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Are We Selfish to Use Donor Eggs?

Egg Donor 2.jpg

a blog by Marna Gatlin, Parents Via Egg Donation, August 9, 2011

To read more of Marna Gatlin's Egg Donation 101 blogs, CLICK HERE.

Yesterday I read a strongly worded article about the rights of donor conceived children. In this article the following quote jumped out at me and landed heavily upon my spirit:

“Someone else's child is not a ''cure'' for infertility, and no one, whether gay, straight, single, married, young or old, should be entitled to such a child — despite current thinking to the contrary — especially when that child's own human rights are ignored.”

Someone else’s child is not a cure for infertility ... Whoa.

Someone else’s child — I am still reeling at that statement. That’s a pretty big declaration to be making. Is that really what the world thinks when we use donor eggs to create our family? The article went on to state that egg donors are parting with their own children, without any concern for their future welfare.

Really? Are egg donors parting with their children? I personally don’t think so. I think egg donors want to help the infertile.

What I do agree with is that a child should know his or her origin from day one. There should be no secrets between parents and their children. This information shouldn’t be a big secret — it should just be a fact of their life and not something they can look back on and say “On my 15th birthday my parents told me that I was conceived via egg donation.” I think this is something they should always know, and we as parents should follow the adoption model which is to tell often and early.

When we delve into anonymous egg donation or directed egg donation (known egg donation) it becomes a gray area and complicated. (And really what about third party reproduction isn’t complicated to some degree?) Many clinics and agencies still operate on a completely anonymous basis. And, for a myriad of reasons, many intended parents prefer anonymous egg donation.

So to ask a really hard question “Where does this leave the child?”

When I look back to the time I had my child via egg donation I had no choice. My clinic offered anonymous egg donation period. The only way a patient was allowed directed egg donation (known egg donation) was if it was a friend or a family member. Selecting an egg donor, seeing her photo, and meeting her was unheard of back in 2000. And so we, of course, complied and participated quite willingly in an anonymous egg donor cycle. To be very fair, back then I wasn’t comfortable with knowing or seeing my egg donor.

Needless to say, today I have come full circle. I’d embrace the ability to see her, meet her, talk with her and learn more about her for my son’s sake as well as mine.

But back to the original point of my post — Am I selfish for wanting to be a parent so badly that I resorted to using donor eggs to create my family? I can tell you I was desperate to be a mother. I had suffered more losses than anyone should ever have to in their lives; I just wanted to be a mother in the very worst way. So if that makes me selfish — sue me.

Did I see the forest through the trees, meaning did I see down the road 10 or 20 years? No, of course not. I didn’t have a crystal ball. I did the best with the information that I had.

Most importantly, is my child suffering because of my choices? Absolutely not. My child is happy and healthy, physically, emotionally and spiritually. He has both feet firmly rooted regarding who he is. And he will tell you he’s my son whose mom loves him very very much, and all of this hooey regarding DNA and genetics is just overly dramatic and ridiculous. He loves his life, and he’s glad he’s here.

And to me that’s all that matters.

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