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The Role of “Forgetting” in Donor Conception

a blog by Ellen Glazer, June 24, 2013

I spoke with a woman today who has a ten year old son conceived through egg donation (ED). She has told him about his origins but the conversations have been infrequent and brief. She said to me, “Most of the time, I just forget..”

“Forgetting” is something that happens with egg donation and I don’t see it as a “bad” thing. Here are some examples of “forgetting.”

One mom tells me that her mother, who knows that her grandson came from egg donation, will often comment on how he inherited his mom’s allergies. His mom says to me, “Why does my mother keep saying that. She KNOWS there was a donor?” I told her that either her mother believes (and perhaps she is correct?) that allergies can be transmitted in the prenatal environment or the home) or she is simply forgetting.

Another example comes from a mom who has two daughters, one with her genes and one through a donor. She says that when they go to the pediatrician, she finds herself providing information as though they all share genes. She knows this not to be true but again says, “I just forget.”

I know someone who is pregnant now through ED. She gave lots of thought to taking this path, met her donor, embraced the decision and then found herself surprised when she was seeing a physician who volunteered that she, too, was a mom through ED. My client found herself wondering, “Why is she telling me this?” Then she remembered that her baby was conceived with a donated egg. “I forgot for a moment.”

I bring up forgetting here because I know that when people are considering egg donation, it is hard to imagine you will ever forget. The fear is that this is something that will be on your mind ALL the time. I hope it offers some comfort to know that while one does remember, there are times when ED is so far from your mind that you “just forget.”


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