, or not clear or confident about sharing their genetics shouldn’t or don’t donate.

      What I don’t understand is your passage:

      “Are they prepared to compromise the rights of their child to know their maternal family and are they willing to compromise the rights of their relatives to know a child that is their own neice, nephew, grandchild cousin etc. Its important to remember that while the children you have later in life will be half siblings the child will be your own full 100% child and will be your parent’s 100% grandchild your sister’s 100% niece or nephew and of course the 100% 1st cousin of your own nieces and nephews and you’ll be compromising their ability to make informed decisions about who they date and have children with. Lots of legal rights flow from being named on your offspring’s birth certificate; they will loose the right to be considered legal kin to any other children you have whether you raise them or not because you won’t be listed as the mother on their birth certificate even though in reality you are. Remember anyone can gestate and nurse a baby it does not make them the child’s mother the child did not originate from them. A grandmother can raise her grandchild but it does not make her a mother. Raising a child can’t make you a mother. Lying can’t make you a mother only reproducing can make you a mother. “

      I think this is where you are missing the whole point of egg donation. An egg donor when she donates her eggs is giving her eggs to a family that is going to have their own children. The egg donor is not donating her eggs to gain an extended family, co-parent, or have a relationship with the recipient unless that is all agreed upon with the recipient family. Of course the egg donor is going to lose the right to be considered legal kin because the egg donor is not the mother in this instance, the woman who is the mother is the woman who’s carried this baby, who’s nurtured this baby, and who’s going to love and raise this baby for the rest of her life.

      I am sorry Marilynn, genetics don’t make a family. I can put the shoe on the other foot and argue with you that anyone can get pregnant and pop out a kid. We see it happen all the time. I love my son so much I sometimes forget to breathe, and so are you saying because he and I don’t share DNA but he and his egg donor do that I am not his mother? I mean really? She wasn’t there when he was sick, hurt, or scared. She wasn’t there when he took his first steps, said his first words, or made his first ugly face when he tasted spinach. I nursed him. I was up all nights walking the floor with him.

      I was there. I am his mother.

      And the reason being that the egg donor wasn’t there is because that’s not what she agreed to. She didn’t agree to be his parent. If so, why would she go through all of that?

      You wrote:
      “The ethical path would be to donate the eggs be named as mother then give the child up for adoption so that no other woman could pretend to be the child’s mother. It’s important to remember that many women who give birth to egg donor’s children are willing to falsify the birth record and make it appear that the child is their own offspring. Those women are undermining the accuracy of the nation’s birth statistics and their information is contaminating statistics that are used for research to combat birth defects when they are infertile and have no business being recorded as having reproduced. Their selfishness and desire to be thought of as the ‘real mothers of the children they deliver has made the margin of error so great that birth records can no longer be relied upon as the basis for medical research in the field of genetic birth defects.”

      What I think you don’t understand Marilynn is even with adoption when an adoption is complete the adoptive mother’s name is placed on the birth certificate as the mother I do believe.

      You wrote:
      “People change. Just because you don’t care about violting your child’s rights when you are 18 does not mean you’ll feel the same at 20 or 30. The important thing to remember is that if you reproduce your your offspring’s parent and you have an obligation to take care of them. So if you a bandon your child at 18 and wake up at 25 mobilize to do something about it fight for you r child as hard as you can. Sue for visitation do what ever you can to make it clear to your child that you never gave up on them. I reunite families separated by gamete donation and it is never too late to start being their for your child. The truth is the truth obligation flows from having offspring. Their child can think of someone else as their mother but its only because she raised them and was there for them.”

      Pregnancy for many women is a rite of passage. Please realize I didn’t use the word “right” I used the word “rite”. The whole purpose of having a child through egg donation is to experience pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. To have that baby with your partner/husband/wife is just an incredible thing. And for women like me we feel honored, and humbled to have the ability to have a child through egg donation to bring children into the world we so desperately want to love and raise.

      I will agree with you that people change. What I don’t understand is why you think an egg donor is abandoning her child. That part I clearly don’t understand. And really legally, and ethically an egg donor does not have any legal or moral obligation to any children born to recipient parents. If she’s educated properly, counseled properly, her wishes are going to be heard and validated every step of the way. And when she signs the legal contract stating as such she walks away feeling good about what she did, the recipients are grateful for her generosity, and it’s a win-win for all involved.

      I am concerned that you are advocating that egg donors sue for custody for children that are not theirs. These kids that are born are born into families who have been waiting a very long time for them. To even remotely suggest that an egg donor should wake up at the age of 25 and sue a recipient couple for custody to send a message to child she doesn’t even know I think is harmful to a child and that’s not putting a child’s best interest forward.

      If you ask my 11 year who his mother is he’s going to tell you I am his mother because I am. It’s that simple. If you inferred that the egg donor was his mother he’s refer to you as a crazy person because I’m his mom.

      • Dr. Craig Sweet Comment from Dr. Craig Sweet

        As usual, so beautifully put, Marna.

        What you write is also so very true for sperm donors. A “sperm donor dad” could have deposited sperm in a matter of 3-5 minutes and then disappeared. What makes a man a father, a true dad, is the emotional and financial support they provide to their child. Being a father is being there for all the positives and all the negatives, day after day, month after month, year after year and decade after decade. It is not about genetics, that is a series of amino acids, bases and sugars. What is so important is the heart and soul the father provides.

        All of what we both write is absolutely true for a person or couple who adopt a child. They put in the time, effort, money and emotions, not the birth parents. When asked who are their mother and father, the adopted child will say the people who raised them. Not the birth parents. They are called “birth parents” because that is all they were – they were their for the birth and nothing else.

        ============

        I’m sorry Marilynn, but I think you really have got this mixed up. If you are a parent, you would understand. If you received donated eggs, you would understand. If you adopted a child, you would understand. If you used donor sperm to have a child, you would understand. If you gave up a child for adoption, perhaps you are filled with guilt and you don’t understand. If you don’t have any children yet, then how can you possibly understand?

        Forever embed in your brain, being a parent, a mother, a father, is all about being there and not about the genetic contribution. The genetics are the bricks that make up a home. The parents are the architects, the builders, the mortar and the roof that give it structure, strength, endurance and meaning. Bricks are only a small part of the equation.

        Bricks do not a child make.

        Craig R. Sweet, M.D.
        Reproductive Endocrinologist

        • Comment from marilynn

          Dr Sweet
          Egg donor offspring are the egg donor’s offspring correct? The ASRM is very clear that the recipient is not the biological mother of the children she delivers, she is however the birth mother on record. In fact the ASRM definition of egg donor repeats twice that the recipient is not the biological mother. With all the warm fuzzy elements of motherhood aside, the egg donor is the biological mother to the extent that the child is the result of her having reproduced herself and correct me if I am wrong here, she is the only female with a genetic parent/child relationship to her own offspring, right? So all of her relatives are maternally related to her offspring, correct? And none of the recipients relatives will be maternally related to the donor’s offspring, correct?

          So from a family medical history standpoint according to the CDC it is important to have ongoing contact with relatives because family medical history is a constantly changing and growing thing that takes all members health into account not just the parent for the child but vice-versa.

          Also correct me if I am wrong but the full siblings of the donor will be full aunts and uncles to her offspring no different than had she personally raised them and their children will be her children’s full cousins whether or not she raises them and again correct me if I am wrong but it is generally considered not only social tabu but unhealthy to reproduce with your 1st cousins.

          What I am saying is that people know who their immediate relatives are unless they are abandoned which is illegal or adopted and sequestered which is legal but wrong as hell and people are fighting hard to end the practice of concealed identity because it puts blinders on an entire family so they cannot prevent themselves from inadvertent inbreeding. One unknown relative is more than is necessary when it compromises the ability of the entire family to recognize one another for what benefit? Who gains from them not being able to differentiate kin from stranger? With gamete donation we are talking about potentially much larger sibling groups than are generally achieved through physical sex and the siblings need to avoid one another as well as all the other members of the estranged genetic parent.

          Genetics may not an emotional bond make but being a donor for reproductive purposes means being willing to compromising your relatives and future offspring’s ability to make informed and healthy choices for themselves and for their children.

          Where am I off base in my assessment. You are a doctor and will not simply dismiss what I’m saying as that I’m stupid or I’m a freak. Right? I know donor offspring who have gone to school with their cousins and offspring and lightly dated. While no inbred offspring resulted they were not comfortable about having that experience. They felt upset about it. It was not necessary to hide their relatives from them. Why is it necessary doctor? Couldn’t you do your job just fine with the donor and donor’s family knowing all the members of the recipient’s families and wouldn’t that make it so much healthier for everyone involved? Wouldn’t you sleep easier if you made sure that the donor introduced the recipient couple to all their relatives and knew that their relative would be being raised outside the family with each recipient family so they would know who their kids should steer clear from dating later on or who to inform if they discover some genetic disease down the line?

          • Dr. Craig Sweet Comment from Dr. Craig Sweet

            Your wording is a bit too confusing for me to follow in the first paragraph. I think you point is that the egg donor-conceived offspring is not genetically related to the women who carried her, nurtured her and gave birth to her. The answer is yes, the offspring is not related through DNA. She is, most commonly, related to the father, the woman’s husband but not her. Using the term “birth mother” is not normally done. This is saved for adoption. Does it matter? According to you, the genetics is everything. Fortunately, for the hundreds of thousands adopted children in this country, this is not the case. Parenting trumps genetics. I know you don’t like to read that but it’s true. That doesn’t mean genetics is not important. It is very meaningful but it is not everything.

            Regarding the medical history, there are a few very important points. Most diseases are not genetic. Some are but most are not. The donor-conceived offspring’s parents will be aware of the many medical and genetic issues from the donor’s profile. There is no question that the profile can change with time and it is important that the donor keep in touch with the IVF facility so if something important comes up in her or her family, this can be communicated to the donor-conceived offspring’s family. We do have a mechanism in place to track those very issues. Lastly, even with a genetic history, the advent of genetic testing doesn’t just tell if there is a potential to carry a problem but if one actually has genetic diseases. The availability of this testing far overshadows all of our family histories. Each of us has a dozen random genetic mutations in our genome and no level of family history, attachment or relationship will help a person identify these new, random and unexpected findings. Genetic testing trumps all the history a parent can provide.

            The third paragraph is all wrong. From the egg donor, the offspring created by donation are half-siblings of the donor’s biological children only sharing the oocyte and not the sperm. They are not aunts and uncles.

            The issue you bring up regarding marrying a relative is a theoretical issue and is way overblown. There are many societies in this world where this is common. I know it makes Americans squeamish but look at history, especially in royalty throughout the past. I don’t recommend it but keeping perspective is important as the risks are amazingly small and the outcomes far less threatening that you suggest. Now I know you will twist what I am writing here. I am not recommending brothers marry sisters. I am telling you that small communities often have cousins marrying cousins and the incidence of genetic problems is minimal. Lastly, there are plenty of sperm daddies out there in certain cities, especially the inner city, where the chances of consanguinity are far higher that what we are discussing today.

            What you may be suggesting is perhaps an open identity option for egg, sperm and embryo donation procedures. Hang onto that idea for next weeks blog as I will address some of the issues brought up here over the past few days and the amazing level of intolerance on all sides of the debate.

            I do agree that we need to have better control on the number of donations an individual can perform. ASRM came up with guidelines but I’m not sure they are being followed well. Should something be done? Perhaps, but we need to make sure the cure is not worse than the disease.

            I’m convinced we can work out some of these issues and come up with solutions rather than insult each other all day long.

            Craig R Sweet, M.D.
            Reproductive Endocrinologist
            Moderator, http://www.SweetFertility.com

    • Comment from Judy

      Marilynn,

      I do think that you are missing the point of egg donation. If donors wanted to be mothers, they would carry and birth their own children. What you are saying is that the donor egg recipients are nothing but a vessel carry and birth a child. That would make us gestational surrogates. I think not! Also, since the term is “birth certificate”, the name of the woman that “gave birth” to the child is listed on it (and like Marna stated, in case of adoption the name is changed to the adoptive mother). If the child grew in MY body and I gave birth to the child, the child is MY child. Believe me I do understand the difference between mine and someone elses. I am a foster parent also, and I do love other women’s children unitil they can be reunited or adopted. I also have my own children – children that are genetically related to me and children that I was blessed to have through egg donation.

      By the way – donor eggs are not children, they are genetic material and a POTENTIAL for a child. Without the sperm and the right uteran environment, they will not survive. Also, please check out “epigenics”. What it means that the woman that carries the child will decide which genetic factors come to play. For example, if multiple different women would carry an identical embryo (not that that is possible)the resulting child would always be different. Meaning that if the donor would have used my husbands sperm and her and I would carry the same embryo, the child would look and be different. It is simply not the same.

      Also, how about sperm donation, which has been around for ages…would you consider the donors to be fathers do the offspring resulting from their sperm? Let’s take this one step further. How about organ donation? If I donate a kidney to a sick friend, do I have a right to make decisions in her or his life, because they carry one of my organs? This type of thinking is insane. Women that donate their eggs, no matter what their motivation, are not looking to be mothers, they are providing women and couples one “ONE”, just one piece of what is a large and difficult puzzle in the creation of a child. It is not as simple as you make it seem and I respectfully disagree with your way of thinking.

    • Comment from anti-crazy

      Oh Marilynn, I’ll save myself a long diatribe and just sum it up for you – you’re wrong. Egg donors are not donating their children. An egg recipient’s husband isn’t having a baby with another woman. I’m not sure what “medical standpoint” you cite that supports your off-base opinions. If you ask any physician who is versed in reproductive medicine they will tell you that the egg donor is genetically related to the offspring, while the woman who gives birth is the biological mother. Egg donors have no interest in mothering the children born as a result of their generous donation. Encouraging egg donors to sue for visitation? Good luck with that – it’s apparent you are not familiar at all with how the process works and the legal protections that are in place for every single egg donor cycle. Thankfully, your opinions are so far fetched that I don’t think many readers would take you seriously – and for that, all donors and recipients can breathe a big sigh of relief.

    • Dr. Craig Sweet Comment from Dr. Craig Sweet

      OK ladies, let’s dial this down just a bit.

      Agree to disagree and write as though you were speaking to the person in front of you.

      Please be respectful or I will have to pull the posts.

      Thank you-

      Craig R. Sweet, M.D.
      Reproductive Endocrinologist
      Moderator, http://www.SweetFertility.com

  • Comment from marilynn

    From a medical standpoint you are not his mother she is and all of her relatives are the maternal relatives of the child that you are raising right? I mean you cannot deny that this is true. He shares none of your biology. You influenced the expression of the genes he inherited from her but your great great grandmother is not this child’s great great great grandmother except for in the adoptive sense. Ultimately you are his adoptive mother even though you carried him in your womb and nursed him right? You provided a safe environment for her child to develop and she and your husband are allowing you to continue in that roll that by rites is hers to fulfill. She and your husband are the ones with offspring and they agreed that you could gestate deliver and raise their child.

    No doubt their child will have no emotional bond to her. You are the one doing all the work that would normally have been done by her. You win. Hands down and hat’s off that kid won’t know her from Adam. You will be the only mother your husband’s offspring ever knows. I’m not arguing that. But what I’m saying is that the woman who reproduced to create him cannot just change reality because she did not feel like raising her offspring herself. Sher chose to create life and another person exists because she reproduced and she is the only person in the world qualified to call herslefl the childs mother from a medical and genetic standpoint which is of course the original base startiing point that gives rise to any child rearing obligation. She failed to meet her obligation to raise her offspirng and you rose to the occasion.

    Again , you win. She is an estranged absent mother because as you point out she chose to be an estranged and absent mother.. Your husband’s child has been deprived of his or her mother’s care and attention adn its a real good thing you were there to help offset the damage done by her abandonment. Many commoddified children are not nearly so lucky as to have a compassionate female caregiver in the wings. It helps that you gestated and delivered your husband’s offspring for sure, it pretty much ensures that the issue of abandonment occurs without ever laying eyes on the child. It does not mean that she did not abandon her offspring at birth of course she did just as if you were a gestational carrier that she walked away from. Your not guilty of anything. She abandoned her child not you. You stepped in to raise a child she discarded.

    Ultimately when it comes to assigning blame for her separation from her family you will be left out of it. The child has to hold the abandoning parent accountable for their actions first and then secondarily look to their other genetic parent your husband to what extent he may have supported or enticed the child’s mother to abandon them in favor of someone that he preferred romantically. You are the the third party to the parent’s decision. Were it not for their calousness you would not have their permission to play the role of mother in their child’s life. So its not about you at all. You are filling a need for a female care giver your doing the right thing. Expect the child to feel that it was notright for the mother and father to disregard thier family the way they did.

    • I am sorry I disagree from a medical standpoint I am my child’s mother. Genetically my child and I are not related. Biologically he’s my child. I carried him. I influenced the expression of his genes. We don’t understand what happens in the womb, that part is a mystery. Epegenetics is incredible. If you haven’t read this article yet, I encourage you to go now and read it:

      http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1952313,00.html
      “Why Your DNA Isn’t Your Destiny”

      In our house my great great grandmother is my child’s great great grandmother. I have passed down old stories, wisdom, and knowledge from my culture. My child is part of my legacy as well as my husband. My child is just as much a part of my heratige as he is Italian, English, as well as Norwegian from the donor’s side. In fact, when he was in the second grade they did family trees and his branch had three branches. It was important to have all three of parts represented. His dad’s, his donors, and mine. That was his choice. And he’s very proud of his heritage from all parts of who he is.

      I disagree with you, ultimately I am not his adoptive mother. My child and I have only been apart three days in his entire life and those three days he was developing into a three day eight cell embryo that was transferred back into my waiting womb.

      My husband and the donor are allowing me to continue in a role that by rights is hers to fill? Are you kidding me? I had a baby with my husband. Our donor gave such an amazing part of herself to us. She gave us a gift with no strings. She didn’t give it with conditions. She didn’t give it and say “Okay I am giving you my egg but if you don’t raise this kid the way I want you to then I get the kid back” That’s now how this process works.

      Of course my son is not going to have an emotional bond with her. She’s not his mother. She’s a genetic parent. But she’s not his mom. If you ask my son he will tell you he’s grateful that she helped him connect with me – and he has a boatload of gratitude regarding that. But he will tell her clearly and argue until the cows some home that I am his mom, which I am. She’s not.

      What I am not understanding is your mentality that the egg donor somehow abandonded or didn’t feel like raising a child. That’s not what this is all about. And if you were truly a parent, or a parent via egg donation you’d totally get that. So I think you have this all wrong. If you talk to my egg donor she will tell you the very same thing and would probably tell you that she feels you thinking is flawed in regards to this issue.

      I am not sure why there has to be a winner or a loser here. You continue to tell me I win. And I continue to scratch my head when I read things like “She is an estranged and an absent mother” or that my child is damaged by her abandonment and that she discarded my son.

      With all that being said – I have to admit I am sad for you. I am sad that you are so full of negativity.

      I really wish you well. I can assure you that for every donor conceived child that you attempt to share your propoganda with regarding your backwards viewpoint regarding what a mom and a dad are I will be right there countering in the most healthy and appropriate way of what it takes to make a family.

    • Dr. Craig Sweet Comment from Dr. Craig Sweet

      (reposting from above)

      I’m sorry Marilynn, but I think you really have got this mixed up. If you are a parent, you would understand. If you received donated eggs, you would understand. If you adopted a child, you would understand. If you used donor sperm to have a child, you would understand. If you gave up a child for adoption, perhaps you are filled with guilt and you don’t understand. If you don’t have any children yet, then how can you possibly understand?

      Forever embed in your brain, being a parent, a mother, a father, is all about being there and not about the genetic contribution. The genetics are the bricks that make up a home. The parents are the architects, the builders, the mortar and the roof that give it structure, strength, endurance and meaning. Bricks are only a small part of the equation.

      Bricks do not a child make.

      Craig R. Sweet, M.D.
      Reproductive Endocrinologist

    • Comment from Judy

      Marilynn,

      I am very sorry for the way you feel as I it is a misguided notion to consider genetic material “a child”. Many, many, many eggs do not survive and never turn into anything. An egg is not “life created” not even close. Unless our laws change, life does not start with an egg alone. There is no life. Please do not compare an egg to a breathing human being. Nobody abandonned anybody. I have had foster children that were neglected, beaten, abused and cast aside – how dare you to speak the same of women that give a gift of a few cells to other women. Medically and legally, the woman that gives birth is the mother – period!
      This discussion is truly pointless. Let’s agree to disagree.

      • Comment from Brenda Holmes

        To say that an egg equates a child, and that donating this egg equal abandonment is a fantastical leap from really. That would imply that each time a woman has failed to conceive and has her period, she’s just abandoned a child. That would also make all women mothers from birth with 1-2M eggs just waiting in our ovaries.

        Emotionally charged rhetoric does not change the fact that eggs are simply genetic material, in fact a single cell with great potential. More frankly, human DNA is 99.9% the same around the globe. It’s that small .1% that differentiates what are really small variations of features, skins tones, eye color, etc.

        A woman or man who donates gametes gives an amazing gift, but it’s not a child.

        Brenda
        only a Mother to dogs, for now

  • Comment from Anonymousus

    Is anyone here familiar with:

    https ://www . donorsiblingregistry . com/resource-library/dsr-research/

    Sperm and egg donors’ experiences of donating and of being contacted by their donor offspring. Human Reproduction, Vol.26, No.3 pp. 638–645, 2011, (2011). Tabitha Freeman, Vasanti Jadva, Wendy Kramer and Susan Golombok*

    US oocyte donors: a retrospective study of medical and psychosocial issues Wendy Kramer; Jennifer Schneider and Natalie Schultz. (2009) Human Reproduction; doi: 10.1093/humrep/dep309

    Sperm and oocyte donors’ experiences of anonymous donation and subsequent contact with their donor offspring. (Full Text PDF)
    1. V. Jadva1,*,2. T. Freeman1, 3. W. Kramer2 and 4. S. Golombok1+ Author Affiliations 1. Centre for Family Research, Faculty of Politics, Psychology, Sociology and International Studies, Free School Lane, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3RF, UK 2.Donor Sibling Registry, PO Box 1571, Nederland, CO 80466, USA

    US oocyte donors: a retrospective study of medical and psychosocial issues
    W. Kramer; J. Schneider; N. Schultz
    Human Reproduction 2009; doi: 10.1093/humrep/dep309

    Papers In Progress:
    Semen donors who are open to contact with their offspring. Ken Daniels, Maria Perez-y-Perez, Wendy Kramer**

    “Tangled Webs UK”: http : //www . tangledwebs . org . uk/tw/
    “Tangled Webs International”: http : //tangledwebsorg . wordpress . com/
    “Eggsploitation”: http : //www . eggsploitation . com/
    “Anonymous Father’s Day”: http : //www . anonymousfathersday . com/
    “My Daddy’s Name is Donor”: www . familyscholars . org/assets/Donor_FINAL . pdf
    http : //familyscholars . org/my-daddys-name-is-donor-2/
    “Anonymous Us”: http : //www . anonymousus . org/

    “Confessions of a Cryo Kid”: http : //cryokidconfessions . blogspot . com/
    “Donated Generation”: http : //donatedgeneration . blogspot . com/
    “Who Do You Think You Are”: http : //t5sdaughter . blogspot . com/

    • Marilynn and Anonymous:
      I am a Marriage and Family Therapist who has worked with ovum donors, sperm donors, parents, intended parents and gestational carriers for 25 years. I am also a parent through egg donation and adoption. Other members of my family are birth parents who chose adoption for their children as well as parents by adoption. Both of my sons are now adults and freely speak of how we built our family, so, as you can see, I have experience from many different perspectives.

      I welcome a conversation with each of you. I would love to know more about how you came to the beliefs you have as we are all shaped by our experiences. Please feel free to call me personally so we can talk. I find it difficult to have a reasonable discussion with someone who does not fully identify him/herself.

      Please feel free to call me at 310/470-9049.

      Thank you.
      Carole LieberWilkins, M.F.T.

  • Comment from Anonymousus

    American Adoption Congress:
    http : //www . americanadoptioncongress . org/assisted_reproduction . php

    “A critical analysis of sperm donation practices : the personal and social effects of disrupting the unity of biological and social relatedness for the offspring”
    http : //eprints . qut . edu . au/32012/

    “From a ‘bundle of joy’ to a person with sorrow: Disenfranchised grief
    for the donor-conceived adult”
    http : //eprints . qut . edu . au/737/1/rose_fromabundle . PDF

    • Comment from Brenda Holmes

      I read the student paper, and I think she summarized it in the end.

      “For some, the circumstances of our conceptions
      lead to the eventual unravelling of the stories that we are told, to the absence of the stories
      that we are not told.”

      She’s talking about discovering she’s been lied to or withheld information, and that’s clearly only one scenario.

      If children always know their birth story, it just becomes part of their knowledge.

  • Oh come on really?

  • Comment from Anonymousus

    Yes, REALLY. Step out of the box, there is more (MUCH more) to this than “the script”

  • Comment from Nancy

    Marilynn, parenting is a verb. A man who screws a woman in a car behind a nightclub and changes his phone number when she calls and tells him she is pregnant is not a father. The man who meets her two years later, marries her, and raises her little boy as his own Is FATHERING. He is a father.

    So, too, the egg donor who intends to donate her eggs to another couple is not a mother. The woman who feeds, cherishes, and loves daily that little child who results from the donation is Mothering the child. She is the mother.

    It is primitive, primitive, primitive to believe genetics determines parentage. It is as foolish as a 1970s TV soap opera. The old “real father” line. The man who loved you and put you through school and held your hair when you threw up is found “not to be your Dad” because your mom had a quickie with her boss once. So tht stranger is your “real dad.”. Gosh, how emotional and primitive that stupid argument is.

    Parenting is love and it is done by One Who Parents. Period.

  • Comment from Wendie Wilson-Miller

    I am a 5-time egg donor. I have seen photos of the children born through my egg donations. I have coordinated over a thousand egg donation cycles. I have stayed in touch with over 100 egg donors. I wrote a book about the egg donation process. I have two close friends who have held the babies born through their egg donations. My own mother gave me several of the injections throughout the donation process. The majority of young women (self included) are completely capable of understanding the genetic link – but feel proud to be able to share this part of themselves. We also understand the deep desire to help out other women or hopeful parents who desire a child but for some reason (whether medically, sexual orientation or otherwise) are unable to conceive without the help of assisted reproduction. It is the rare egg donor or those who have not been in our shoes who seem to throw the complications card out there. It has never, ever been complicated for me or any of the women I stay in touch with. To date, 10 years after the fact, my egg donations were the best things I’ve ever done for anybody else. Ever. Especially dear to my heart is my first intended mom who was a cancer survivor and had thought she’d lost all hope of having a child from conception. I do not feel like they are my children, although I do know they share genetics. But, seriously, who cares? What is that anyway? I love my closest girl friends like they are sisters and would treat them the same way and they aren’t genetically linked. I spend way more time thinking about the parents and the joy that they must feel since it’s the same joy I experience when I look at my own son. I don’t think of them as his brothers or sisters. My parents, aunts and uncles do not think of them as relatives, rather they think I am someone special for being willing to do this for others. Raising a child to be a good, productive member of society is what makes a parent – everything else is just fluff. I feel awful for the egg donor on this post who had a bad experience. I can hear her pain and I hope that she is able to find peace in her experience — if for no other reason than to focus on the wonderful little life she helped bring into this world. Fortunately she is in a minority and the majority of us feel exceptional for giving someone else (and the world) something so undeniably significant. Take away the money discussion, the age stipulations, the idea of “genetics” or “exploitation” and you have thousands of happy parents and egg donors who are so, so, so grateful this technology exists. Don’t do the children born to egg donation, the parents who get to experience that inexplicable joy, or the egg donors who choose to be a part of this process a disservice by making something so wonderful so unnecessarily complicated.

  • Comment from Nancy

    Beautiful post, Wendie. My donor felt that she wanted to help people the way her relative was helped. She is super fertile and has 4 children of her own. Her donation has made us happier than she could ever imagine.

    I don’t know if anyone has brought up this argument, but there are a lot of people out there living with a piece of someone else’s bodies allowing them to continue life. We have figured out on this blue planet how to help each other medically and I am sure our Creator is pleased.

  • Marilynn and Anonymous:
    I am a Marriage and Family Therapist who has worked with ovum donors, sperm donors, parents, intended parents and gestational carriers for 25 years. I am also a parent through egg donation and adoption. Other members of my family are birth parents who chose adoption for their children as well as parents by adoption. Both of my sons are now adults and freely speak of how we built our family, so, as you can see, I have experience from many different perspectives.

    I welcome a conversation with each of you. I would love to know more about how you came to the beliefs you have as we are all shaped by our experiences. Please feel free to call me personally so we can talk. I find it difficult to have a reasonable discussion with someone who does not fully identify him/herself.

    Please feel free to call me at 310/470-9049.

    Thank you.
    Carole LieberWilkins, M.F.T.

  • Comment from marilynn

    I have reunited over 200 families separated for all kinds of reasons. Gamete donation being one of them. You are all so wound up in your own trip to realize that your overlooking the fact that the child will ask the question WHY DID MY GENETIC PARENT NOT WANT TO KNOW ME AND RAISE ME? WHY DID MY GENETIC PARENT WANT TO KEEP THEIR OTHER GENETIC CHILDREN BUT NOT ME? WHY WAS IT OK TO GIVE ME AWAY?

    I don’t equate eggs to children. Not at all. You can donate your eggs for research purposes and your not giving away your child.

    • Dr. Craig Sweet Comment from Dr. Craig Sweet

      Actually, you absolutely do equate eggs with children. “WHY DID MY GENETIC PARENT WANT TO KEEP THEIR OTHER GENETIC CHILDREN BUT NOT ME?” There was no child to keep. There was only an egg, a potential and only part of the potential. You are mixing up donating an egg with adopting a baby out. In the adoption process, there is certainly a level of rejection. In egg donation, the donor-conceived offspring doesn’t have to work out the issues of rejection. You need to review the literature more carefully and depend less on using emotional statements to try to make your points as they are lost amongst the noise.

      In fact, you probably have something in common with some of the women posting here. Some may believe that an open egg donation procedure might have some benefits. Having the process available may take care of many of the issues that you seem to be writing about. How about you discuss the issues from this perspective rather in such a dramatic and inflammatory manner?

      It is time to quell the eggs = genetic children perspective. It is not helping you to prove your point. Truly, try another tact.

      Craig R. Sweet, M.D.
      Reproductive Endocrinologist
      Moderator, http://www.SweetFertility.com

  • Comment from marilynn

    Dr Sweet
    I am a parent. I have reproduced. I have offspring. Am I raising my child? Yes. If I were not raising my child I would still be her parent.

    Have I struggled with what would be classified as infertility issues? Yes I have. I have thrombofilia. I’ve had 13 miscarriages. I had a son die the day he was born. It looked as if I was never going to give birth to a child that would live more than a few days and it NEVER occurred to me to buy another woman’s embryo and pretend to be that child’s mother.

    • Oh Marilynn, I am so sorry for your losses. I too am a habitual miscarrier (if that’s the correct term.) and I am all too familiar with the pain.

      I think we are going to agree to disagree — interestingly enough I am going to meet my egg donor next month for brunch and I think we are going to have an incredibly interesting conversation. I’d like to hear her thoughts. My guess is she’s not going to feel like she’s abandoned, or turned her back on my son anymore than Wendie stated. She donated genetic material, there was no guarantee for a baby.

      As I have been sharing this thread with my son all he can do is shake his head in disbelief and reply with “Mom, it’s just a strand of DNA, I don’t know why everyone has to complicate this so much. Why can’t that Marilynn woman and Anonymous let me be happy? Do they not like children?”

      I kind of think that says it all. Kids don’t think this is weird, it’s the grown ups who make it weird and complicated, not the kids.

  • Comment from Gala39

    What a lively and interesting debate–thank you, Dr Sweet, for the topic. I’ll give Marilynn credit for at least putting her name to her beliefs (Anonymous gave the pot a couple o’ stirs but was too chicken to put his/her name to it or offer anything more than someone else’s scholarly thinking). That being said, I think there’s a lot of misdirected rage and some hate-mongering that offers little advantage. What possible benefit would there be in encouraging egg donors to sue for custody? It would be a hilarious suggestion if I didn’t think she was serious (see J. Swift, “A Modest Proposal.”). Custody battle = super happy childhood for every donor conceived child in America! Great idea!

    What little research that exists suggests that most DE offspring grow up feeling wanted and loved. And the overwhelming consensus from adoption research shows that adoptees overwelmingly score higher on wellbeing and life-satisfaction indeces than their traditional family counterparts, so we must be doing something right.

  • Comment from marilynn

    Look I just really hope that anyone born after 1990 who were raised by people over 35 when they were born will join a site like family tree dna so that if they have siblings out there in the world they can find one another.

    Raising a child gives that emotional bond, but how a person comes into custody of a child in order to be in a position to raise them matters and if they paid a genetic parent to be absent from the child’s life something unethical has occurred.

    You don’t have to raise your child to be a mother all you have to do is have offspring.

  • Comment from sparky

    You’re an adult when your 18, you can give your LIFE by going to war for this country you should be old enough to drink and donate eggs just like men should be old enough to drink and donate sperm. I think the psychological evaluation is important with ANY age to make sure they’re good candidates. I know very mature 30 year olds and very immature 30 year olds, this is where AGE is just a number comes to mind for me personally. That’s why some VERY young are referred to as old souls—wise beyond their years.

    Marilynn – That’s a very uninformed and ignorant statement you just made. Do you realize I had a verbally abusive mother; she abused both me and my step father? I wanted nothing more than hoping I was adopted to get the F out of that house. I left w the clothes on my back when I left and made something out of nothing. My friends parents were like my adopted parents, if it wasn’t for them I would have had no holidays, love, someone to praise me when I did great things, we all need that. LOVE is LOVE – NOT and I repeat NOT DNA. Women donating to infertile couples are a VERY SELFLESS thing just like men who donate their sperm. Being a mother or father is ACTIONS not DNA. My sister in law adopted two kids from a crack addict, both the crack addict and her crack addict mother are in jail, if it wasn’t for her those kids wouldn’t have a chance at life. Anyone can give birth, but not everyone can be a parent. A parent is someone who loves their child unconditionally, supports them emotionally and financially, takes an active interest in their life. It’s not blood.

  • Comment from Drew

    I think age is irrelevant. What needs to be understood is that egg donation to a fertility clinic is a 2 part deal. Sure many women just donate their eggs and that’s it. Some women donate their eggs AND their children. So what we have to do is look at the forms they are asked to sign. Are they donating for research? Or, are they donating their eggs for reproductive purposes and being asked not to raise their own children for a fee?

    This is factually incorrect. An ovum is not a child. It’s a cell that contains 50% of the genetic material necessary to produce a child. Flour is not cake. Cheese is not pizza. A turkey is not a sandwich.

    The most important thing for them to understand is that if they are donating their offspring to be raised by someone else that they understand that it is in fact their very own child just the same as if they were in love with the guy they are reproducing with and I think that is often the part that egg donors don’t get: it does not matter whether your in love with the man who fertilizes your egg, the resulting baby is still all yours and is still only related to you and your family as their maternal family.

    Again, this is incorrect. The resulting baby is 50% the result of the genetic material contained in the ovum. No maternal rights are transmitted with the the donation of ovum to a clinic or an IVF couple.

    Are they prepared to compromise the rights of their child to know their maternal family and are they willing to compromise the rights of their relatives to know a child that is their own neice, nephew, grandchild cousin etc. Its important to remember that while the children you have later in life will be half siblings the child will be your own full 100% child and will be your parent’s 100% grandchild your sister’s 100% niece or nephew and of course the 100% 1st cousin of your own nieces and nephews and you’ll be compromising their ability to make informed decisions about who they date and have children with.

    I’m wondering if perhaps you need to review exactly how babies are made. An ovum, like a sperm cell, only contains 50% of the number of chromosomes necessary to make a baby. Therefore, no baby can ever be 100% anyone’s genetically speaking. Please see here for further edification: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamete
    The chances of someone accidentally dating their genetic sibling are pretty remote. Fear mongering isn’t really necessary here.

    Lots of legal rights flow from being named on your offspring’s birth certificate; they will loose the right to be considered legal kin to any other children you have whether you raise them or not because you won’t be listed as the mother on their birth certificate even though in reality you are.

    That would be because, legally, you’re not. Motherhood is not solely based on genetic material — in fact, it is perhaps the least important factor. Furthermore, when children are adopted, their birth-certificates are changed to reflect the people who have adopted them.

    Remember anyone can gestate and nurse a baby it does not make them the child’s mother the child did not originate from them. A grandmother can raise her grandchild but it does not make her a mother. Raising a child can’t make you a mother. Lying can’t make you a mother only reproducing can make you a mother.

    This is an extremely loaded statement to make on a blog that’s read by many people who cannot conceive naturally. Completely setting aside the efforts that many infertile women make in order to have children, you’re also missing the effect of something called epigenetics. Epigenetics is how the various genes that are within a embryo are activated — and it happens during gestation.

    For example, in this article (http://eggdonorsblog.giftovlife.com/epigenetics), the author states:

    These mechanisms that are expressed in some people and not in others are outside the gene and termed epigenetic factors. The expression of genes begins in the womb. The woman carrying the child; her internal environment is responsible for how the baby’s genes are expressed. This early stage of life, the first 40 weeks or so, begins to shape the characteristics of the child birthed.

    Note how the egg donor has nothing to do with this. It’s all from the womb of the person carrying the child.

    The ethical path would be to donate the eggs be named as mother then give the child up for adoption so that no other woman could pretend to be the child’s mother. It’s important to remember that many women who give birth to egg donor’s children are willing to falsify the birth record and make it appear that the child is their own offspring.

    This is an outragous accusation. There’s nothing on a birth certificate that asks if a baby has been conceived via egg donation. Therefore, no falsification is taking place. Furthermore, the baby IS their off-spring. They have carried the baby, their body has triggered the epigenetic processs, they have given birth to the baby. And I refer, again, to the fact that when a child is adopted, their birth certificate is changed to reflect the adoptive parents. All your suggestion does is add paperwork, cost and frustration to the mother and father of the baby.

    Those women are undermining the accuracy of the nation’s birth statistics and their information is contaminating statistics that are used for research to combat birth defects when they are infertile and have no business being recorded as having reproduced. Their selfishness and desire to be thought of as the ‘real mothers of the children they deliver has made the margin of error so great that birth records can no longer be relied upon as the basis for medical research in the field of genetic birth defects.

    I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that if a woman puts her baby in a birth defect study, the fact that the baby was conceived via egg donation is known and accounted for. Also, you’re continuing to ignore the effect of epigenetics — the DNA is configured within the womb during gestation. This continuing suggestion that these parents are somehow hiding something isn’t particularly appropriate.

    So if the recipients of an egg donation are willing to have the mother recorded as the mother and go through the adoption process with her she is dealing with ethical and forthright people. Of course if she is accepting no compensation or reimp=bursement of any kind she is ethical and forthright as well. All others are commodifying life and exploiting helpless infants.
    You cannot exploit something that doesn’t exist. When a woman donates eggs — either with or without compensation — there is no infant yet created. That infant must be conceived, transferred successfully, gestate and be born before there’s an infant. You have not successfully demontrated ay ethical failure, nor any commidification. Ovum are not babies, much in the same way that fetuses are not babies.

    People change. Just because you don’t care about violting your child’s rights when you are 18 does not mean you’ll feel the same at 20 or 30. The important thing to remember is that if you reproduce your your offspring’s parent and you have an obligation to take care of them.

    This is simply untrue. The contract an egg donor signs explicitely exempts them from responsibility for any child that might result from all of the processes that have to take place from egg donation to birth to adulthood.

    So if you a bandon your child at 18 and wake up at 25 mobilize to do something about it fight for you r child as hard as you can. Sue for visitation do what ever you can to make it clear to your child that you never gave up on them. I reunite families separated by gamete donation and it is never too late to start being their for your child. The truth is the truth obligation flows from having offspring.

    Which is what happens when a woman takes an egg that has been donated to her, has it fertilized, transferred, makes it through 40 weeks of pregnancy and delivers the baby. The act of egg donation is NOT the act of reproduction, and you’ve failed to establish otherwise.

    Their child can think of someone else as their mother but its only because she raised them and was there for them.

    I’ll leave you to reflect on the irony of that statement by yourself.

  • Comment from Andrea

    Marilynn – I am currently pregnant with twins who do not share my DNA, but that is all that they don’t share with me. We share blood, oxygen, water, nourishment, and (most importantly) love – these babies could not grow and thrive (live, as some would consider it) without me. In fact, they wouldn’t exist without me – had it not been for me, my husband and I wouldn’t have sought our egg donor, theses embryos (MY embryos) would never have existed. An egg alone does not make an embryo, nor does it make a human being – it needs blood, oxygen, water, nourishment, and love – the things that I am giving MY BABIES.

    Andrea

  • Comment from Bella

    Marilynn- You sound like a very misguided and bitter person. As a person who is currently in the middle of a second cycle (the first failed), I find your remarks offensive and down right inane. Your argument is not grounded in any sort of logic. An embryo, whether or not it receives 23 chromosomes or not from me, that grows in my body is certainly my child. If you knew anything about reproductive endocrinology, you would know that there are so many things that have to happen before that embryo becomes a fetus and becomes, after birth, a child. Once that embryo attaches to my uterine wall, it becomes a part of me. If there aren’t any defects that would result in spontaneous abortion, it depends on me for development and life. When my placenta feeds and nourishes that fetus, it is mine. When that child emerges from my vagina or is pulled from my uterus via cesarean, it is mine! When I give birth, my life is on the line too. Most importantly, when I feed, love, and nurture that baby, it is mine! I dare anyone to say that I am pretending to be a mother. What the hell kind of logic is that? How the hell can you pretend the role of a mother? I really think you should seek therapy to help you deal with issues that apparently have yet to be addressed. If you are a mother, I don’t understand how you have the time to scout out infertility blogs and post inaccurate, unfounded, and inane comments. Don’t you have something better to do with your time? Like- be a mother?

  • Comment from marilynn

    Good grief your not related to the child and the only reason its going to grow in your womb is because you bought the experience from someone. You paid to have the pregnancy experience. Its your’s with permission. The child will not be related to you or any of your relatives. Do you understand that the child will have its own family unrelated to you? You do understand that don’t you? That the child will have half of everyone he or she is related to withheld from him or her in order so that you can call yourself mother rather than step mother? You get that right? The child has relatives that you will be separating them from?

    Ohh that was a really low blow. My daughter is with her father tonight. I help separated families in my spare time and I advocate on behalf of donor offspring. One of the donor offspring who I help asked me to please please come over to this blog and post in defense of their rights and the rights of the children you are all bearing to be part of their own families. I was asked to come and post here to try and stop those of you who have not yet embarked on this journey of family separation to please get you to stop before you aid in breaking apart another family.

    But it is not working I see that. So I’ll stop now. Good luck to all of you then. I have failed to make any of you see the loss of rights these people will experience once you give birth to them. I’m not bitter at all. I love family and I don’t think your bad people at all either I just think you had not thought through the implications of cutting a child off from their own relatives.

    Your gambling with another human being’s chips. If cutting ties to genetic family is no big deal to you why don’t you start by cutting ties to your own genetic families rather than striking out against the genetic families of the children your going to bear? You act like giving birth to a child makes you own them and own the right to orchestrate their reality. You act like giving birth means you own their genetic family connections and can simply say they don’t matter because of the lack of being raised within that family. Don’t you see that you are the reason they won’t be raised within their own families that your own actions make it impossible for those bonds to develop? You think that is your place because you paid someone to put the fetus in your womb?

    I failed with you all. Fine. Just don’t forget that it was donor offspring that wrote me and asked me to come and post here. Because they don’t tell their social parents how they feel they are too afraid. Their social mother’s took away their family for Pete sake for no reason at all, what else are their social mothers capable of taking away from them for speaking out against the practice? They don’t want to find out so they tell their mothers exactly what they want to hear.

  • Comment from marilynn

    One more thing – sorry if your husband and you had not sought out the egg donor the embryos could easily have existed dear. Its only with his permission that you are carrying them another woman even the egg donor herself could carry them. If you were to divorce in fact he could move to prevent you from carrying the rest of them to term in fact even while married he could stop you from having any more of them implanted. He could have gone out on his very own and chosen the very same egg donor because her looks are what is attractive to him obviously he married you right? So he could easily have elected to choose the same egg donor without you even existing. So long as the child was gestated in the body of a healthy female the child will be the exact same person. Your responsible for shaping the child’s environment but the child belongs to the family of your husband and the donor. To deny that is to be terribly disrespectful to the child and the child’s maternal family.

  • Comment from marilynn

    wow so frustrating they do not share your blood. Read up. They don’t share your biology.

    • Comment from Drew

      Reading up is a good thing. Did you read up on epigenetics, as I suggested in my comment? Because it completely invalidates your assertion that the woman carrying the baby has nothing to do with it.

  • Comment from Deeonn

    Marilynn, while I completely disagree with your opinion on this subject, I am not going to try to argue the point with you. You’ll never understand the perspective of a woman who conceived through DE and we’ll never understand your perspective. I can’t help but think, however, that your whole view is coming from someplace else. You have too much anger. So, I am curious. Are you divorced and if so did your ex remarry or does he have a girlfriend?

  • Comment from marilynn

    I am not divorced. I’ve been married for 13 years, together for 20. He does not have a girlfriend. We have 2 children together Sam 9 and Ruby 8. Sam died shortly after he was born. My husband and I struggled through 13 miscarriages prior to Sams birth.

    My anger grew out of reuniting separated families and seeing how falsified birth records were at the heart of virtually every single separated family. I saw what happens to people when a person was not the offspring of people named on their birth records or when their parent was simply left off their birth certificates. They were forced to live as the legal children of people they were not related to and they had no rights to be considered legal kin to their own relatives – even when in reunion. They lost so many rights and were so mistreated by the law. They had to walk on eggshells when dealing with their adoptive social or de-facto parents out of guilt because they raised them and they did not want to hurt their feelings. I reunite families for free at my own expense I would never try to profit at the anguish of the families I help. I have met lots of wonderful people. I’ve helped people who donated gametes and gave up their children, look for and find them. They don’t expect to have that bond with their kids that comes from raising them but of course they care about them just as much as any they later had and raised themselves. How could they not? How could you say I love this offspring as my child but not this other offspring? How could you be concerned about who you chose for a babysitter for the kid your raising but not be concerned about the family that is raising your other kid for 18 years.

    I’m sure that gamete donors do it to help out families that really want to raise kids but would they let a stranger borrow their car for a day because they really wanted to know what it was like to drive? Probably not yet they signed away their right to know and raise their offspring. They signed it away under the table and out of court as well with no background checks or TPR for the adopting family either. Pretty dangerous and risky business and many of them realize that later on when they start raising their other children themselves. They are like wow now I’m worried who has my kid. The best thing they can do is join the DSR and FTDNA at that point. The greatest fear is that their child won’t be told and won’t know to go and look for them. Its much harder for a donor to locate their offspring than it is for offspring to locate the donor. I’m starting to get pretty good at navigating the whole DNA thing working the way through the cousins to reach the parent ultimately. Its really hard. It should not be an effort at all they should just be there already. Its kind of insulting to make a person go through all those hoops to locate their own families. I’m surprised none of you can agree with that. I’m not challenging your roll in their life or the bond you’ll have I’m just saying the means by which you achieved the opportunity to raise the child involved paying the genetic mother to be absent and that is not entirely ethical. Sure ultimately its her choice to be absent. But if she is not around to answer questions about why she did it surely you will face questions about why you did it and honestly you need to be prepared with a better answer than “I just wanted a baby so badly” I mean are you going to teach them that people just take whatever they want no matter who else might end up having to foot the bill? Ultimately you loose nothing but money in your bid to experience child birth and child rearing yet the child your rearing will have lost half of everyone on earth that they are related to.

    I’m angry because its a terrible injustice. Not because of some other thing in my life. And the donor offspring I help are not angry because they were lied to for some period of time first or because they did or did not have a man around to play the roll of father or a woman to play the roll of mother they are angry that they were sold out of their genetic families or in the case where no money was involved simply traded out of their own families when it was not necessary to do that in order for them to have a step mother they could have been legal members of their genetic family and also had a step family the way everyone else does when one genetic parent is married to someone other than their other genetic family.

    So there is no need to analyze the source of my anger, I’ll tell you its the hundreds of fake birth certificates my friends have been made to live a lie to satisfy the egos of the people raising them that their romantic relationships are so much more important than their genetic ones. Like a genetic parent’s relationship with their spouse is so much more valuable than their child’s relationship with his or her genetic parent that the genetic parent just gets erased and replaced in favor of a spouse or partner that may not even be around permanently. With a 50% divorce rate a lot of the people I’ve helped wound up legally tied to their step parent permanently instead of to their own genetic parent who was pushed out of the picture. Or paid to be out of the picture. I’m angry because people should not need the help of someone like me to help them find people who should have been there all along. It should not be an easter egg hunt to find your grandmother or your aunt. They should just be there.

    It should not be that a person might end up dating a cousin or a sibling an aunt or an uncle or a niece or nephew because their genetic parent abandoned them and as a result they never got to know any of those people, that’s just wrong. To pay for it to happen like that is just twisted mean and selfish. I was only trying to get you all to see that if you need to take a person’s family away from them in order to build your own you might not be going down a road that is ethical. Conception has nothing to do with any of it. People deserve equal treatment at birth with regard to legal protection in obtaining physical and financial support from both genetic parents. The law currently only protects people when their genetic parents are people. When one or both genetic parents are called donors, they have no such legal protection and they can simply wind up being raised by who ever was willing to pay for the experience of parenthood. They don’t even get the benefit of the legal protection that comes with a court approved adoption, they are simply raised by whoever was willing to pay. Gamete donation results in black market adoption where the genetic parents are never named on birth records and non genetic parents wind up listed there as if they are genetic parents as if there is no genetic family out there for them to avoid dating or want to get to know. Its quite dehumanizing.

    Imagine being the sibling of a sperm donor. Your kids are his nieces and nephews and they now have 150 unknown first cousins living in the same town to avoid dating. What an incredibly selfish and thoughtless thing for him to do to his own relatives to place his whole family in a position where they cannot avoid incestuous contact so that he could help families have kids. The ramifications of egg donation are no less problematic when women are having 20 and 40 eggs harvested and fertilized.

  • Comment from marilynn

    Your going to take good care of the children you deliver and your going to raise them and even the law says that is going to qualify you legally to the title of mother. It is not your ability to raise children well that I’m arguing. You guys keep coming back at me with all this stuff about how love and care giving makes a mother or how gestation and child birth makes a mother. Your arguing against a position I have not taken. I’m not questioning that you’ll do a fine job of raising these kids. Remember you’ll be named as mother before you’ve ever done an ounce of child care. You were not mother’s legally while you were pregnant so being pregnant does not count toward the effort a mother puts forth in raising her child. Mother’s and adoptive mothers get the title first and do the work later. I question how you get yourselves into a position where you are being named as mother prior to doing any work of raising the child. Your all hanging your hats on childbirth, yet your all quick to point out that it takes more than giving birth to make a mother.

    Parents don’t need anyone’s permission to do the job of raising their offspring. Its an obligation that their either meet or fail to meet but they don’t have to get anyone’s permission in order to be present in their offspring’s life. People who are not parents do need permission from the parents before stepping in and raising the parent’s offspring or they need someone’s permission otherwise its kidnapping. If your going to be raising your husband’s offspring that he and another woman conceived then you need both of their consent before having the other woman’s embryo implanted in your uterus and you need your husband’s consent as well. If you break up you won’t be able to take the embryos and use them on your own or while married to someone else because they are not actually related to you. Your husband would have to give his consent. The egg donor if known might not be willing to allow it depending on the kind of contract she signed giving you limited authority to gestate under whatever conditions. If they were all yours then they became all yours by contract so still you needed the consent and permission of the people who will become parents when the child is born.

  • Comment from marilynn

    Assisted reproduction assists the donor in reproducing with a healthy member of the opposite sex, possibly another donor. The people the doctor assists in reproducing don’t actually need any help in reproducing they could likely do just fine getting the female pregnant without spending an arm and a leg. They go to the expense of assisting donors in reproducing without body to body contact because it does not feel like sex even though its still sexual reproduction. They help donors reproduce in order that they may raise their offspring as their own. The doctor is not helping assist infertile women in reproducing. Its not like the donor egg helps the infertile woman reproduce. It just provides them with a foundling to raise. They want to adopt but don’t want a birth parent around to interfere or be pined away for by the child. It will seem less like abandonment if the mother was never pregnant. That infuriates donor offspring the most how that thought process invalidates any grief they feel at having been given up by their genetic parents because they were not physically pregnant or present at birth. How could they be they signed release forms promising not to be. There are actual contracts these donors sign that prove they give up their offspring not just eggs not just sperm but everyone wants to brush those release forms under the rug like all they did was give up a gamete. How many pages are your contracts with egg donors? It talks about how her offspring won’t be her child and she waives her rights…because she had them….so the child will know she knew there was a genetically related baby that was the goal and she gave that baby up and possibly for money. It won’t help if you say to that child that you wanted them so badly it won’t make the fact their mother who created them does not want to know them any easier. Imagine the person who deliberately created you did not want to take care of you and gave you away for money. I’m not saying every child will find that traumatizing. Don’t be surprised if they find the com modification off putting. How should they feel about someone that is caring for them that would buy the absence of their genetic parent. Its very confusing for those I’ve talked to.

    If any of this sinks in to even just one of you my friend who asked me to come comment will be happy. Seriously if any of you want to talk to offspring who are grown and on their own, i could hook you up with a few. I don’t know what its like personally i just observe and get called on every now and then to see if I can scare someone out of it before they do it.

    • Comment from Andrea

      Marilyn – To borrow your mentality, “you win” on the sharing of blood debate. The reality is that we’re never going to agree on this issue. It’s completely unfair for you to judge any portion of this since you’ve never been directly involved in this situation.

  • Comment from sparky

    Marilyn, obviously someone touched a nerve and obviously you’re on the defense. Alas, your only goal is to be a “right fighter” vs. being open to hearing how DE has changed a number of lives. You can only learn and grow unless you’re willing to learn and grow.

    When a child is born via egg donation, those embryos would not exist w/out the donor parents. Those perfect embryos are formed from my husband’s sperm and my donor’s egg, no one else can create this & as another poster pointed out would not exist w/out us creating them. This child if I’m blessed will come to life in my womb with my husband’s biology if that is so important to you, they will have a family history from one side and if they didn’t, like some couples using both donor eggs and donor sperm, you explain to them when they’re young how mommy and daddy had a hard time so God had a different plan to bring them in this world. Unfortunately, adoption is 40,000, 3 year wait list and you’re not always guaranteed a child with DE it’s less expensive you get to start your very own family, experience pregnancy by sharing the same blood and oxygen, the bonding experience in the womb, with at least your husband’s health history and if not, then who cares!

    Also, not all donors are paid; some are friends or family members that understand the struggles of infertility that give of them selflessly. It is a selfless thing to do. Others yes they help infertile couples but they also pay off school loans, etc. Also, they screen each donor not all donors are accepted. Even if they’re paid the commitment they give is very selfless. You’re paid to go to work every day right? Does that make you bad, someone is paying you? You see the ignorance of your statement?
    As I mentioned, love is not BIOLOGY it’s not DNA. How is it that my two adopted nieces would be better off knowing their crack addict mom and grandmother currently in prison? My sister in law is a certified CPA, takes them to Six Flags most weekends, takes them to science and art museums, goes to their soccer games, feeds them, loves them and gives them a really nice functional life. How those children would be better off crying, possibly getting addicted to crack themselves and god knows what else maybe they’d be molested from that type of environment? Again, until you can OPEN your mind and HEART you will always be too stubborn and too much of a RIGHT FIGHTER to be a lot less judgmental to get off your righteous high horse.

    I feel sorry for you. This video sums it up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTgHRV8g1Fg

  • Comment from sparky

    part 2 of the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nwe3WF4DMw this little girl is more well adjusted then a lot of kids I know from biological parents!

    • Comment from Alana

      I have a big problem with anyone using donor-conceived people under age 18 to broadcast how “special and wanted” they are. These videos can not possibly do justice to the complicated mental/emotional landscape of donor-conceived people. a) because most of our issues and criticisms don’t develop until our 20′s or later, b) because how can we possibly be publicly critical when we’re still so incredibly dependent on our parents for care?

  • Comment from sparky

    In the second video, this egg donor child says she knows her parents struggled with a couple of miscarriages but she feels even MORE LOVED and MORE SPECIAL than those that got pregnant naturally as in she knows they REALLY wanted her. This is a prime example of the love and commitment both donors and recipients go through. These children are never taken for granted not even a day when the parents go through so much infertility struggles.
    God help you if one day you daughter decides she is infertile and needs an egg donor, god forbid she bring in a grandchild to your world and you don’t open and embrace that child with open arms. Shame on you for being so judgmental. Tha’ts it, I’m done you’re not worth my time and if you can’t learn from this, you’ll never learn.

    Enjoy life being a “right fighter”….

    • Comment from Alana

      But we (the donor-conceived) are NOT the child the parents really want. We are the second choice. Nobody wants other people’s genes as a first choice.
      And being raised by a non-biological guardian is the #1 predictor of child abuse.
      I suspect buying a kid and creating it in a lab on spec does little in terms of helping you understand how precious life is, no matter how big the check.

      • Comment from Drew

        Alana, my son is a miracle of science, and I cannot imagine having any other child. He is our son. Nothing can change that.

        However, I take issue with two things:

        1) I don’t think your statistic about being raised by a non-biological guardian leading to abuse is relevant to IVF donor-egg babies

        2) No child is bought via ovum donation, and when embryos are created by fertilizing a donated ovum, they’re not being created “on spec”. No one gave us the option for blue eyes, or the ability to breathe under water.

        What egg donation gives IVF parents is a chance to have a baby of their own. That’s it. Potential, and nothing else.

      • Comment from Gala39

        That made my heart hurt for you when I read that. I can’t speak for your parents, or any other non genetic parents for that matter, but I hope it helps you to know that it’s not necessarily true that you were “second choice.” It’s absolutely true that this is NOT the path I would have taken if I could have had another genetic child and I am SO glad that I have a higher power that knows what I need in spite of what I think I need. I love my donor baby so much, and I wouldn’t trade her for genetic twins. My HP is teaching me that love is so much more than genes.

        I DO have an open relationship with our donor and I’ve been reading books to my daughter about her origin since she was 4 weeks old. She will grow up knowing from where she came–and I will support her right to have any relationship she wants with them. Most of all, she will grow up knowing that she is well and supremely loved and I will NEVER regret having her, nor the path I had to take to get her.

  • Comment from Deeonn

    Marylynn, my goal was not to question your marriage or your family. I was just trying to understand how you can be so black and white and where the anger was coming from. As I am sure you would expect, most women who conceive through DE have suffered infertility and loss. Perhaps, you think we take the decision of using DE lightly. We don’t. If you are concerned about the children of DE, perhaps you should be advocating that all donations be open. If you are concerned about women being financially coerced into donating, perhaps you should be advocating caps on compensation. To say, however, that an egg is a child is something that very few will agree with. To say that a woman who conceives with DE is not the mother is just incorrect, legally, morally and factually.

  • Comment from marilynn

    Drew

    Donor offspring are human like all other people the result of human reproduction.

    Tell me who are the humans that reproduced to create the donor offspring?

    Who in that triad has reproduced and who has not?

    Influencing already existing genes is different than reproducing to create offspring. Influencing someone else’s reproduced genes is like developing another person’s film, its not pictures of your family on the roll.

    • Comment from Drew

      Tell me who are the humans that reproduced to create the donor offspring?

      The person providing the sperm. The person providing the egg. The person providing the womb. The RE. The Fertilization specialist. The OBGYN. A multitude of nurses.

      Influencing already existing genes is different than reproducing to create offspring. Influencing someone else’s reproduced genes is like developing another person’s film, its not pictures of your family on the roll.

      That’s a fundamentally flawed understanding of epigenetics. A better analogy is this: The donor’s egg is like a supermarket. Epigenetics is the process by which the person getting the groceries (ie, the mother carrying the child) picks which groceries she wants.

      All humans share over 99% of the same DNA. What makes our hair a specific color, or our eyes a specific shape is determined not by DNA alone, but by epigenetics, which decides which genes are turned on or off (the technical term for this is “expressed”).

      • Comment from Alana

        The epigenetics argument is such BS.
        When your child grows up and gets breast cancer, its not the “epigenetic” mother whose medical history she’ll care about. When your child grows up and looks in the mirror and wonders where she gets her nose, eyes, chin, etc.. it’s not her “epigenetic” mother whom she’ll be wondering about and wishing she could compare herself to.

        As a donor-conceived person myself, it is really insulting at how adults keep changing around what aspect of life and family and relation matters. If you were to use a surrogate with your egg donor, there’s no way in hell you would be emphasizing the importance of epigenetics. Those women who use their own eggs and a surrogate do nothing BUT emphasize the importance of real genetics over gestation and birthing.

        It leaves us offspring incredibly confused about who is a member of our family and who is not.

        get over yourselves.

        • Comment from Drew

          I’m sorry, but that’s simply not true. The person carrying the egg-donor fetus absolutely has a genetic impact on the child. That’s the case whether that person is the person who will be the mother, or a surrogate.

          It’s not that the genetic material isn’t important, it’s that it’s only part of the argument, and when you make it all of the argument, you’re leaving out a critical part of child-bearing.

          • Comment from marilynn

            Drew
            Tell me which genes will you be turning on and off while your gestating?

            Got a road map there? A plan? Your in the supermarket with your ball of useless genes flip some switches how is your healthy body going to impact which genes are ‘turned on’

            99% of our dna is shared. No. A mother child match on a DNA test reads like this
            “Relationship Range: Parent/Child
            Suggested Relationship: Parent/Child
            Shared cM: 3379.98
            Longest Block: 267.21″

            over and over again parent/child after parent/child.

            You and your body are not going to change that reading nor will you change the readings of the other familial relationships the child has with other people that make it dangerous to date say for instance.

            Which one of those genetic digits were you planning to alter Drew?

            Were you going to add some of your numbers to the mix?

            There would be no shared sequence with you unless the child was related to you in some other way like if you were the aunt of the child giving birth to your sister’s baby you’d register at 50% of the numbers above.

            What genes do you plan on influencing a change in? List them?

            • Comment from Drew

              It doesn’t work that way, and I suspect you know it; it’s not a conscious process. That doesn’t make it invalid. In fact, it’s very relevant to another comment you just made:

              “I may be wanted by one genetic parent, but the other one sold me away to strangers.”

              That’s simply not true. You weren’t you until you were born, and that’s AFTER the woman who carried you took the fetus that became you through the epigenetics process of determining which genes were expressed. Heck, if the egg that became 50% of the genetic material in your body had been transferred two weeks later into the same woman, you would have been a completely different person.

  • Comment from marilynn

    Deeonn
    Yours is the only semi reasonable comment. Why don’t I think that openness is enough? Because the person is still being transferred as if they are the property of the genetic parent rather than the obligation. People should not act as if there obligation to take care of their offspring and their offspring are theirs to bargain and transfer to others without a lot of third party oversight. That is why there is court approved adoption. Lots of people are willing to pay in order to raise someone else’s offspring, we try to protect children and parents and adoptive parents by following certain protocols but donor offspring are denied those protocols even though they are no different than an adoptee in terms of their genetic parent not being there to take care of them. In realtiy life starts at birth and the genetic parent is either there or they are not. We should not be going back in time to a point where the child did not exist for the genetic parent – once they are a genetic parent they have offspring and all their offspring deserve equal treatment under the law. Do you feel that some children don’t deserve equal treatment because their genetic parent cut a deal prior to their birth to be absent when they are born? What other circumstances is that acceptable? Not adoption, prebirth agreements are not enforceable. Is an egg donor any less of a genetic parent than someone who just walked out of the hospital without having her name recorded? How will the child process the fact that their genetic parent did not owe them the same duty of care that other genetic parents owe. I’m black and white about it because its not as shaded as people want to make it. You have to forget what the parents want and what the intended parents want and just look at what the child should have a right to expect.

    • Comment from Drew

      Because the person is still being transferred as if they are the property of the genetic parent rather than the obligation.

      You continue to persist in this mistaken notion that an ovum is a person. Is this a religious position? If not, what science do you base the opinion that a cell with 50% of the necessary chromosomes to make a person can possibly be a person?

      • Comment from marilynn

        No I do not continue to insist that ovum are children. They are not children. Donors give ovum up yes and I know full well that the ovum they give up are not children.

        They give up their eggs and then later when they are born they give up their children. They sign an agreement to waive their parental rights in advance of their offspring’s birth. Everyone wants to forget that giving up the eggs is one of many tasks required of egg donors. If all they were giving up was their eggs, as some do clearly for research unrelated to reproduction, they would not sign release forms related to the relinquishment of rights and obligations to their offspring? If they were just giving up eggs and not offspring nobody would care what they look like or where they went to school. They would not even care if they were fertile because – hey they are just giving up an egg and the egg does not need to do anything like reproduce their body and create their offspring.

        The eggs that are given up don’t reproduce to make more eggs they reproduce to make more of them, the donor, the body the egg came from. The egg is how the woman reproduces her body to wind up with offspring so the egg donor is reproducing herself and she signs a form agreeing not to raise the resulting offspring. She also agrees to allow her embryos to be gestated by another woman. She give up her right to all sorts of things that she’d otherwise have rights and say so over and in so doing gives her permission to others to do gestate and raise her offspring for her. She does not do that in court where she should like other people do when they don’t want to raise their offspring. That part of it makes it akin to abandonment rather than adoption. What matters is not what occurrs prior to birth when there is no offspring to be abandoned. What does she do once she has offpsring? Of course she does not abandon her child back when there was no child. She was not a genetic mother back then. What does she do once she is a genetic mother? Does she take care of her child or transfer it to someone in a court approved adoption or does she simply walk away not knowing anything about the people who will be raising her offspring? That pretty much meets the criteria of abandonment and nobody here has given any other defense than how much you want a baby or how great of a job you’ll do caring for one. Did you come into custody of the baby that is not your offspring in a manner that respects the rights of the child and their maternal relatives? Or did you come into custody of a child in a way that obscures the existence of their maternal relatives and what gives you that right? Because you could pay? Because your the parents? Well are their ways in which someone might wind up being legally a parent that could take advantage of the child’s rights? What if a baby were taken at birth by its grandparents who thought their daughter was too young and they gave the baby to neighbors who registered a home birth as if the baby were theirs? What if the baby was straight kidnapped and taken to another country sold and raised by loving people (check itally out cheick out south america). Are they the parents is what happened to the child right even if the people really wanted a baby? Is black market adoption ever ok where the name of the genetic parents is simply not recorded to protect the adult’s privacy? What about the truth?

        • Comment from Drew

          The eggs that are given up don’t reproduce to make more eggs they reproduce to make more of them, the donor, the body the egg came from.

          NO. Ovum are not clones. Babies that result from IVF are not clones. You continue to demonstrate an utter lack of understanding of how human reproduction occurs.

          Suggesting that a donor isn’t a mother when the ovum is donated but then suddenly becomes one when the baby born is like saying that a farmer who grows and sells wheat suddenly becomes a baker when that wheat is purchased, made into flour and then baked into a cake.

          Comparing IVF to kidnapping is as logically incorrect and abhorrent to comparing homosexuality to pedophilia.

          • Comment from marilynn

            I dd not say ovum are clones. I did not say that IVF results in clones. Your toying with me. People are the result of their parent’s reproductive act – their parent’s bodies are reproduced and the result is a 3rd person that is 50%mom and 50% dad.

            Forget the egg for crying out loud. Only one woman and one man are reproducing to create their offspring. That is all I am saying that when their offspring is born they are genetic parents regardless of how they got the sperm to the egg. It is not relevant to the end result which is a child with two genetic parents who reproduced. The egg does not reproduce to make more eggs the woman and man respectively are reproducing their bodies in the body of their offspring. Not a clone. Honestly I wish the doctor would chime in here.

            fertilizing a womans egg is the way to reproduce her whole self -the kid will be 50% related to her and 50% related to dad. Wow.

            You also went off the rails trying to say the doctor reproduced. You must have meant something besides reproduction – what was it

          • Comment from marilynn

            I understand why you think the practice is OK now. You believe the child is going to actually be your genetic offspring and not the donors. Do you think carrying a donor egg embryo will result in you reproducing? If so I can see why you think its no big deal and that your not taking the child’s relatives away. You think your genes are going to sit inside the shell of the donor egg and then you reproduce and the donor really would be donating nothing more than an egg that does not result in her having offspring. But that is not the case though. She reproduces and you won’t its a sham, if you have sincerely been mislead I’m really sorry. I am really surprised a doctor would let that happen. I am sorry. I did not mean to hurt your feelings. Talk to your doctor. or I’ll get a link. The ASRM is real clear that the egg donor is the bio mother. the baby shares her biology.

            • Comment from Drew

              nobody on this board believes that a mother who carries a child that was created in part from a donated ovum has a genetic link. The mistake you continue to insist on making is that you believe that genetics is the only think that makes a mother, when it’s actually the least important part of what makes a mother. You continue to overlook the importance of epigenetics, where the woman who is bearing the child has direct influence on WHICH genes present in a fetus are actually used. And you continue to use inflammatory language in an attempt to distract us from your obvious lack of knowledge of the biological, legal and ethical process that goes into an IVF donor ovum baby. Once again, I ask: Is your position on this a religious one? Because that will, at least, explain why you persist in dissemination such obvious disinformation.

              • Comment from marilynn

                “The mistake you continue to insist on making is that you believe that genetics is the only think that makes a mother, when it’s actually the least important part of what makes a mother. ” Really? Because without the reproduction you would have nothing to gestate right? No kid to raise? Seems like the most critical step in motherhood is to get the child then you can raise it or screw it up or abandon it or whatever.
                No its not religious. I’m a Godless heathen very much pro choice and a liberal Democrat dripping with gay friends and family. Religion is not my gig but I can get you some really seriously christian donor offspring if you want. Check out Stephanie Blessing’s blog My Father’s Daughter.
                In fact have you visited blogs like anonymous us or child of a stranger or confessions of a cryo kid or a host of others? Where are the blogs from the happy donor offspring? They are so happy its not even on their minds right? Better things to think about I suppose. In fact I’m burning out myself here. How about you?

              • Comment from Drew

                In response to your above reply:

                As has been stated to you multiple times, most humans share 99% of the same DNA. It is the mother who carries the baby to term who determines which genes are expressed. It is the mother who carries the baby to term who determines the health of the baby. All the donor does is donate a cell that holds the potential to be a baby — not an actual baby.

                As far as donor babies not feeling particularly unhappy about being donor babies, most people don’t go to the trouble of a blog to write about something that doesn’t matter to them.

                As long as you keep serving up falsehoods and judgement, I’ll keep knocking them down.

  • Comment from marilynn

    She’s not a little girl. I know all about her. Hey well there it is I must be wrong. I’m sorry I mentioned it. Its really all in how you raise them, how’ll they’ll feel about it. The ones that are upset did not have the loving and caring homelife that your all planning to provide. Genetics is only a big deal if you make it a big deal.

  • There comes a time when a person has to decide how much energy they are going to invest into an agrument with individuals who regardless of the dialogue and conversation are not going to for two seconds even attempt to embrace the viewpoint of another.

    This time has come with this thread.

    What I will leave you with is this:

    We the mothers via egg donation know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are not genetically related to our children. We also know we do not share their DNA. That is a fact and it’s black and white.

    Everyone of us has had their own individual journey. The struggles we have all gone through to have our children are immense, frustrating, and often overwhelming.

    Through the generosity of incredibly selfless and loving women we now have the ability to have a child via egg donation. We are humbled and incredibly grateful that there are individuals in this world in which we live in that want to help another family have a family.

    I think the most important piece to this is that contrary to your beliefs are our children are good. They are loved, honored, and respected. We uphold their spirit and work so very hard to give them the support, education, and love to grow up to be the most amazing people ever. We also respect their genetics, and by respecting their genetics we validate and honor the fact that half of their genetics we don’t share.

    Above all — our children are not our property. They are a gift. That is the mentality we as parents via egg donation have. We do not feel entitled, we feel grateful. I think that’s the part you Marilynn don’t seem to embrace and no amount of discussion is ever going to change your mind about this one point.

    To hear you state you feel our children have been abandonded and that we are denying them their real mother is just plain hurtful because I think if you stop and really be still with who you are deep down you know what you say isn’t true.

    My vow here to you and all of the parents I support via egg donation is to continue to help families create and build their families via egg donation with their journey as well as educating people like yourself that this is truly a beautiful thing and not something hideous as you ascribe.

    I am taking myself out of this conversation now because really it’s no longer productive.

    Thank you Dr. Sweet for allowing all of us to converse and share our feelings about a subject that is incredibly sensitive and intimate in nature.

    Sincerely,

    Marna Gatlin
    Founder
    Parents via Egg Donation
    http://www.pved.org
    “Changing the world one baby at at time”

    • Comment from Alana

      It’s not women helping other women have a family.

      It’s women paying other women to abandon their genetic child (usually to strangers).
      How is this in any way a positive thing?
      Since when is it a good thing to abandon your genetic child to strangers for money?

      -donor-conceived woman

  • Comment from marilynn

    Sparky

    Every single donor offspring I’ve ever met will tell you how loved and special and wanted they feel because the people who raised them went through so much trouble to have them. I never implied that they would not all say that, all of your kid’s included they will say that and they will feel it as well.

    Its just the other stuff that they all feel that they won’t discuss with you which is what they some of them emailed me and asked that I try to come on this blog and do because intended parents freak them out. I already told you the other stuff they think which is that its great to be special to one genetic parent and their spouse but why were they not special to the other genetic parent? It stings real bad that one genetic parent would care sooooooo much and that a total stranger would care sooooooo much yet their other genetic parent would just sign the right to know them away and without even checking to see what kind of people they were first. Also they think well that’s great that having a genetic child was so important to one genetic parent that they chose not to adopt so the genetic ties are a real big deal to them why would they think they’d be irrelevant to me?

    Just be fairwarned that telling them how much you wanted them and how special they are only carries so much weight with them they’ll feel great about being wanted by you but from what I can tell not so hot about not being wanted by the other genetic parent

    • Comment from Alana

      Every single donor offspring you meet is probably a child still… They will tell you exactly what their parents told them because just as our parents teach us which language to speak and what kind of foods to eat they also endow upon us a script regarding our conception story.

      But beware because when all of these egg donor children get older (20+) they will start to think for themselves and the “special and wanted” BS will fade.

      I went through this myself, I thought being DC was totally fine.
      It’s extremely annoying that you take examples from young children, some of whom can’t even DRIVE let alone examine and articulate the ontological/philosophical complexities of the commercial means by which they arrived on this planet.

      • Comment from Bella

        Initially, I started not to respond to your comments because I didn’t want to hurt or upset you. Yes, you are a donor-conceived person. It’s sad that you feel the way you do. Other donor conceived people feel very different. People who are raised by the genetic parents can also feel rejection, hurt, and anger. Imagine being in a family, raised by a mother who despised you because you had the darkest skin. Do you think your suffering is any worse than someone like that? Imagine seeing disgust coming from the face of the person of whom you share 23 out of the 46 chromosomes! Do you think this person is better off because he or she knows and is raised by his genetic parents? What about the genetic parents who physically, emotionally, and sexually abuse their genetic children? Would their lives have been worse if they were raised by someone who doesn’t share their genetics? Human relationships are so complex. Marilynn keeps ranting about how donor conceived children are cut off from their genetic family. Well, what if that genetic family was composed of people who simply weren’t good people. From my personal experience, it would not have harmed me one bit if I didn’t know some of the people who are genetically related to me! Those people made my life a living hell for years until I finally cut them off. My advice to you is to get therapy. There are so many things life throws at us. Make the best out of your life. And while it may be easier for me to say this, because I am not donor- conceived– I think it is best advice in this situation.

    • Comment from Alana

      Yes Marilynn I agree with you is what I’m saying

  • Comment from marilynn

    Mamma let me ask you this
    you said egg donation is a gift. that children are not property. I’m assuming you don’t think that children should be given as gifts, right? I’m assuming you think of the egg as the object it is and then it is the gift because that is totally harmless and reasonable thing object to be giving as a gift. I’m further assuming that once the egg is yours you do with it what you will and then the resulting children are yours just as if it were your egg because it is your egg she gave it to you.

    Am i right so far?

    So would you be grateful for the gift of an egg from an infertile woman?
    Would you be grateful for the gift of an egg if she’d said you could have it but were not allowed to fertilize it?
    Would you have been grateful for the gift of an egg if she’d said your husband could fertilize it but she wanted to gestate and deliver because she wanted to make sure her offspring were delivered healthy?
    Would you have been grateful for the gift of the egg had she been a different race or totally different personality type than you wanted to have in a child you want to raise?
    Would you have been grateful for the gift of an egg if you were not going to be allowed to raise the resulting offspring without interference from her and without unqualified title to the title of mother?

    Probably you did not want to have an egg you wanted to have a baby and in particular her baby with her physical and mental attributes. What good would an egg have done you right? The gift was not the egg the gift was permission to keep and raise her baby without her around. That is one hell of a gift your right and I bet your real grateful. But don’t make it sound like what she gave you was an egg because you would not be grateful to her had it not produced a child for you to keep and raise. The egg is worthless to you on its own. Its just the part of her body that needs fertilization in order for her to reproduce which is one of the services she is providing under contract the other is her absence after birth and if you think its not ask yourself if her egg would have been such a gift had she not agreed to go away.

    I have no doubt that most will do a fine job raising egg donor offspring my qualm is that her offspring are not hers to be gifting as if they were property. The real object of the contract is the person the people want to raise not the egg. And the child has to exist before anyone can lay claim to the title of mother or run and hide from that title. So conception is not germain to the issue of abandonment and neither is the egg. Once the woman has reproduced and she has offspring her actions matter. I do not think there is a problem giving eggs as a gift. Its the second part of the contract everyone is so hush hush about that I take issue with because it treats the child as the mother’s property to give as a gift or sell as a gift whatever.,

  • Comment from marilynn

    ok for some reason this site will not post anything with the word A$RM in it so I have to use a dollar sign to pass the info through. please replace the dollar sign in order to have the link work.

    they say and they are the official experts –
    http://www.a$rm.org/topics/detail.aspx?id=418
    “Egg Donation. An egg from a fertile woman that is donated to an infertile woman to be used in an assisted reproductive technology procedure such as IVF. The woman receiving the egg will not be biologically related to the child but will be the birth mother on record. The process of fertilizing eggs from a donor and transferring the resulting embryos to the recipient’s uterus. The recipient will not be biologically related to the child, although she will be the birth mother on record.”

  • Comment from Lauren

    Marilynn,

    First I want to express my sympathy for your many losses. I too have survived multiple miscarriages as well as the death of a son, and there is no other pain in the world like it. How very fortunate and unusual it is that you were able to go on and have your daughter afterward.

    Many of us are not so lucky, and there comes a time when we need to begin examining other options in order to become the parents we long to be. The fact that scientific and medical advances now allow us to have children conceived from donor gametes is to be celebrated. I missed it if you explained exactly what line of work you’re in, but surmise that you are a social worker or have a similar role. If so, then surely you’ve had occasion to speak with children who were never wanted and whose existence is taken for granted or resented by parents who are raising them out of a sense of responsibility alone. This is just not the case with DE/DS offspring, who were and are wanted and appreciated so very much.

    And that really is the key: we choose to have them, are grateful for them, and love them. To imply that the typical child growing up under those circumstances would feel a sense of loss or abandonment is simply unrealistic. Is it truly your contention that donor-conceived people would, given a choice, prefer not to have existed at all?

    Finally, I’d like to issue an invitation to the readers who have reportedly asked Marilynn to speak for them. While many of her points have been completely off base, there are those which might have had greater credibility coming from someone with first-hand experience. As of now, what I’m seeing here is nothing more than hearsay and inflammatory rhetoric.

    • Comment from marilynn

      Lauren
      Good I stand a chance with you. My friend who asked me to post posted as anonymous. She won’t give er name or talk any more. She is in reunion and the things she wants to say might hurt the feelings of family that raised her and family that did not. She posted links. She wants you guys to read and think. She believes that the law will never change so that they will have equal rights, she thinks education is the only way. I think the law has to change because people will not see what they are doing because they want the babies so badly at any cost to the freedom or liberty of those people. She’s not going to talk. Even the very very outspoken donor offspring only can say so much because they have to keep their place and be grateful for being so wanted its a lot to put on their shoulders. They don’t speak their minds completely they stick to ending anonymity because I think they believe its all they have a chance at getting equal rights is just beyond their reach. I’m adamant that its not so often I get emails saying go on this blog and argue they don’t have the energy and they don’t want to jepordize ending anonymity by saying they’d like to see it ended completely. Some of those who have gotten close to saying that are asked by interviewers and people leaving comments if they’d rather not exist at all and are they not grateful for the parents who were there for them and why are they pining away for someone that never intended to be a parent to them. It breaks my fkg heart. How dare someone suggest that its necessary to take away so many of their civil rights in order that they should exist. Like we have to exempt some people from abandoning their offspring with no adoption protocol or they would not get to live. That is not true. There is no reason why they don’t deserve the full support of both their genetic parents at birth the way everyone else has a right to. If that responsibility is too weighty and some people would opt not to have offspring then they opt not to have offspring. People make the decision not to reproduce every day and we don’t sit around crying about the lives that never were. We owe every person born the dignity and respect of equal treatment under the law and the right to be physically and financially supported by both genetic parents equally. And we should hold genetic parents accountable to and for their offspring with no special exemptions for people who cut deals and sign contracts in advance of their offspring’s existence. When your offspring are born, then the parental duty arises and then if you don’t want to or cannot fulfill that obligation we have methods of going about doing that in court that are intended to protect the child and all children who are not going to be raised by their genetic parents deserve that identical level of protection. No person should find themselves being raised by someone who is not a genetic parent without having gone through a court approved process intended to prevent coercion and trafficking and bribery and all kinds of nefarious things.

      You touched on the line that I think is the most common misconception and probably the most insulting thing that can be said to donor offspring is that they won’t have issues of abandonment because they were “born into” whatever family raised them. From your perspective you are the only person’s ever to be recorded as parents and therefore the child is not loosing their parents and their parents did not “give them up”. Let’s be real here nobody is going gamete shopping to wind up with a gamete on a shelf, they are doing it in order to obtain and raise the donors offspring. When you are raising that donor’s offspring you got what you wanted, the donor is not raising his or her offspring, you are. Well fantastic doing that work is making you mother’s and fathers. The kid will see that taking responsibility for ones offspring was important to one genetic parent but not to the other – the other one signed away their parental rights. Indeed they did give up the child to be born of that donation if they had not given up that right you would not be in a position to do the work to earn that title of mother. Well there is a loss there and there is a genetic parent out there who passed on raising their genetic child in order that you could raise one. What I’ve heard is why does my genetic mother think she can just give me to my father’s wife as some kind of gift I’m not her property I’m her responsibility. Its the same for sperm donor offspring. Now you’ve gone down the road its too late to turn back fine. I’m just saying if you want to have a semblence of a close relationship don’t do the thing that most of these people did which is thinking telling them early is going to make it ok or that having a known donor or willing to be known donor is going to make being handed out of their genetic family like a gift seem any nicer. The fact that the spouse of their genetic parent wanted them so badly is really great but it kind of punctuates the loss right? Why am I more valuable to his wife than I am to my genetic mother and maternal family and why are those people being withheld from me and me from them. What harm would come to them from including me I’m no different than my genetic mother’s other children.
      Look this is not about not having compassion and empathy for childlessness, this is about my genuine outrage at the fact that people are solving their childness problem by sequestering people from their genetic families. It really reads to them like “wah ha ha your mine all mine and nobody else can have you, I paid for this experience, I want you and you’ll just have to suck it up and get over it” This is not like being born poor or some other thing they might be mad about but have no real right to have different. They don’t have accurate health records and they’ll never be legally recognized members of their genetic families and won’t be able to differentiate kin from strangers when navigating the dating world and by the way just 1 unknown sibling cousin etc is more than necessary and there is just no excuse for putting another person in a compromised situation like that. No. They don’t wish they were never born they wish they had equal rights and that there was no such thing as a donor exempted from responsibility for their offspring.
      If I can get anything across its that this method of making babies does not eliminate abandonment issues. They have genetic parents. They have genetic relatives. Where are they and why are they not allowed to know them and be legally treated as a member of their own family? Why can they not have both, their own family and plus the family of their parent’s spouse? Why not give them more family and add to their life instead of forcing them to live life artificially with less family and fewer rights?

      I probably can get some other offspring to come over here and post. But not the one who asked me to comment in the first place. Do you want me to ask some folks? If your just going to analyze that something else must be wrong and that it has nothing to do with donor conception they won’t bother you have to not do that because trust me they are angry about the donor conception thing, they are not blaming their problems on that. Its that. for sure.

      • Comment from Lauren

        Marilynn, I want to be clear. It’s not that I was asking you to round up anyone and ask them to jump in. My “invitation” was to the people for whom you say you’re speaking. The fact that they aren’t posting for themselves (which they could do anonymously just as easily as anyone else here) makes me wonder why, and the answer seems to point to the idea that perhaps some of your assertions are less than accurate. For example, I find it a stretch to believe that children would refer to the woman who carried them for nine months, gave birth to them, and raised them ever since as “my father’s wife.” That’s the kind of line that an extremist invents to push his/her agenda. And the quote ““wah ha ha your mine all mine and nobody else can have you, I paid for this experience, I want you and you’ll just have to suck it up and get over it” sounds like it’s from from a work of fiction, not from anyone who became a parent via gamete donation in real life. Engaging in a debate between our imaginations is not productive.

        I do see an opportunity for finding common ground with your question, “Why can they not have both, their own family and plus the family of their parent’s spouse? Why not give them more family and add to their life…?” and agree that the trend toward more open and willing-to-be-known types of donations is likely a positive one and helpful for children who might grow up with questions about their genetic origins. It seems like a big mistake, though, to confuse that with requiring the donors to take responsibility, financial or otherwise.

        • Comment from marilynn

          I just emailed many of them we will see if they show up.

          Original miss anon. just emailed me because she always does when she thinks there is a chance that even one person might stop and think. I don’t know why but she asks me to comment on these boards and really she’s my friend and she deserves the back up.

        • Comment from marilynn

          well why would all genetic parents not be held to the same standard of care?

          • Comment from Lauren

            Because you aren’t referring to a parent, you are referring to a donor. Of course the (recipient) parents are responsible legally, financially, and in every other way for the children they brought into the world.

    • Comment from marilynn

      I was able to keep a baby to term with heperin shots 3 times a day in my stomach.

      I thought about adoption as an alternative to having my own family maybe I could help a family in crisis by raising their kids while respecting that the child had a mother and father already who just were not able to raise them. I would not adopt to become a mother I’d adopt to help raise a child that needed a home. I’m too poor to adopt it never would have happened.

      I am a search angel. I’m not a social worker. I am an advocate and want to change the laws as a result of being a search angel for so long. I do it for free. Yes I have had plenty of interaction with people whose families were separated by addiction and abuse. Oh people whose parents raised them out of a sense of responsibility alone….well not everyone is going to have the worlds most loving parents it does not mean we should erase their parental obligation because they don’t put a lot of hutzpah into it. Should lack of entheusiasm mean the kid is not entitled to be financially supported by his or her parents. But sure plenty of people wish they got more attention from their parents. It does not mean they’d like to have their parents taken away from them and replaced with Donna Reed if that
      is what you mean. I’m sure they’d rather their mom took some donna reed lessons. At least their apathetic parents did not pay off a genetic parent to stay out of the child’s life. Donor offspring have the additional thing to deal with yeah, they were wanted so much that the people bought the absense of their genetic families, that is seriously a harsh thing to realize about the hand that feeds you. They paid for this ability to take away your genetic relatives sure they really wanted you its not all that warm and fuzzy though if you think about what went down.

      Their genetic parent chose to have them as well. And chose not to be there for them how is that? If they did not want to have offspring they would not have donated a gamete for reproduction. They wanted the offspring but wanted nothing to do with them. Process that for a moment. Now get to the gift giving part of it. Honestly they wanted to help a stranger so badly with their desire to have a family that they gave them one of their offspring to raise. Now be that person for a moment and try just really try to feel how wanted you are. Do you feel wanted? Especially if your genetic parent did not even know the people she gifted you to? Was she compensated? Do you feel wanted? Do you feel manufactured for sale? If it was altruistic, still, who just gives people their offspring as a gift and walks away? Donors do. Being donor offspring will make you feel special to the people raising you but not special because normally wanted children don’t have to also be unwanted by someone before hand. Go on and tell them how she never wanted to be a mother to them but you did. That will help to seal the deal. She did not want to be a mother and her family does not want to be your family. She will want to be a mother to her other genetic children but not you, she wanted to give you as her gift to me because I wanted you.

    • Comment from Alana

      Lauren,
      I am donor-conceived. Being wanted isn’t good enough. I may be wanted by one genetic parent, but the other one sold me away to strangers.
      And the bottom line is, it doesn’t matter how badly you want a child, adults do not have a right to other people’s children. Children FIRST have the right to their own parents, their own GENETIC parents. And if a person acts to create a child (via sex or masturbation or egg follicle stimulation and retrieval) they should be obligated to care for the child that is genetically theirs that they actively participated in the creation of.
      Anything less is immoral. Anything less is a tragedy for the child.

      If you’re seeking egg donation services that means you’re probably an adult, right? Your’e probably even over 30 and have a job, a social network, and lots of other cool abilities. You should be big enough now to be able to comprehend that you can’t get everything you want.

      If you’re old enough to buy someone else’s eggs then you’re old enough to understand that life isn’t fair and you can’t deny the unborn their human rights to satisfy your baby cravings.

      • Comment from Lauren

        Alana, thank you for your response. It’s sad that you feel this way, but I think your apparent anger is misdirected. Lashing out at me and at other parents via donor gametes with barely-concealed insults is not a productive way to deal with your feelings. To borrow your phrase, if you’re old enough to post on a blog, then you’re old enough to conduct yourself as an adult. I will welcome a conversation with you when you can do that.

        Take care.

  • Comment from sparky

    Marilyn.

    You’re missing the point. That video with the young lady (she’s fewer than 18, I consider her a little girl, yes). She doesn’t feel a disconnect, trust me, she’s very forthcoming with how she feels. With that video, especially the second video, if she can’t see how loved and special DE children are, you’ll never get it. That little girl summed it up perfectly, she said she knew her parents wanted and loved her but being a DE child she feels even more loved and more special knowing what they went through to get her & her brother here. That child is so well adjusted, articulate, wise beyond her years, smart – wow! That is good parenting, she was raised by fantastic parents!

    I know of so many people that came from bad environments, I look at Bethany Frankel (Skinny Girl Margarita founder), her mother is mentally abusive (my mom was like her, not physically but the words cut even more so) and still battles her mother in the media, her mom keeps trying to tear her down. She made her own success with both career and family, she went from a bad environment to making her own life, she did it on her own not with the help of her biological parents (even her dad was messed up!). To this day, she sees a therapist which she shares with the public on her own reality show, of how hard those BIOLOGICAL parents messed her up and how her new parents (in laws) are her new family and she feels so loved and special. Again, these are not BIOLOGICAL parents that make her feel validated. These are the parents she should have had. I could bet you all the money in the world, if Bethany Frankel could go back in time and MYSELF for that matter and have a parent that adopted me or conceived me via egg donation, that were loving, supportive, all the things being a parent entails or be born from a biological mentally abusive mother, that points easy, I’d rather be adopted or come from DE. You can pick and choose your friends but you can’t pick your family. Family is not DNA.

    This point you’ll never fully comprehend nor understand that having a family is not about biology, sure it’s cool I can say yes, my mom was from England, came to the states when she was 23, I grew up with a funny speaking mother but my fondest memories are with my step dad that was more a parent to me that that family biology/tree I happen to be born into, I didn’t have a choice. My DE child, should I be blessed will know she came from a woman that was 100% Irish, smart (on the Dean’s list) and was going to be a veterinarian, that’s really all I know about my own biological mother I was raised with, DE child will not be any different, my DE child and I will know the same amount as did I. It won’t define them in a negative way, it will define them in a very special loved way. Trust me, I’d love to come into this world as a DE child. Not one day is taken for granted with these children, they are that loved and that special which you’ll never want to try to understand.

    Also, as we’ve mentioned embryos are formed via science. Most embryos don’t become babies. You can have 14 embryos maybe 5 will fertilize with my husband’s sperm and only 1 or 2 will actually form a baby if we’re lucky. You cannot make a baby w/out this process. These are not babies they are giving up, human reproductive is not that easy, it’s very complex hence the reason we’re all here trying to conceive. It’s a miracle to be honest any of us are born, there are so many variables. You might have an embryo but it doesn’t stick, means it was chromosomally abnormal. I repeat with my husband’s sperm and my donors eggs we would be blessed if that turned into a baby and I repeat if it was not for me and my husband in the next month or two when we retrieve those eggs to be fertilized with my husband’s sperm, that child would NEVER exist, that’s just a fact, those eggs in her body would be flushed out with her monthly cycle & that child would never exist.

    Just open your mind and be less judgmental, that’s all we’re asking.

    • Comment from marilynn

      Judgemental? I’m not passing judgement on anyone – that is not for me to do. I would never comment on the issue were it not for the fact that people’s rights are being violated by the act. This has created a second class of citizens these children that you are going to be raising have no right to accurate health histories – you may be willing to tell the kid you raise the truth but the right is not there for all of them and that is wrong. They won’t have any right to be legally recognized as kin to their own genetic relatives when everyone else does have that right. The UPA specifically sets the offspring of donors aside and strikes rights that are granted to all other people. It essentially says “but not donor offspring they don’t have a right to x y and z” And the uniform parentage act was specifically designed to give children rights to be supported by genetic parents who are not married to one another and it does that beautifully and then very pointedly excludes the offspring of donors after making a huge deal of how important it is for children to have ongoing access to their genetic family health histories. the list goes on and on they are treated like half human they have rights to the genetic parent who raises them or whoever purchases them if no genetic parent raises them. They really are not treated fairly. This is not about whether or not their genetic families would be good at raising them its about their right to having a protected relationship and the right to be supported by them. Let them fail then if they are so horrible. And then let the children be protected in having a court approved adoption when their genetic parents fail. This alternative of purchasing made to order offspring and just leaving genetic parent’s names off birth records is the same as black market adoption yet for some reason like a multi billion dollar industry law makers turn a blind eye to the rights of these people.
      I don’t think DNA makes a person a good parent it just makes them obligated to try.

    • Comment from marilynn

      Yes its clear that YOU love the donor offspring but what about the donor and the donor’s family? You don’t see that their absense will be perceived as a loss as in why did someone unrelated to me care more about me than my own genetic family? Why would anyone let a perfect stranger simply take and raise one of their offspring when they’d likely never give the keys to their home to a stranger just because they wanted to know what it’s like to live indoors? Why is the donor offsprings safety and health of no concern to the donor. etc etc. As much as you love the child what are you going to do to take away the reality that the donor does not but should the way other genetic parents care about their offspring. Are we saying that we only love our offspring if we happen to conceive them with someone we like? Is that fair to the offspring? The child can feel lucky to have you and unlucky not to have his or her genetic mother all at the same time. It is always a tragedy when genetic parents cannot or will not take care of their own kids and the kids are not raised in their own families. And its great when people come along and take care of them and give them a good life a better life but it would have been better for the kid had their parent been up for the job right? Its sad that someone else had to get involved. It does not devalue the relationship with the person who did the work it just highlights the fact that their own parent should have but did not.

      • Comment from Drew

        You continue to try to anthropomorphize the ovum as a person. You really should stop doing that. When a woman donates an ovum or a number of ovums, there are no guarantees that any of them will successfully be fertilized or transferred or carried to term. The donor isn’t in a position of not wanting their child; there is no child when the person makes the donation. You are insisting on highlighting a bond that does not exist.

        • Comment from Alana

          Drew, you are being ridiculous. Everyone realizes that the ovum once fertilized will become a person. Just because its not a person YET does not mean you’re not buying and selling people. It’s like it’s illegal to buy and sell nuclear weapons, but enriched uranium is perfectly fine to buy and sell and trade as you please because enriched uranium is not a nuclear weapon. Well OBVIOUSLY an egg is not yet a person, but why the hell else would you want it for?
          Abortion is how we got to this place where human life isn’t human life until it’s born. Your’e not killing it if it’s not out of the womb yet, and here, you’re not selling a human life unless it’s out of the womb and requiring diapers.
          Theresa Erickson got caught up in this. She went to jail for selling babies because she slipped up and made the fraudulent contracts AFTER the 1st trimester, but really there is no moral difference in selling children when they’re 3 months gestated or ZERO months gestated- there’s especially no difference to us children. We’re bought and sold and don’t remember for a second what happened, but we know we were separated from our real family, and we know money was exchanged.

          • Comment from Laura

            Just so you know, an ovum, once fertilized, doesn’t necessarily become a person. I’m pretty sure I learned that in eight grade biology class.

          • Comment from Drew

            Alana, I recommend biology classes. An ovum is not a person, and there’s no guarantee that a harvested ovum will fertilize, and there’s no guarantee that a transferred blastocyst will implant, and there’s no guarantee that a fetus won’t miscarry.

            A baby is not a baby until it is born. Period.

            And you’re misreading the Theresa Erickson case. She got in trouble because she was fraudulent, not because she was enabling people to have children via surrogacy.

            I am sorry that you feel the way you do. I really am. However, I don’t agree with your conclusions.

            Once again: gametes aren’t people. You were never separated from your “real” family, because your real family is the one that you were born into.

    • Comment from Alana

      Low standards all over the place.

  • Comment from sparky

    You have done ZERO research on how donor agencies work, you have done zero research on basic human reproducology and how babies are conceived. Have you researched how egg donor agencies work? It’s clear from these ridiculous statements you have not. You’re now talking in weird cryptic riddles that make no sense. I have my donors full HEALTH history that goes all the way back to the great grandparents; they also go under psychiatric and legal evaluation. They are tested for every disease under the sun before they’re even accepted & again before transfer.
    You’re just making noise now and back to being a “Right Fighter”. As I mentioned before my own BIOLOGICAL mother had mental issues and lied about her past so I have no idea what my true health history is and I turned out fine. My DE will at least have her full health history; again, he or she will have won the lotto if they get to come into this world. They will have much better parenting than I did with my BIO parents.

    Before you get into a debate go do your research, I refuse to try to reason with someone that doesn’t even know how babies are made.

    As Tamra from the real housewives of Orange County said to Alexis on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen….you can’t argue with stupid!

    • Comment from marilynn

      The child will have a birth record that is not accurate in terms of family medical history and will not have the right to obtain the birth marriage and death certificates of his or her mother and mother’s family in order to obtain critical information about their health at the time each record was issued nor will they have the right to his or her records or the records of his or her children – the child will not have an ongoing communication with his or her maternal family regarding health issues the way one normally does when they are in touch with at the very least the parent who can learn about their own health from the health of the child and communicate the child’s health issues to other family members and vice versa. You have a health history filled out at a specific moment in time. Good for you. The UPA ensures children far more than that in terms of ongoing family medical history except donor offspring are excluded. So don’t insult me and call me stupid. I don’t open my mouth unless I’m real sure I’ve done enough research to speak intelligently on the subject and I’m telling the child will not have the accurate medical records that he’d otherwise be entitled to most especially because his genetic mother’s name will be replaced with your name. If she can’t be a mother for raising purposes, why do you get to be one for health purposes on medical records if your genetic conditions won’t be relevant to him but her’s will? Why name you and not her?

  • Comment from I am a donor conceived child

    My mom asked me to come read this long thread and so I did. She wanted me to weigh in on the “debate”.

    Being a donor conceived kid through egg donation is not a big deal for me. What I don’t understand is why it’s a big deal for you.

    At my school when the school counselor advocates for its students we are asked individually how we feel about stuff. The grown ups don’t assume we all feel the same way.

    I can’t believe that every single kid who was born through egg donation is messed up and freaked out. That doesn’t make sense. It’s not logical.

    Personally I know a lot of donor egg kids who are awesome, well adjusting, loved and thriving. Yes, I said thriving. I am thriving! I am so happy to be alive. I have a really good life. What I don’t understand is why are you trying to begrudge all of us kids who are super good?

    I don’t feel neglected, abandonded or rejected by my egg donor at all. I think my egg donor did a really cool thing. She helped my mom have me. I picked my parents so blame me if you want to point your finger at someone. I chose my parents. I wouldn’t be the same person if for some weird reason my egg donor had me first and placed me for adoption. That is so weird and messed up.

    Kids have a lot going on in their lives these days. Why can’t you just let kids live happily in peace?

    I think what bothers me the most is that you are trying to speak for every donor conceived kid through egg donation and that’s not right. You don’t know me. You don’t know my family. You don’t know what my favorite color is. Or who my favorite sports team is. You don’t know my favorite books are, or who my I look up to in the world. Why? Because you don’t know a thing about me, but you can write these words about donor conceived kids feeling abandonded, or neglected, or kidnapped?

    My parents would put you in the dangerous stranger bucket and I think I’d have to agree.

    Please don’t assume you speak for all donor conceived kids because you do not.

    There’s tons and tons of us who are really really happy.

    • Comment from marilynn

      OK if you read carefully I am not at all suggesting that you’ll be traumatized by any of it only that it is not fair that you have fewer rights. You don’t have to want the rights to deserve them. You don’t have the right to just go and get a copy of your genetic mother’s birth marriage and death certificate or her siblings or her other offspring or her parents records all of which you could just walk in and get if your genetic mother were named on your birth record. You’d have the right to know all of their names and ages and everything. You’d know who all your siblings were so long as she was accountable for them at birth and named on their records. If you meet your siblings on the DSR or through FTDNA, when you are an adult if one of them dies, you won’t be entitled to take time off work to attend the funeral because the law won’t aknowledge your sibling as your sibling because your birth certificate does not list the person you have in common as your parent. If when you are old you wanted to take care of a sick sibling as one donor offspring I know does – you don’t qualify for the family leave act because they wont aknoledge your sibling as your sibling or any other genetic relative as your relative. Its like you’ll have to live out the lie that your not really related and it was bad enough that you’d have to live out not having the right to know who they are. You don’t have that right the way other people do to be able to differentiate kin from strangers when your looking to date. It happens to kids that are not donor offspring, when they are abandoned or through secrecy in adoption, at least with abandonment there is legal protection against it and with adoption there is a fight to end the secrecy. It is not fair to set the situation up to compromise you and your siblings and your cousins because maybe you don’t care about being able to choose a date that is not a first degree relative but other donor offspring do care and should’nt they have the same right everyone else does to not be abandoned and if they are have it be a crime? Why don’t you deserve your genetic mother’s support? Why should she be allowed to leave you out while the law would protect the offspring she has when she is not acting as a donor. Maybe the rest of your relatives would have liked to know who you are too so they could avoid dating you or so they could take care of you some day if you need it. Maybe it was not fair to them either. You don’t have to be traumatized by it and I would never suggest that you all feel the same only that your rights are all equally violated the way the law is currently set up and I help people just like you find their relatives. And they sometimes ask me to go argue on a blog to say the things they can’t say because it would hurt the feelings of the people raising them and the people who did not and they don’t want to do that. They need to always be grateful for how wanted they were and be appreciative of the fact that they exist and talk about how genetic family does not matter to them when it clearly mattered so much to everyone else that they had to have a genetically related child but aparently genetics can matter to the parent but not the kid. Look you can call me a dangerous adult if you want they gambled with your genetic family not theirs if genetic ties were so unimportant to them they should have stopped talking to their genetic parents and genetic relatives and left yours alone.

      I’m really really good at finding donor offspring their families. I’m a nice person and I do it for free in my spare time because I don’t think you should have to pay to know who your family is. I’m very glad you don’t feel you need to know who those people are. I bet they’d like to know you though.

      • Comment from Drew

        your presumption is akin to Mormons who baptize dead jews. I know women who have donated ovum who very specifically insisted that there should be language making sure that they could not be held responsibly for any children that resulted from their donations.

        Being a sibling is so much more than genetics. Family is about collective experience and togetherness, not random gene similarities.

        Here’s an idea — if you don’t want an egg-donor baby, don’t have one.

        • Comment from marilynn

          You mean don’t buy one. I won’t. Its slavery the owning of human beings. There I said it that is the one thing the biggest thing that I think they are all affraid to vocalize. It does not matter if they are not mistreated they’ve been bought so I am not content to sit on the sidelines and let it happen without trying to do something about it. When the laws change and it can be done while maintaining their equal rights I’ll stop trying to stop people from doing it but as long as its going on under my nose disguised in footie pajamas strolling through town in a double wide stroller built for a boy and a girl being pushed by a 42 year old woman with a new husband and a 20 year old from her first marriage at college…I’ll keep showing up and hoping at least one person will decide to stop.

          • Comment from Drew

            Now you’ve topped every ridiculous thing you’ve ever said. Donor egg babies aren’t slaves. They aren’t held against their will, they aren’t considered property, they aren’t forced to work menial labor for no compensation.

            Not only are they not slaves, but no rights have been violated.

            Are you against organ donation too? If I donated a kidney to you would that make me responsible for you financially? No.

            Ovum donation isn’t even at that level — it’s much closer to blood or plasma donation — and yet you insist that somehow not only do you know better than every person who has ever donated or received a donated ovum, but you also know better than the doctors and lawyers who created and set up regulations around the process.

            When everyone around you is telling you you’re wrong, maybe — just maybe — you should re-examine your position.

            • Comment from marilynn

              You are the reason formal adoption practices are important Drew. They would weed you right out

          • Comment from Bella

            How dare you equate or even remotely suggest that egg donation is slavery. You are really sick. I tried to keep an open mind and understand what you are trying to convey, but it’s over. You’re trolling. You have NOTHING better to do with your time than spew hateful vitriolic! You keep bringing up this ridiculous crap about husbands finding the donors attractive. I bet that’s your secret fear. Are you afraid of your husband building another family with a younger, prettier woman?

      • Comment from I am a donor conceived child

        I don’t think you are a nice person at all. My mom and dad have taught me to live the very best life by being kind, loving, honest, and respectful.

        You are using words like kidnapping, crimes, gambling, abandonment, violated. These are all very scary words for kids to read, and people who use those words when talking about kids and to kids are not very nice and I don’t think should be trusted.

        To me you have proven your point. You don’t know anything about me. You don’t know if I know my egg donor or if I know or even have a relationship with my egg donor.

        My parents raised me to do the right thing and they also taught me that a person is never too old to learn, even if it is from a kid.

        My lesson to you today if you agree to stop and listen is that not everyone is the same. Not all kids feel the same. There are many kids who are born from egg donation who are loved and respected. I know I am.

        And so from this kid who was born from egg donation I am going to ask you nicely to accept my point of view and to honor me by agreeing to disagree.

        Otherwise you are going to be considered a zealot in my book and those kinds of people have mental health problems.

        • Comment from marilynn

          I don’t think you let a child post on this subject.

          • Comment from Laura

            Really? What about the rights of these children that you keep preaching and preaching and preaching? Does this kid not have a right to state what s/he thinks, feels, and believes? You better bet s/he does. Just because you don’t want to hear it doesn’t mean s/he doesn’t have the right to state it.

    • Comment from Alana

      My biggest pet peeve is when parents put their children on the stands to testify. This person is obviously still a KID. They do not have the power of admonishment. Come back and weigh in on this thread when you’re 25, or 35 and have kids of your own. Come back and do it after you’ve sold your eggs to strangers and realize that what you really did was sell your own children’s siblings away.
      It’s so much more complicated than a kid can understand.

      When I was 15 I would have defended myself and my being donor-conceived just like she is doing now. Things change.

      • Comment from Drew

        Parents don’t put children on the stand to testify; an attorney does.

        Just because your views changed doesn’t mean anyone else’s will. The surety of your cause is suspect.

  • Comment from sparky

    I take that back, calling you stupid would be an insult to stupid people. Do you still love nature, despite what it did to you?

    You know I’m right; you now my points are accurate now you’re arguing about health records, huh? I have no official health records of my bio parents; my friends have no health records of their bio parents. Yet the donor DOES have these records, you obviously have “selective reading” I stated that. Again you just proved my point further that DE children have won the lotto! This just proves how ignorant you are and again how you’ll argue for the sake of arguing w/out merit.

    I really think you’re not mentally all there for even debating a topic you’ve done ZERO research on. You’ve won none of these debates, period! You’re like a hamster on a wheel, I suggest therapy, it might help you figure out why you’re debating something that doesn’t pertain to your life period, I find that disturbing to be honest. You have no interest, you’re entitled to your opinion but yet you can’t help but stir the pot on a topic your against and have no interest in, pretty sick.

    Your hiding behind email and I’d bet you all the money in the world, you would be a HUGE coward in real life. I feel sorry for you.

    • Comment from marilynn

      I care about the people I help and am arguing to get them equal rights. You can go get your mother’s birth and death record if you want. The child can’t. I’m not winning the debate with you because you want a baby and you don’t care if you compromise that child’s civil rights in order to do it. I’m not the coward you are or you would not need to cut a person off from half their relatives to ensure that they’d never have anyone to run away to . You cut their ties to their family and they will trip and fall if they go to leave you and they’ll have no choice but to go back to you the only mother they’ve ever known.

      • Comment from Drew

        you recognize that birth and death certificates are public record, correct?

        • Comment from marilynn

          Of course. You can only get a copy if you can prove that your are a relative. I deal with this all day. I know who can and cannot get a copy by walking into the office of vital records. donor offspring can’t

          • Comment from Drew

            Really? Here’s a place where you can order them online:
            http://www.phdmc.org/resources/vitalstats

            Here: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/birthdeathmar/Pages/CertifiedCopiesofBirthDeathRecords.aspx it states that ANYONE can obtain an informational copy.

            Here, I can LITERALLY do a search on a first and last name and pull up records for Arizona: http://genealogy.az.gov/

            And I’ll bet you a dollar there a site like one of the above for every county in every state of the union.

            What exactly do you think “public records” means?

            I suggest you check your information again, Marilyn, because once again, you’re wrong.

            • Comment from marilynn

              Drew I am going to be very polite and I’d like you to be the same. I appreciate the legwork you just did. I admire it actually you are trying to substantiate your statement and I admire that it is above board.

              The problem donor offspring have is that they don’t know whose name to type in the box for starters.

              Can you see where that might hinder the ones who don’t know their egg donorors and sperm donors? There is part of the unequal rights.

              The second problem is that if they did know the name to put in the box and I can sometimes help them with that. Go to fill out that form and submit it and a window will come up asking you for proof of who you are because they will not send you a copy of the form with all the information on it unless you can prove that you are an immediate relative of that person. If you knew the name of your parent and can show them listed on your birth certificate, you can get their birth certificate and their marriage certificates you can run a search for any other birth certificates they might be named as parents on. But you cannot order a copy even an uncertified copy of someone’s birth record unless your a relative or are a member of law enforcement etc. Some states sell limited registration info but it would not include things that are on the actual certificate that might be useful to someone who has no medical history at all like many donor offspring don’t it won’t tell you the cause of death for instance or the health of the child at birth for instance if your looking at a limited registry for a sibling on ancestry.com for instance. If your parent is named on your certificate you can walk into vital records, pay your 12 bucks and get copies of whatever record you want and your relatives can get copies of yours as well.

              To your credit prior to 911 members of the general public could walk in off the street and knowing the person’s name only order a copy of their birth record. This has never helped adopted people and donor offspring of course but it may be what you are remembering the last time you had to pick up a death or birth record might have been prior to 911. Again you still need to know the name of the person even if you don’t have to prove that you are related. Donor offspring have someone else named on their birth records in place of their genetic mother or father or both. So now if they do know the name of their mother and want to find out who their siblings are for instance, they can’t go get those copies because they are not considered a relative of their siblings because her name is not on their certificate and may not be on her other offspring’s certificate – if it were on the other certificates they would not tell you or release anything to you with a certificate naming someone else as mother. Horribly unfair and a problem for adopted people and people whose fathers are not named on their certificates or whose step dads are named on their certificates.

              You asked earlier for me to be sepcific about other rights lost. I mentioned before but again the fact that their certificate does not name their genetic parent will forever or until the law is changed, prevent them from ever being treated as legal kin to any of their genetic relatives even as adults in reunion 65 years old and taking care of a widowed sibling they won’t get to claim their sibling as a relative dependent on their taxes because they don’t recognize dna just the birth certificate because its assumed to be genetically accurate in the case of adoption its just as tough and I’m trying to get my senator to change the law so people in reunion are treated like family, its unfair. They can’t help a sibling immigrate the list goes on really.

              I hope I’ve been calm and clear and let you see that just because it might not apply to your particular donor offspring because yours has everything he or she needs does not changes the fact that the rights are actually withheld from them and others like them.

              Maybe its not so much the practice of gamete donation that is so bad as all the laws that lock them out of their families permanently. Until those laws change though going through with it does compromise their rights and does result in treatment as property – maybe not because of you and what your doing but because the law is set up to make it like their genetic family does not even exist so therefore they have no rights at all with regard to them. Problem is they do exist and are important for a variety of reasons and even if they were not important, other people have these rights being denied to them and that is not fair. Its not ok for us to say that those rights are not all that important so they won’t mind having them taken away. That is why I am passionate. I’m not a freak or crazy I just know lots of people effected. I found the disabled donor offspring brother of a donor offspring woman and someday she may need to care for him and she is more than willing to do so but legally he will be treated by social security and family leave as if he’s joe shmo off the street. He has downs. His adoptive family won’t live forever and rather than have him institutionalized she might like to spend this half of her life being his sister because she was prevented from doing that not only was he donor offspring but was also given up for adoption due to his disability. She does not have the right to care for him as a normal sister would. It may not apply to your donor offspring but please look at the big picture and see what your kind of kids are treated like by our government maybe youll get mad too.

              • Comment from Drew

                First of all, I don’t think you’ve been polite, not one little bit. You’ve repeatedly referred to IVF parents as stealing children, buying children, putting children in slavery, and violating their rights. I have been very plain and factual with you and I will continue to do so, but don’t think for a second that you have my respect or my courtesy. You are hurting people here, and you have ignored facts and you’re utterly unapologetic about it, and that’s wrong. You are in the wrong here. That maybe hasn’t been said enough, so I’m going to make sure that I say it more.

                Secondly: Please demonstrate where in the US Bill of Rights — or the UN Human Rights Charter — where it says that children who are born of donated gametes have a right to know who the donors are. Because guess what — it doesn’t. Want to know why? Because donors aren’t parents. Donating a gamete doesn’t make you responsible, doesn’t make you related, and doesn’t make you a parent. That means that the laws you speak of aren’t locking children out of knowing their parents — my son knows both of his parents. He has two. Not three.

                Thirdly: You ignore the open donation process. I realize that it doesn’t support your narrative, so you want to ignore it, but there are IVF donor recipients out there who openly tell their children that they’re not genetically related, and have that conversation with their children.

                These laws are in place to protect everyone — the parents, the donor and the children. They do a good job of that.

                Lastly, I do not find your continued insistence that you’ve somehow reunited hundreds of children with the people who donated their gametes and made everyone happy to be persuasive in the least. You are not believable, and your callous and insulting attitudes towards people who are going through incredibly difficult procedures so that they can have children is, frankly, disgusting.

  • Comment from sparky

    How do you know they can’t? Do you know some of us have open relationships with our donors? Again, please stop debating a topic you have done zero research on, its embarrassing for you really.

    • Comment from marilynn

      Zero research? I reunite people all day long. I know they don’t have the right to walk into their office of vital records and get a copy of all their siblings birth records the way the rest of us can. It does not matter if some of you know your donors ALL of you don’t and that makes it unfair to some of you. And even if you know your donor you can’t just go in and get a copy of her certificate the way you can if her name is on your birth certificate, she’d have to give it to you. When your legally family she does not have to give it to you, you can just go get a copy of it and of all your other relatives records as well.

      • Comment from marilynn

        No Sparky I’m not embarrassed at all. I think its a shame you don’t believe me that the kid your going to raise will have fewer rights and when they come to realize that you won’t be prepared with any explanation.

  • Comment from sparky

    Drew, well said!

    • Comment from sparky

      Yes, they can get records and we have a donor agency list that a lot of donors belong to that have access to these records and meeting their donors but you wouldn’t know that because you’ve done ZERO research on this industry.

      • Comment from marilynn

        OK you go try and get the donor’s grandmother’s birth record or her siblings birth records or her nieces and nephews birth records and all her other offsprings birth records. Cause your going to need them if you don’t want your kid going to prom with his cousin. Go ahead and ask your clinic for that see how far you get Mom.

        • Comment from Drew

          so you just moved the goal-posts there. And really? Concern troll much?

          • Comment from marilynn

            what is concern troll

            • Comment from Drew

              I’d like you to calculate what the chance is of a child born in, say, Cincinnati via egg donation falling in love with, and having a sexual relationship with, a half-sibling.

              Go on. I’ll wait.

              • Comment from marilynn

                Really? You don’t have to wait for me dear do the math yourself. The ASRM formula is 25 offspring per donor per population of 800,000 unless the population is larger and then its no more than 25 families in a population of 800,000 (unrestricted number of offspring within each family unit)

                So 25 per 800,000 reduces to 1 per 32,000 (that can make it easier to count the number per city – divide the population by 32000 to get the ASRM arbitrary low-end limit of offspring per donor in that population)

                So just take the population of cincinati which is 296,223 and divide it by 32000 to get a very small number of siblings inside the city of cincinati just 9. If you expand to the 2011 Cencus says the Cincinati metro area has a population of 2,138,038/32000=66.81 Offspring per donor in the Cincinatti Metro Area but that is the low end the ASRM says sometimes its fine to do 25 families not just births so then it can get much higher. Most reputable agencies adhere to these strict rules of 25 per population of 800,000,000. According to Stuart Bell of the AFA most sperm agencies are invested and have to have the donors producing at least 100 offspring a piece to turn a profit or they loose money on their investment. Sorry enough background.

                Well I don’t know what the chances are that in a small metropolitan area that you’d hook up with one of your 66 siblings or coutless cousins aunts uncles even father or grandparen who knows right? Imagine being the brother of a sperm donor and what that means for your kids that are his nieces and nephews how unfair it is that they can’t identify their cousins!

                They are all around the same age same socieo economic bacground same race same religion likely same hobbies and interests maybe oh same height tall- tall girls need tall boys. I don’t know I think there is a good chance they’ll end up at the same bar at some point. I helped one girl find her dad who’d already found her brother and he is HOT. They totally lived in the same neighborhood went to the same school a few years apart luckily she was the older one because girls don’t date younger while guys typically do.

                There is really no acceptable number of unknown relatives since its entirely preventable and serves no purpose to cut them off from one another. Tell me, considering what a compromised position it puts not just the siblings in but the entire paternal family…do you think its necessary to do it or that it serves a purpose?

  • Comment from donor conceived and a father

    Wow, far too many posts to read through them all but to the original question of how old should a woman be to donate?
    I would suggest that all gamete donors irrespective of sex have had families of their own before they consider donating so that they have a better understanding of the complexities and gravity of what it is that they are doing.
    For women particularly there is the possibility (even if remotely) that her own fertility (and even health) can be compromised by donating. There just hasn’t been enough long term studies of the effects of donation, and by this I mean how are these women faring 10+ years down the track. The human body was not meant to mature that many eggs so quickly while under large amounts of hormones.
    Nor was a woman’s body ever designed with the expectation that it would carry another woman’s egg.
    Within donor conception there is also a heightened risk of preeclampsia because it is primarily an immune disease as a response to exposure to a novel antigen (ie novel exposure to different sperm other than the partner or from a donated egg).
    In regards to offspring there is a whole rainbow of emotions when it comes to being donor conceived. Some are extremely happy with it, others are traumatised by it.
    I have been both. I used to be happy with my conception, but since having children of my own it has plagued me like nothing else in my life currently. I feel like my genetic father abandoned me before my conception, I have been deprived of my next of kin, my identity, my heritage and my family health history. And these are things that I am also unable to give to my children which pains me even more.
    I used to feel grateful for my existence, but now I see this as an existential debt that no-one should be burdened with. We should all be grateful for how we are raised (if we have good parents) but not for existing in the first place and then have that impact on how we view things.
    For those of you who are happy with being DC then I am happy for you, but I also hope that everyone can appreciate and respect that there are many of us who have been negatively impacted by the whole process. And yes I do personally know many who are in the same boat as me, and there are published papers which show that for some people there is trauma associated with being DC.
    As a younger man I was going to donate at a clinic as I felt a need to give back t o the system that created me (the existential debt), but never got around to it. I am glad I didn’t because it would have been the biggest mistake of my life. But each to their own.

  • Comment from sparky

    What rights? They will have everything they need and all history, you don’t know my relationship with my donor. They will have more rights and more access then I did with my BIO parents.
    Again, you suffer from SELECTIVE READING and you can’t argue with crazy!
    Are your proclaiming to be psychic, you know my life, my relationships, what I’m doing? No, you don’t so stop trying to be all high and mighty. I do know how I was raised and as mentioned before, I’d give my left arm to have parents like myself and my husband. I’m certainly not going to let a troll like you insult my family, friends or the DE industry.

    I’d be embarrassed if I were you and shame on you for talking to a child that way you just did, he called it out like it is, those words you used were quite DISTURBING. I’d tell all children to stay clear of you. You’re what are wrong with this world today.
    Go ahead, have the last word……I’m done with you; you’re not worth my time. Go ahead and insult someone who cares.

  • Comment from sparky

    Marilyn, we all know donor conceived via a father is you. Sicko!

    • Comment from marilynn

      No. I’m posting as me only. I have not read the post you refrence yet.

    • Comment from marilynn

      He’s my friend he is donor conceived and a father. He’s a very nice guy. I am not him and he is not me.

      • Comment from sparky

        Whatever you say, enjoy talking to yourself. Freak!

        • Comment from Stephanie

          Sparky, Marilynn has been very upfront with everything she’s said; why would she lie about being “donor conceived and a father”? Stop acting like an ass.

  • Comment from Stephanie

    I think it’s really interesting that most everyone who has objected to what Marilynn says writes something like this: “You are being emotional and dramatic. I don’t believe what you say because I don’t know anyone who feels this way. Stop being stupid.”

    Some of you are downright mean. Can’t you argue without hostility?

    The ironic thing is, all of the “it’s the one who raises the child who is the parent” and “love is what makes a family” sentiment is, in fact, the emotional argument.

    Yes, I had a dad who raised me and loved me. He wasn’t my biological father. But without the biology and genetics of an anonymous man, my dad wouldn’t have been a dad. Genetics does play an important role; without it, most of you who are commenting wouldn’t be parents.

    Nature AND nurture are important. You really can’t have the nurture part without the nature part.

  • Comment from donor conceived and a father

    Sparky, I live on the other-side of the world than Marilyn.
    Wrong sex, wrong country, wrong hemisphere.
    Your jibe is nothing but spurious.
    If you have any questions for a donor conceived person, then feel free to ask.
    Statements like that are little more than playing “liar liar pants on fire”. It adds nothing to the discourse.

    It is also probably pertinent for people to consider when discussing this issue is that there are many different systems of donor conception around the world and it can also depend on what era people are conceived in. In its most simple form we can separate it into 2 models, those whose donor fathers/mothers donated under anonymity provisions, and those that are willing to be known (or have their identity revealed) to the offspring.

  • Comment from marilynn

    Well enjoy. Its not me that is going to be wracked with worry about my husband thinking I’m old and want to get a pretty young girlfriend. Wipe out a man’s bank account trying to prove your young enough to have a baby still, then when you can’t pay someone for their young eggs and have them fertilized by him when he’d probably just as well throw in the towel but he’s going along with it anyway and now he’s going to have a genetic child that is not related to his wife and have his own guilt issues about that and be answerable for that and it was all to keep you happy and feeling young like you think I’m worried about for myself. Every night when you go to sleep wondering if he’s thinking if he should have gotten a younger wife and just done this the cheap and easy way, well just know that it is probably crossing his mind a lot but it was all to make you happy. Its what you wanted so do enjoy ladies. It is the most selfless looking thing you’ll ever do.

    • Comment from Drew

      this is a wholly inappropriate comment and makes it quite clear that you have never been debating in good faith on this board.

      • Comment from marilynn

        No you would be the same person with different experiences

        There are always more than they tell you about. That’s how they turn a profit. Google uc irvine fertility scandal or ohsu to see what they do with patient eggs sperm and embryos. Its cool though, its just genetics I’m sure your husband does not mind. Why pay donors when they have potent male patients giving it for free.

        Peace

    • Comment from JENJEN66

      Marilyn:
      Sounds like your husband did this to you huh?

      • Comment from marilynn

        No Jen he did not do that to me. After 13 miscarriages and having our son Sam die in our arms the day he was born I did feel like a failure. I did feel old and physically unworthy of being married to a healthy handsome guy that wanted children. I was 31 when Sam died. My father in law was devastated I overheard him at our son’s funeral after crying over his tiny little casket being lowered into the ground near my grandmother at Holy Cross cemetery – he told his wife that now the family line would not continue because his son was married to a woman that could not have children. My step-mother-in-law said his son was still young and could find another wife and there was still hope.

        Luckily I was only 31 and got pregnant again right away and with the help of a good doctor figured out what was wrong with me, I was not infertile i had a blood disorder.

        You are on the otherhand looking at your 46th birtday coming up and are unmarried so you don’t have to worry about anyone but your RE thinking your too old to have a baby. This is about the time you should be becoming a grandmother and knitting baby booties for your son or daughter’s first child. How exciting for you that your going to be bringing a child into the world without any contact with his or her genetic family.

        You don’t feel at all bad about this?

        • Comment from Tina

          Marilynn,
          You seem like a hateful human being. Don’t worry I will say a prayer for you.
          Take your hateful words and get the hell out of here!!

          • Comment from marilynn

            Why do you perceive me as hateful? I just want to see an end to the laws that allow people to pay to cut other individuals off from their genetic families. That not hateful. Hateful is paying to cut someone off from their genetic families.

            I’ll pray for you. God clearly does not respond to your requests or you’d have been able to reproduce huh? If your the kind of person that believes in God and all that this whole course of action goes a bit against the grain in every major organized religion. I don’t object for religious reasons but for ethical ones. If you examine this from your church’s standpoint your kind of taking the apple aren’t you?

            • Comment from Tina

              God did answer my prayers. I have two beautiful little boys and we’re adopting a 3rd.

              Don’t worry I’m not mad at you. I’ll still pray for you.

            • Comment from marilynn

              Sure that was God Tina? What does your religion say about egg and sperm donation? Is it allowed by your religious organization? Allowed by your good book? You got what you wanted but don’t be so sure about who answered your call.
              When God answers prayers nobody looses anything maybe I’m wrong about that

            • Comment from Drew

              Please state where, in the bible, IVF is not allowed. Please be specific — chapter and verse.

        • Dr. Craig Sweet Comment from Dr. Craig Sweet

          “This is about the time you should be becoming a grandmother and knitting baby booties for your son or daughter’s first child.”

          Give me a break! You are amazingly judgmental. Would you speak to a person face-to-face this way?

          Do not loose your humanity in trying to fight for what you think is right. Your feverish dedication to your cause borderlines on obsession. Keep your perspective. Understand that not everyone will do as you think is right. That doesn’t make them wrong, just different.

          You loose your argument when you are so cruel, so try to tone it down. In fact, tone it down or I will delete all of your posts over the past few days. I have tried to be patient and let everyone vent on both sides (you are not the only one that needs to chill out) and let everyone have their say but I do require a level of civility.

          Craig R. Sweet, M.D.
          Reproductive Endocrinologist
          Moderator, http://www.SweetFertility.com

        • Comment from JENJEN66

          Marilyn:
          First let me say that I am very sorry for your loss and the 13 miscarriages that you had to endure. The hardest thing in the world is for a parent to bury their child – I cannot even imagine being in your shoes. I am so terribly sorry.

          But seriously, 13 miscarriages? You cannot tell me that you were not on a mission to have a child? I actually can’t believe that after trying 13 times that you yourself did not explore the option of using a donor egg? Why is that?

          I endured 3 miscarriages and I desperately wanted to be a mother, to raise a child, to teach it values, love, to care for it, to watch the child mature and blossom into an adult the way my parents did with me. I refused to quit Marilyn and hence proceeded with a donor egg when there were no other options available to me.

          I posted one short comment on this site to you, “Sounds like your husband did this to you.” And below in your response you state that I am unmarried and on the verge of my 46th birthday? You also stated that I should be concentrating on becoming a grandmother and knitting booties? Where in world did you obtain such information? That I am on the verge of being 46 and unwed? And why do you think I am too “old” to have a baby? What correlation is there between age and motherhood?

          You stated, “How exciting for you that your going to be bringing a child into the world without any contact with his or her genetic family. You don’t feel at all bad about this?”

          Specifically, what is it that I am supposed to feel bad about?

          Marilyn’s comment to me below…..
          No Jen he did not do that to me. After 13 miscarriages and having our son Sam die in our arms the day he was born I did feel like a failure. I did feel old and physically unworthy of being married to a healthy handsome guy that wanted children. I was 31 when Sam died. My father in law was devastated I overheard him at our son’s funeral after crying over his tiny little casket being lowered into the ground near my grandmother at Holy Cross cemetery – he told his wife that now the family line would not continue because his son was married to a woman that could not have children. My step-mother-in-law said his son was still young and could find another wife and there was still hope.
          Luckily I was only 31 and got pregnant again right away and with the help of a good doctor figured out what was wrong with me, I was not infertile i had a blood disorder.
          You are on the otherhand looking at your 46th birtday coming up and are unmarried so you don’t have to worry about anyone but your RE thinking your too old to have a baby. This is about the time you should be becoming a grandmother and knitting baby booties for your son or daughter’s first child. How exciting for you that your going to be bringing a child into the world without any contact with his or her genetic family.
          You don’t feel at all bad about this?

          • Comment from marilynn

            Hey Jen
            13 miscarriages it got to the point when doctors would say “how many times have you been pregnant” I was like “you have my chart look it up” I had a mental block with saying the number. On a mission to have a kid? Not at first. At first I was just careless those miscarriages started in high school around 17. Sick sad twisted as it was for me to think at the time, I was like ‘whew that was close’. I’m just being honest that they were not all planned. I’ll take my dunce hat and go stand in the corner, I was a wild dumb kid. After I got married we did start trying and the miscarriages kept coming. Maybe its just me but it seems like I could get pregnant real quick after one so they were in rapid succession. Like I had 2 before my son was born/died. My doctor advised me not to but I was trying to get pregnant quick we thought my mom was going to pass that year. Sammy was born in June 29 03 and Ruby was born Aug 26 04. I have not been pregnant since. In fact I have not seen a doctor since. Those years were as much doctor’s office and hospital as I want to ever see. I spent so much time in the hospital I don’t want to need to see a DR again ever.
            Truly no animosity or hidden agenda it just did not occur to me about the egg thing i just figured I would not be having children. The Heperin I shot in my stomach 3 times a day to thin my blood helped me keep Ruby but i had plecenta previa with her and almost bled to death on the ER floor at about 6 months. I thought sure I lost her too and it was not even a year since Sam died. just sat there and said I cannot ever do this again I won’t put myself through it. The doctor said the baby is fine there is a tear in the placenta go home go to bed. So I did go on bed rest and learned how to do oragami got a venus fly trap to watch. It was a real boring summer. Sorry for my grammar jenjen monroe is right i did not finish school.
            Peace

          • Comment from marilynn

            Hey Jen
            13 miscarriages it got to the point when doctors would say “how many times have you been pregnant” I was like “you have my chart look it up” I had a mental block with saying the number. On a mission to have a kid? Not at first. At first I was just careless those miscarriages started in high school around 17. Sick sad twisted as it was for me to think at the time, I was like ‘whew that was close’. I’m just being honest that they were not all planned. I’ll take my dunce hat and go stand in the corner, I was a wild dumb kid. After I got married we did start trying and the miscarriages kept coming. Maybe its just me but it seems like I could get pregnant real quick after one so they were in rapid succession. Like I had 2 before my son was born/died. My doctor advised me not to but I was trying to get pregnant quick we thought my mom was going to pass that year. Sammy was born in June 29 03 and Ruby was born Aug 26 04. I have not been pregnant since. In fact I have not seen a doctor since. Those years were as much doctor’s office and hospital as I want to ever see. I spent so much time in the hospital I don’t want to need to see a DR again ever.
            Truly no animosity or hidden agenda it just did not occur to me about the egg thing i just figured I would not be having children. The Heperin I shot in my stomach 3 times a day to thin my blood helped me keep Ruby but i had plecenta previa with her and almost bled to death on the ER floor at about 6 months. I thought sure I lost her too and it was not even a year since Sam died. just sat there and said I cannot ever do this again I won’t put myself through it. The doctor said the baby is fine there is a tear in the placenta go home go to bed. So I did go on bed rest and learned how to do oragami got a venus fly trap to watch. It was a real boring summer. Sorry for my grammar jenjen monroe is right i did not finish school.
            I really was hoping to come here and ask people why it is they want to cut donor offspring off from half their relatives, I was inking that ya’ll want kids so much and are going to be open with them any way that it would be no sweat if the kids were recorded as the donor’s offspring in order for the kid to have all the legal rights that spring from being someones offspring, not the least of which is the ability to walk into vital records and obtain certificates for all your siblings and other relatives as well and they could get records on the donor offspring kid too. If your worried about making sure that donors really understand what they are consenting to and your moving toward an adodption model why not get them to sign in blue ink in court where a disinterested third party could make sure she understands the ramifications and that she has not been unduely inticed by money and that she is really the person associated with the egg being handed over. I’m sure Dr. Sweet’s office is very careful handling eggs but if you google UC San Diego, or UC Irvine or OHSU it is pretty clear that many times people think they are being given eggs from consenting donors when really they are being given eggs embryo and sperm from patients of the clinic who did not consent to have their offspring raised by others or gestated by others. If consent were given in court with 3rd party approval by a judge it would not matter if they were 18 or 28, nobody would get through that process without knowing what was going on and it would protect patients from loosing custody of their offspring in the event of errors or misappropriation because there would be no court approval and the recipients would have to give the offspring back to the patients who reproduced. If the topic of 18 is at its heart about recipients wanting to be sure the person reproducing wants to reproduce and wants to let someone else carry their fetus to term and wants to let someone else raise their offspring once born and wants to not share custody. Donor’s can agree to donate for research only or for reproduction for research (nobody gestates) or they could donate but want to gestate, they could donate and be willing to let someone gestate but not raise their offspring. It is really all up to the donor what happens to her offspring and I can see why recipients would want to be sure they were not taking advantage of a young desperate girl or an unwitting patient. I’m not equating eggs to babies, I’m breaking the process down in the order that its broken down in the various types of agreements, some include giving up rights to their biological children if born, other agreements do not include such a waiver.

            I wanted to ask Dr Sweet to explain to me and to Drew who it is that he is actually assisting in reproducing. Drew kept saying that the donor’s relatives are not related to the donor’s offspring when genetically the donor is related to her offspring, she can skip the gestation without it impacting the extent to which the child is related to her. She and her relatives are the childs maternal family, she could pass a maternity test. And the relationship would register with the longest shared block number I posted earlier which is indicitative of the parent child relationship. That maternal family is valuable and important for ongoing family health info and it is important to avoid dating one another. That is why knowing them is important and they can’t be replaced by a gestational carrier no matter how much epigeneics influences the genes it does not actually change the parent/child relationship in terms of one person originating from another.

            Drew really pushed back on this saying that we all share 99 percent of the same DNA and if that were true then Doctors would not ask people for family medical history and genes would not carry information about how we look etc. Right Dr. Sweet? If I am wrong about this I’ll eat humble pie, I’ll give Drew props.

          • Comment from marilynn

            On the what to feel bad about specifically, just those things I said. Do you feel badly about the child not being allowed to know and be legally recognized as kin to their genetic family? You can win the award for best and closest relationship bond with a child and they can be supper happy raised by you, it does not mean they still have not lost something in the process. It is not part of the telling and talking books yet and I was just telling Olivia Matchuchi it really should be the second part of telling, 1st part is who your are not related to and second part is who you are related to. If you don’t talk about who they are related to your right back at square one with the dirty secret and lack of openness. Its the part of the “talk” nobody talks about

  • Comment from marilynn

    Drew they are not related to their genetic family? Really you think you own all the embryos but you don’t. They’ll all be in your town lady and so will all their cousins. And when your quasi grandchildren are born all mutated and messed up you can take ownership of that too

    • Comment from Drew

      Really you think you own all the embryos but you don’t.

      Sure I do, with my partner. The paperwork totally says so.

  • Comment from Alana

    It just makes it harder for people to sell their “services” when actual donor-conceived people and our allies are telling the truth on their forums.

    Can’t negatively impact the business, you know.

  • Comment from Joanie Shook

    I pray to God that I raise my beautiful donor egg conceived daughters to be kinder, gentler, more empathetic, more tolerant than Marilyn, and some of the other commentors here, no matter the “side” they are on. I came here looking for something insightful and thought provoking, and found cruelty with no bearing on the alleged topic. At least an episode of “Maury” would have provided a few laughs.

    • Dr. Craig Sweet Comment from Dr. Craig Sweet

      I agree with her it is time to stop being so cruel.

      See my comments above.

      “Do not loose your humanity in trying to fight for what you think is right. Your feverish dedication to your cause borderlines on obsession. Keep your perspective. Understand that not everyone will do as you think is right. That doesn’t make them wrong, just different.”

      “You loose your argument when you are so cruel, so try to tone it down. In fact, tone it down or I will delete all of your posts over the past few days. I have tried to be patient and let everyone vent on both sides (you are not the only one that needs to chill out) and let everyone have their say but I do require a level of civility.’

      So, everyone has to behave a bit better here. I’ve given everyone quite a bit of latitude but it is time to tone the rhetoric down.

      Craig R. Sweet, M.D.
      Reproductive Endocrinologist
      Moderator, http://www.SweetFertility.com

  • Comment from Tina

    Alana and Donor Conceived and a father,

    Just curious…at what age were you told that you were conceived via egg and/or sperm donor?

    • Comment from donor conceived and a father

      I was told from the age of about 3 years old. Which was quite remarkable at the time as all parents then were advised not to tell (bare in mind that I am heading towards 40). I was very lucky and am thankful that my parents never hid this from me and were willing to go against the trend. So it has been a blessing that I have not had to deal with the news as an adult or teenager as i can only imagine what sort of shock that can cause some people.

      • Comment from marilynn

        And so being told young and growing up in an open and honest environment with a loving mother and social father is not enough to offset the losses of access to information and losses of other rights that are enjoyed by others whose birth records are a truthful record of their genetic parent’s identities? In your opinion is there anything the commissioning couple can do to offset the losses?

      • Comment from Drew

        I’m just going to leave this here.

        Louise Brown was boern in 1978. She’s 34.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_Brown

    • Comment from anonymous

      Tina asked:
      “Alana and Donor Conceived and a father,

      Just curious…at what age were you told that you were conceived via egg and/or sperm donor?”

      This goes beyond just openness and honesty. Two essays I wrote for the “Voices of Donor Conception” which includes my story and what I advocate for and why:

      https : //www . infertilitynetwork . org/files/WhenTheChildrenGrowUp . pdf

      http : //www . choicemoms . org/_assets/document/Karen2a . pdf

  • Comment from marilynn

    I had a conversation with the MFT that left her number today and she asked a lot of questions and I gave a lot of answers and in the end she said that I had a credible position but that nobody would hear me because I was so hostile. So let me start again my position is credible and it is not founded on opinion but rather fact – the children you are all raising don’t have the same legal rights to their genetic families as other children and adults have. It makes no difference how you each personally choose to handle it or how much information you personally are willing to provide those children with – you are bringing people into the world that are going to be denied basic rights and basic information available to all other children. Fine if doing the job of raising the child is what makes you a mother fine but your not addressing the very real issue of needing to be a legal member of their own genetic families. None of you has answered the question of why it is acceptable for you to put these people in a position where they cannot recognize their own genetic kin and their kin cannot recognize them. One unknown immediate genetic relative is dangerous and unnecessary.
    Why is it OK to place person i n a situation where they cannot recognize their relatives? Why are we even playing the ‘what are the chances game’ with anyone’s life but our own? If you want to play ‘what are the chances of inbreeding’ game with someone’s relatives stick to your own relatives. My position is not an opinion about an action that takes nothing away from another human being – its not an opinion – Donor Offspring don’t have equal rights according to the UPA and that is unfair. Whether they are traumatized by the inequality or not does not change the fact that the law is unfair to all donor offspring.

    Do you have any idea how hard it is to locate these people’s families? If you are thinking that they can always go post on the DSR and locate them its not that easy. They have to know that the are donor offspring first and there is no right to know currently that is why i work so hard at building an store of information that offspring can use to confirm that the people who raised them are not genetic parents and a store of information to identify the genetic parents. Someday hopefully I will have an enormous database of intendend parent screen names to search to search and professional licensing data bases to search from every state so if the donor was a professional doctor or lawyer granduating in a particular year from a particular school the info is there to help them find their families.
    I’m trying to help offset the damage done by all these cruel laws that only take into consideration the pain of people who have money to buy the thing they are missing. The people I help cannot buy the family that they are missing they are at a real disadvantage. You are all calling me cruel, look at what these people have to go through to get back all that was stolen from them how can you call it cruel to help people get back what was taken? You want sympathy for putting them in a position where they need help finding out who their genetic relatives are? Sympathy for infertility is one thing and I have it, I’ve been there. Sympathy for putting another person in a bad position to solve that problem is s tall order. Its like being poor justifies stealing – sure the egg donor gave you the kid but it was not her place to cut her kid off from all his or her relatives like that she over stepped the limits of her ethically if not legally. You are all only concerned with social parenthood Your discounting the losses others experience in order to gain social parenthood

  • Comment from Deeonn

    My father in law was devastated I overheard him at our son’s funeral after crying over his tiny little casket being lowered into the ground near my grandmother at Holy Cross cemetery – he told his wife that now the family line would not continue because his son was married to a woman that could not have children. My step-mother-in-law said his son was still young and could find another wife and there was still hope.

    Luckily I was only 31 and got pregnant again right away and with the help of a good doctor figured out what was wrong with me, I was not infertile i had a blood disorder.

    You are on the otherhand looking at your 46th birtday coming up and are unmarried so you don’t have to worry about anyone but your RE thinking your too old to have a baby.

    Really, Marilynn? Enough already with your ugly bitterness. There are many women who are under age 35 who have struggled with infertility and are looking to DE to conceive a child. Those women and their husband are working together to create a family with DE. Their husbands are not thinking as your step mother-in-law suggested of trading their wives in for women who can bear children for them. By the way, what father would say what your father-in-law said in front of his own son and daughter-in-law at his grandson’s funeral???? I makes me think that some genetics are better off left behind. Is that why you are so angry. Heck, I would be if I were you, but I would direct it at your father and nother-in-law. If your argument is that DE children have rights, stick to that because your senseless ramblings make you look bitter, ugly and INSANE!! Before you attack me, remember, I was the one you said made some sense. That’s because I am a very reasonable person, but I really hate bullies.

  • Comment from Tina

    I’m going to agree to disagree on this matter and wish everyone a wonderful life.

  • Comment from x

    Everyone, Marilyn is a troll, don’t feed the troll! She’s looking to get a rise and clearly it worked.

    Dr. Sweet please remove all comments and close the thread from further commenting. You even said it has turned cruel, I’m not sure why you would leave these types of comments on your blog for others to read, it sends the wrong message.

    Thank you.

  • Comment from Market

    Dr. Sweet I agree with x & a few other individuals. This thread needs to be removed.

    From someone who has wrestled with using DE, I wish I would have NEVER stumbled on this website!!!

    • Dr. Craig Sweet Comment from Dr. Craig Sweet

      I appreciate the concerns of a few of you that are asking that I delete the entire set of posts here. I have mixed feelings about doing so.

      I am not insensitive to the callous tone of some of those posting. I wish they understood that their writing style utterly detracts from some of the point they might otherwise make.

      Some of those that posted here clearly have an agenda. They are a vocal minority that post throughout the web. If given the opportunity, they would far prefer that a number of reproductive rights we currently enjoy would be reduced or completely banned.

      Ignoring these individuals is not a good idea. Understanding their perspective, no matter how difficult, should be attempted. Underestimating their influence and determination could be a foolish error.

      For this reason, I will not delete the posts here. The are an outstanding reminder of some of the mindsets that exist.

      It is a shame but there are some issues between the cruel comments that are worthy of debate. I will touch on some of these issues in an upcoming blog.

      For now, I will respectfully ask that everyone end the conversation now on this post/thread. It is time we all get back to what we need to do and give our fingers and minds a rest.

      Everyone should have a good weekend.

      Craig R. Sweet, M.D.
      Moderator, http://www.SweetFertility.com

      • Comment from Monroe

        I have requested multiple times that you delete my posts to this thread, regardless of your decision to remove the entire thread. Following my post here, I have received spam to the internet address I used to post to your blog. I have not used that email address for anything else in years. Before posting here, the account had never received spam. This concerns me.

        More so, I am highly concerned that you believe leaving this thread can be justified with the need for others to understand mentally-imbalanced perspectives. Is that the opinion you wish for a prospective client to read as she determines if DE IVF is right for her family planning? I would hope a doctor I might choose would be more considerate of the delicacy of this decision-making process.

        Dr. Sweet, again, please, remove my comments to this thread. If not, I will ask ASRM to contact you on my behalf to do so.

        Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.

        Respectfully,
        Monroe

  • Comment from marilynn

    I don’t know what a troll is except for the fictional character. I wanted to get women thinking about the implications of what they’ve done or are about to do and it appears that has happened. Its sad that so much rage is being focused on me though. I just wanted people to think about the fact that, yes raising a child is important but if you have to pay someone else not to raise her offspring in order to get a child to raise the child will always look at you differently – not as wanting them so badly but as having purchased them. So its fine to delete the whole thread, I’ve saved it. Its all important information that may someday need to get accessed by the children born of these services. If it were not for fertility forums and blogs many of the children would not be able to confirm their suspicions that one of the people they know as a parent is unrelated to them. Yes there are DNA tests but forums and blogs are sometimes key in them confirming through screen names and stories and aproximate birth times and the ages given by the posters. So delete it if you want Dr. I’m not a bully I just wanted them to think and remember that I did not find my way here on my own, donor offspring who where told as toddlers were upset about the tone of the blog and asked me to come comment. Never forget that telling early and talking often is better than saying nothing but it will only succeed in making being raised by non-relatives no big deal it will always be a big deal that they are excluded from their other relatives. Its not a matter of opinion (like how they will feel about it) its a fact (like they are cut off legally from their relatives). And its not fair, again, not an opinion but a fact (not fair because everyone is not forced to endure the same thing as them being cut off from their families.

    I’m not poking fun and I’m not calling names. It’s not an attempt to be cruel its an attempt to jar people into realizing that their brand of parenthood requires that someone else fail to raise their own offspring. Its not pure joy at least respect the kid enough to acknowledged their loss as you revel in your gain. Adoptive families are sensitive to the loss and its important to learn from them maybe.

  • Dr. Craig Sweet Comment from Dr. Craig Sweet

    Reposting here….

    I appreciate the concerns of a few of you that are asking that I delete the entire set of posts here. I have mixed feelings about doing so.

    I am not insensitive to the callous tone of some of those posting. I wish they understood that their writing style utterly detracts from some of the points they might otherwise make.

    Some of those that posted here clearly have an agenda. They are a vocal minority that post throughout the web. If given the opportunity, they would far prefer that a number of reproductive rights we currently enjoy would be reduced or completely banned.

    Ignoring these individuals is not a good idea. Understanding their perspective, no matter how difficult, should be attempted. Underestimating their influence and determination could be a foolish error.

    For this reason, I will not delete the posts here. The are an outstanding reminder of some of the mindsets that exist.

    It is a shame but there are some issues between the cruel comments that are worthy of debate. I will touch on some of these issues in an upcoming blog.

    For now, I will respectfully ask that everyone end the conversation now on this post/thread. It is time we all get back to what we need to do and give our fingers and minds a rest.

    Everyone should have a good weekend.

    Craig R. Sweet, M.D.
    Moderator, http://www.SweetFertility.com

  • Comment from marilynn

    Dr Sweet, You assist in the genetic reproduction of fertile women and potent men, right? The whole idea of assisted reproduction is to assist people that can reproduce themselves so that they reproduce faster more efficiently etc, right?

    Was I correct when I said that recipients of donor eggs or donor embryos are not reproducing? The doctor is actually assisting the donor in reproducing herself by retrieving her eggs, fertilizing them and implanting them in a womb to be gestated and delivered. Once delivered the donor will have offspring to the same extent as if she’d gestated her offspring herself. Her emotional connection to the other parent has no bearing on the extent to which her offspring is related to her. Is that correct?

  • [...] discrimination existing regarding the recommended ages for gamete donation was usurped into a rather emotional discussion on merits and evils of gamete donation itself. Some of the posts were so inflammatory that I have [...]

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