As couples begin the daunting search for their perfect egg donor, so many questions come to mind! What criteria are the most important to me? Do I want someone who physically resembles me or someone in my family? Does the donor have musical talents like I do or can she swing a tennis racquet the way my partner does? Did she achieve those SAT scores in high school that we are looking for and has she achieved good grades during her college years? Does she have a sense of humor and kind heart? Such a difficult and unique decision to be making. Only you and your partner can know what are the most important criteria for you.
Shelli DiCioccio, Sr. Case Manager, Northeast RegionThe Donor SOURCE, May 30, 2012
Here I sit, waiting nervously for the case manager from The Donor SOURCE to begin her new donor orientation session, informing all 25 of us soon-to-be egg donors, what we are to expect as a potential egg donor with The Donor SOURCE Agency.
I have already have completed my extensive profile, uploaded multiple pictures from when I was born to the present, my proof of identity, my transcripts from college and a thorough essay which is to explain to the Intended Parents, who I am. I am Lila, a 23 year old, Hispanic/Chinese young college student wanting very much to help a couple who are trying to have a baby. I know a little about egg donation, as my closest friend had many years of trying to have a baby. I remember distinctly, all the tears she shed, but not really ever explaining the pain of her journey with infertility. So here I sit, with much excitement and readiness, to begin my adventure to help a well deserving couple, who have known the emotional struggle like my friend.
As we approach National Infertility Awareness Week (April 22-28), I find myself thinking often about my surrogacy journey to deliver a baby girl to my cousin and his wife, and how I can perhaps help other prospective intended parents to thoughtfully consider surrogacy as an option to creating the family of your dreams.
Surrogacy, like adoption or in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be an anxiety ridden journey to a family, but I believe many of the fears and concerns about surrogacy can be addressed and resolved early on to lay down the path for a beautiful, fulfilling, joyful journey. There is an inherent lack of control entrusting someone else to carry your baby, but the concerns that stem from that feeling can largely be put to rest when you create a relationship with your surrogate that is based on trust and understanding, supported by excellent and consistent communication.
Intended parents’ hopes and dreams seem to be just out of reach sometimes. When they are told they are unable to create their family on their own and need assistance, they may start researching how to put together a “team” who can help them reach their goal. The key players of their “team” may include any of the following, an agency, a surrogate, an egg donor, a sperm donor, a fertility clinic, and a third party reproduction attorney. Each party needed plays a vital role during this amazing journey of family creation.
While most individuals in the United States possess at least a rudimentary understanding of what fertility treatment is, their opinions and attitudes on the subject are likely the result in whole or in part of their individual belief systems. Even though reproductive technologies are new and unfamiliar territory, by now most major religions have established teachings and philosophies pertaining to the existence of and use of assisted reproduction, each of them drawing from and interpreting their key doctrines for guidance.
Oh I remember it all too well it was a grey December day. Everyone around me seemed to be pregnant, and there I sat again being told that my in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle did not work. I was not pregnant. I was crushed and so sad.
When you are in the thick of it, it often seems that nothing is simple when it comes to an egg donor cycle.
Most intended parents arrive at the door to egg donation after a grueling in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle, or two, or three or … more. Somehow, after all of this, the strength, courage and money is found to try again with an egg donor.
After this voyage to the emotionally charged decision to work with an egg donor, then arrives what, for many, can be the most difficult part of the infertility journey: donor selection. The “Match.comminess” begins. Dizzying lists of available donors are perused, for weeks, often months in what many describe as a completely surreal experience. Then, she appears. Perhaps the same smile, the same almond-shaped eyes, the same love of animals, or the perfect combination of many things. Finally, things seem to be turning in your favor. Except for one small catch. You live in San Francisco, and your dream donor lives in Boston. But she is your egg donor, you just know it. Thus begins an added complication and expense to an already complicated and expensive endeavor.
The stork, a rainbow, “the birds and the bees.” — these are just a few of the stories used to answer the age-old children's question of “where do babies come from?” As adults, we understand where babies come from and the fact that sometimes, babies don’t come that way either. Adults are able to understand the struggles intended parents go through for the chance to have their family. But, what happens when you have stray from the regular stories and explain to children the added dimension of surrogacy to make a baby?
“What will you tell your children?” This is a question often asked when intended parents meet surrogates for the first time. They fear there may be a bond between the surrogate's children and the baby.