Donor egg disclosure is advised, but it's a personal matter and a number of issues should be taken into account. Dr. Daniel Shapiro, Medical Director of Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta, GA, and Clinical Director of My Egg Bank, N.A. explains.
Sperm donation has long been shrouded in secrecy, and that seemed in the best interest of both the donors and the couples who used their sperm. But now a generation of donor-conceived children has come of age, and many believe they should have the right to know who their biological parents are.
Women inseminated with a donor's sperm used to be advised to tell no one. Go home, doctors said, make love to your husband and pretend that worked. But in a trend that mirrors that of adoption — from secrecy to openness — more parents now do plan to tell such children how they were conceived and are seeking advice on how best to do that.
I can remember a time when people going through egg donation or sperm donation talked about “disclosure.” It’s a word that I’ve never liked, at least not in reference to the truths about how one built one’s family. The very word “disclosure” implies that there is a secret — or the possibility of one — and that that secret needs to be dealt with. I prefer the words, “truth” or simply “family story.”
These days, most people I meet fully intend to talk with their children openly and honestly about donor conception and to do so from a young age. But what of those who come from the “Disclosure Days?”
It has been my experience, as well as that of others in the field, that many individuals conceived through egg or sperm donation are curious about their donor and the donor’s other offspring.
They may fantasize about their genetic parent and siblings. They are curious if they look like them and have similar behavioral traits. They want to know why their donor donated. They almost ubiquitously are curious to meet their donor, whether they want to have ongoing contact or not.