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Egg Donation Disclosure
a blog by Donor Diva, June 30, 2011
To read more Donor Diva: Let's Talk Egg Donation blogs, CLICK HERE.
Disclosure is a hot topic in the donor egg community on a similar level to breast milk vs. formula. Everyone has their opinion, and you aren’t necessarily going to change someone’s mind. Disclosure is a personal decision that is made between you and your partner.
Disclosing Egg Donation
Obviously, I am 100 percent in the tell camp. This choice was made early on when I started blogging about our donor egg journey. But I will admit there was a time I hesitated in telling people. I wondered, “Would people understand? Would my child be treated differently? Would he reject me later in life? Would he decide the egg donor was his ‘true mother’?” After I answered these questions truthfully to myself, I knew my decision.
A few days ago I posed this question to a Donor Egg group I participate in. The answers covered everything — from definitely tell that your child was conceived with a donor egg to definitely tell NO ONE. One recurring theme was be careful who you tell because you can’t untell.
Reasons for No Disclosure
It seems the main reasons for “not telling” are religious/family/cultural reasons. There are religions that don’t accept reproductive technology as an option for building your family. I think if I lived in this situation, I would feel differently about telling. One of the members in my group said:
“We think the world is too confusing as it is. We have talked and counseled about this and have decided that there is no reason to know. This world is crazy enough without my kid wondering why the donor didn't want her eggs, why the donor would give strangers her eggs and never want to see her child.”
If you do decide not to tell your child, then you shouldn’t tell ANYONE. You should destroy everything: blood work, donor profile, anything that might give it away. Also, make sure to match your blood type with your donor. This way if blood types ever come up, then you don’t have to worry.
Reasons to Disclose
However, I find most mothers via egg donation tell their children or plan to tell their children. After that point, it can vary quite a bit. Several people have told me that they plan on telling their child first and then letting them share however much of their story that they feel comfortable sharing. From there it varies from telling a few people to everyone (that’s me).
Here are a few responses from parents who plan on telling:
“I think that's fairer on the child & it's healthy to have an honest relationship. I think the worst case scenario would be for the child to find out as an adult, what a shock that would be!”
“I'm in the tell camp ... want my child to grow up thinking it’s a normal happy thing...not a dirty little secret.”
The decision of disclosure is a very important one. I became convinced that telling our child was the best option. I didn’t want to feel like I was lying to my child his whole life (also, I’m terrible with secrets!) An abstract I read recently stated that there was no noticeable difference in the relationships of mothers with their donor children and mothers with their naturally conceived children.
No matter what you decide, be confident in your decision. Do you plan to tell or not to tell? Please share your comments below!