8 Surprising Facts About Egg Donors

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One of the more neglected purposes of this blog is to share information (and dispel myths) about makin’ gaybies.  I want to educate people about my family – and at the same time help prospective parents, gay or straight, who might be exploring their own fertility options.

A while back, I posted about some common misperceptions of surrogacy and why Drew and I chose that path, and now I want to share some information about the other part of the equation: the egg donor.

Admittedly, our situation is somewhat unique.  Our egg donor was my partner’s sister, Susie.  (Yes, I contributed the sperm.)  But before Susie made her offer, we were planning to use an anonymous egg donor, which is what most gay dads pursuing gestational surrogacy do – and understandably so.  Not everyone has as wonderful a sister-in-law as Susie, and for various reasons, not everyone wants to have such close ties to their egg donor (ahem, Modern Family characters).

If your fertility plans involve an egg donor or if you’re just curious about the process, here are a few facts I learned while Drew and I were exploring our options:

1. Egg donors are young.

The ideal donor is in her late teens to mid-20s.  Yes, late teens.  (OK, very late teens – I never saw anyone younger than 19.)  It came as a bit of a shock to me and Drew that our child could be getting half of his or her DNA from Gossip Girl.  When we saw their pictures, it reminded us just how young 19 actually is.  They had acne and awkward grins, wore baggy college sweatshirts and put their hair in pigtails.  Susie was 28 when she donated.  Compared to the women in the database, she was practically over the hill.

2. Your children will most likely never meet their egg donor.

If you’re adopting a child, you have the option of an “open” adoption, where the birth mother maintains some form of mutually agreed-upon contact with the child throughout his or her life.  Dan Savage recounts his open adoption wonderfully in his book The Kid, a must-read for all prospective gay dads or anyone considering adoption.

I loved the idea of open adoption.  There’s no shame, no secrecy and the kid never has to go through that pain of feeling like they don’t know where they really came from.  When we started to lean toward surrogacy, I was hoping we could do some kind of “open” surrogacy.

We learned pretty quickly that there’s no such thing.  When we asked our agency if we could stay in touch with the egg donor, they seemed startled.  It wasn’t something anyone – intended parents or egg donors – ever requested, and they were pretty sure no donor would agree to it.

These were young women, after all, most of whom wanted to have their own kids someday.  They didn’t want someone else’s kids tracking them down and calling them “Mommy”.  In fact, just to become egg donors they had to divorce themselves of any feeling of kinship with their eggs.  It was like donating blood.  You’re happy to know it went to good use, but you don’t need details from the people who received it.

3. Unlike sperm, eggs are only donated “on demand”.

Sperm donors make their deposits (and get paid) not knowing if anyone will ever use their sperm.  That’s because sperm is plentiful, easy to produce (fun, too!), and cheap to store.  Eggs are none of those things.  If you become an egg donor, you go through testing (both medical and psychological) to make sure you’re equipped to donate.  Then… you wait.  Your name, photo and vital info goes into a database, and someday, if someone picks you, you get a call that it’s go time.

You could sign up to donate eggs and never actually get picked by any prospective parents (which means you never get paid).  Anonymous egg donation is definitely not for anyone who’s afraid of rejection.

4. Egg donation is a big time commitment.

A sperm donor can start and finish his job in pretty much the amount of time it takes him to open a Victoria’s Secret catalogue or press “PLAY” on a DVD.  But egg donors don’t have dozens of eggs on hand at any given time that they can just drop off at a fertility clinic on a whim.  They need to prepare themselves physically. That means about six weeks of medication.

First, there’s birth control to synch her cycle up to the surrogate’s.  The only way a pregnancy can occur is if the surrogate’s body is prepared to take over right where the egg donor’s left off.

Next, the egg donor is required to take hormones to stimulate egg development.  These need to be self-injected.  To someone as squeamish as me, that sounds excruciating, but our fertility doctor assured us that he’d never had a donor drop out because of the medication.  The side effects are usually mild – bloating, moodiness, that sort of thing.

Then, there’s the actual procedure, which you do in a doctor’s office and which takes about 10-15 minutes.  It’s not anything too horrible, but it’s not like retrieving sperm, for sure.

5. There’s generally less anonymity for egg donors than sperm donors.  

Once eggs are donated, they’re fertilized immediately (extras are frozen for later attempts) and transferred to a surrogate 3-5 days later.  Most sperm donors never encounter their intended parents first-hand, but egg donors don’t have that luxury.  You’ll probably be bumping into each other at the fertility clinic anyway, so many agencies will let you meet and interview prospective egg donors before making your decision.

Even if you don’t meet them in person, the database tends to give you their first name, an extensive bio, pictures and a video of them talking, all of which you can later pass on to your kids if you choose.

6. The standard rate for egg donors is $8,000. 

Egg donors earn a lot more than sperm donors, because of all the extra trouble they have to go through.  Their standard rate is $8,000 per “harvest”.  (The cost to the intended parents is greater, because they’re also paying for all the medical fees and medication.)

Still, $8,000 isn’t a fortune, and unlike sperm donors, egg donors are limited in how often they can donate.  The whole process can take six months, which means you’d be lucky to donate twice a year.  People don’t donate eggs to get rich.  They usually do it to pay for a couple of credits at college and to help infertile couples in the process.

7. The world of egg donors is the Wild West of the fertility landscape.

Well, OK, maybe a few women are making big bucks on their eggs.  That’s because egg donation is not currently regulated by the government.  The $8,000 fee, although fairly standard, is only a suggested retail price.  Individual agencies and donors are free to mark up as they see fit.  One agency I found online advertised “premium” egg donors – ones with Ivy League degrees, high IQs, athletic awards, etc.  A couple of them had donated their eggs more than ten times.  They also charged premium rates – some as much as $30,000 per harvest.

This represents a very small minority of egg donors, but it happens.

8. The pool is limited. 

Anyone who thinks the process of egg donation is akin to genetic engineering or eugenics is vastly overestimating the amount of choice available.  It’s more like trying to find your future wife in a bar and having only the patrons of that particular bar at that time available to you.

Given the commitment required of donors, it’s no surprise that relatively few women volunteer.   Our agency’s database had about 40-70 donors at any given time.  Not a ton – and even worse if you’re looking for a certain race or ethnicity.  Our agency had 1-2 African-Americans, 1-2 Asians.  Sure, there are dozens of other agencies you can locate with a quick Google search, but once you find someone you like, you have to make sure she’s available.  She could be “on hold” for another couple or in the process of donating to someone else.  That could lock her up for six months or longer.

Meanwhile, your surrogate may not be very patient while you wait for your dream donor to appear.  In fact, Drew and I were turned down by a potential surrogate who was uncomfortable with how long it was taking us to find a donor.  (This was part of what ultimately led us to Susie, so it ended up being a good thing.)

If you’re interested in helping infertile couples and non-traditional families like mine, egg donation is a wonderful gift you can give someone.

You’ll need to be interested in more than just making money, though.  The cash you do make, you really have to earn.  It won’t be enough to change your life, because part of the reward is knowing how much you’ve changed someone else’s.

152 comments on “8 Surprising Facts About Egg Donors

    • What a mean thing to say. She is explaining that she feels badly about separating her offspring from her family and that if she raises any of her children she’ll have to explain why some were worthy to keep and others were irrelevant enough not to raise or even acknowledge. She is showing empathy and emotional maturity.

      Eggs that wash down the drain are just eggs. Nobody cares about them. She is talking about her own children that she is not raising, members of her family that are kin to her kin whether she takes care of them or not does not change the fact that they are in fact the grandchildren of her parents or nieces and nephews to her siblings or cousins to her siblings kids – not half anything either full grandchildren full cousins full nieces and nephews. In contrast her eggs that wash out with her period are none of her family’s business, they are simply her dead cells.

      • And God forbid the donated child and your child meet one day and fall in love! Material for a soap opera.

    • Wonderful point. Every month I have my period I am flushing away the future siblings my son could have had. At least with egg donation you are helping another family.

  1. Great Post,
    I just wanted to share my experience with any prospective intended parent out there…
    I am a single gay man who had a beautiful daughter via egg donation/surrogacy 3 years ago. When my daughter was born, I asked the agency to let the donor know what the outcome of her donation was and that if she was interested in getting to know my child, that I would be open to the idea. The agency contacted her and she was thrilled with the news! We have met twice; we share pics all the time; I met her bio grandma and I am truly happy that I established this connection for the sake of my daughter. They are truly wonderful people.

    I can certainly understand that not everyone wants contact with their donor, but for my family it was absolutely the right decision. I did my best to make sure that my daughter knows where she got half of her DNA from so that when she is old enough (an adult) they can decide what kind of relationship they can have.

    I am currently going through this process again. You can always ask the agency that you are only interested in working with donors who would be willing to meet the child/children at a certain point when they are older. If they are not interested; then I am not interested. I absolutely believe that whatever I offer one child, I should offer all my children.

    I just want to point out that there is nothing wrong in not knowing your donor. In my case, I was lucky that she wanted to meet her bio daughter.

    My present donor has expressed an interest in meeting me and my little girl and I am thrilled to comply… will keep you posted.

    JD

    • Thanks so much for writing and sharing your story, JD. It makes me really happy to know that there are egg donors out there who are open to having contact with kids who are born from their eggs. I was so disappointed when I was initially told that wasn’t an option.

      I’m really glad you were able to create your family on your terms – your daughter will be very lucky. Kudos, too, for being a single parent – yet somehow finding time to read my blog! :)

      • I also wanted to chime in here, though I realize quite some time has passed. I have been searching for stories online similar to my own and stumbled on your blog. I donated eggs and have begun to have a wonderful relationship with my biological kids and their parents. It has been an emotional and challenging experience thus far, but beyond worth it. I am certain there must be other potential donors like me who would be willing to build a relationship with the recipient family. It is early yet for me, so we’ll see how it goes. We are forging a new path here, which can be scary, for sure. But I would certainly urge anyone looking for a donor to do a lot of research because we are out there. Good luck to you all! <3

      • Thanks so much for the comment. I realize that an open relationship with one’s egg donor isn’t for everyone (intended parents or egg donors), but I’m so grateful to have one in my family, and it’s nice to know it’s available for other people who are interested. Best of luck to you and your extended family!

  2. Great post. The only thing I take issue with is your statement that the side-effects of the IVF meds are “generally mild.” My wife went through two rounds of IVF to conceive our son, and “generally mild” is a wild understatement. Let me put it in perspective for you: First, these woman are injecting themselves once or twice a day with big long needles. The injection sites get sore and swollen, so you have to keep switching sides or moving around. Pretty soon, your whole buttocks and thighs are swollen and bruised and you feel like a human pincushion. Second, the hormones to stimulate egg production make the ovaries (which are ordinarily the size of walnuts) swell to the size of tennis balls or even grapefruits. That is more than mildly uncomfortable. (Imagine if your bollucks swelled in the same proportion, and stayed that way for weeks: yikes!)

    • Thanks for the comment, Clio. Honestly, when I heard the egg donation process described to me, I was a bit horrified. Self-injection, swelling ovaries? It sounded so unpleasant. I’m only going on what my egg donor (who admittedly is not a complainer) and my doctor told me, which was that it sounded worse to me than it actually was. I salute your wife and anyone else who’s gone through the process. :)

    • Thanks for posting, Clio. Many of these very young women are students and hearing that symptoms are “generally mild” may be severely unprepared for the emotional and physical symptoms of the procedure. They may feel financial pressure to take a risk that could change their life. Disruption to grades in school, social life and other health risks should be clearly explained. Commodification of women’s organs (placenta, ovaries, uterus) should be treated like the commodification of human organs that men also have. International law and laws in every country ban the sale of human organs. Donation is one thing; sale is another. Check out the important film: Eggsploitation!

      • Thanks for the comment. I’m all for informing people of the risks of the egg donation procedure, but many women find it rewarding enough emotionally (as well as financially) to go through it over and over again. Clearly, they’re not put off by the side effects. Let’s not get hysterical. Nobody’s selling any organs here. I agree that egg donation is not for everyone, but I think the women who are interested should have that choice.

    • It really depends on the woman. I did IVF four times (we are now moving on to donor egg) and apart from the momentary pain of the shots and the tenderness at the shot sites, all I experienced was some bloating. That was a total surprise for me, because back when I was using birth control there were some brands of the Pill that could throw me into a completely debilitating depression–it depended on the exact hormones used and the dosage. IVF drugs are a MUCH higher dose of hormones but they had basically no effect on my mood.

  3. Amazing article. Wow, the rate has gone up! Ten years ago, it was only $3000. Wowee! Incredible, insight, thank you. Now I realize how rare my eggs are. But I’m definitely over the hill at 32… man! :D

    Pink.

  4. You mentioned that donors are typically young. Is that because only younger women CAN donate or that only younger women WANT to donate? I can’t go through the process until I’m done with school, but once I graduate, I’d be VERY interested in becoming a donor.

    • It’s because women’s fertility drops precipitously with age, both in terms of quality and quantity of eggs, and it makes no sense to go to that much effort and expense with a woman whose fertility is compromised. Why would anyone spend upwards of $30k (egg donor compensation, medications, IVF procedures…) on a, say, 40% chance of a baby with a 34-y-o donor when they could spend the same amount with a 26-y-o donor and have a 70% chance? That’s the reasoning, and so 32 is generally the upper limit for egg donors, though clinics will make an exception if, say, you have a 34-y-o sister who wants to donate and she passes all the clinic’s requirements (blood tests and an ultrasound to check her ovaries, etc.).

      The “late teens” comment surprised me, though, because many clinics won’t work with egg donors who are under 21. The egg quality is generally great in 18-19 year olds, but the idea is they may not be mature enough to really make an informed decision about giving away their eggs.

      FYI, a lot of donors are in college when they donate; they fit it in during summers or other school breaks (the really intensive part of egg donation only lasts about 10 days).

      • Hi Idealgirl. I am a mother to a 2 year old gorgeous son with down syndrome. Yes I had IVF with him using my own eggs and was 41 at the time but I now know a massive community of over 500 families who have had a child with ds and most of them range from 18 to 28 years of age.

  5. Wow, I had NO idea egg donation was such a huge commitment. I always figured it was 15 minutes in the doctors office, they stuck the eggs on ice, & there you go. Thanks for all the insight to the process!

  6. A very eye opening post. I had no idea egg donation was so involved, but what an incredible gift to give if you can. I just added The Kid to my Amazon cart!

  7. How is it everyone here can be so cavalier about denying children a relationship with their mother? You understand this is buying and selling children, right?

    • Donating eggs is not being a mother. Donating sperm is being a biological father, but biological motherhood is more complex: it’s not just providing genes (as a bio-dad does), it’s also gestating and giving birth to the child. I mean, think about it: a birth mother who gives her child up for adoption has done a WHOLE lot more to bring that child into the world than an egg donor. But a “birth father” who simply impregnated the birth mother and scrammed hasn’t done any more than a sperm donor.

      If you want to use the term “mother” for an egg donor, “genetic mother” makes sense. But it’s absurd to overlook the role of the woman who carried that child for nine months and went through labor or a caesarean to bring it into the world.

      • I agree with you in the sense that an egg donor is much different than a woman who gives birth, and then gives the baby up for adoption – the genetic mother though, is still a biological mother…different terminology, similar meaning. Giving birth to a child who is not biologically connected to you, is still a larger connection than one that you picked up at the local adoption center. I believe a child who is conceived through an egg donor should still know their biological mother, and learn about their roots..otherwise it’s denying them their fundamental rights in knowing where they come from. Parents who use an egg donor, and then told tell the child, are robbing their children of their genetic truth. It is one thing to be adopted, and to not know where you come from..it’s an entirely different thing, when your parents know where you come from and withhold that information from you for their own selfish reasons.

      • Hi Shayne,
        Not telling the child is a completely different thing than just using an egg donor at all. I agree with you, pretty adamantly actually, that it’s wrong to not tell a kid from an early age that they were [insert truth here: donor conceived, adopted, whatever]. Not to mention, it’s stupid and cruel, because the kid is going to find out at some point in their lives and it’s hugely traumatic to find out your parents have spent your entire life lying to you. It’s SO much easier if it’s just something the kid always knew.

        But what “Anonymous” was saying in his/her post seemed to be that egg donation is wrong, or that egg donation should only happen if the egg donor is somehow going to play a role in the child’s life. That’s what I was responding to.

      • Idea girl, biological parenthood is when a person is biologically related as a parent to a born individual. You don’t call a woman a mother or a parent during her pregnancy you refer to her as an expectant mother because her motherhood won;’t begin until there is a born child in existence. Biological fatherhood also begins upon the birth of an individual that separation point where they are a person independent from the body that they gestated in.

        So the born person has no recollection of when they were not a born because they did not exist yet as an independent person. This is the whole thing about not saying that life of an individual begins prior to birth. I’m pro choice and when a woman is pregnant she is counted as one person in a delicate condition. She expects to be a mother soon. When the baby is delivered she either is or is not biologically related as mother. A gestational carrier of another woman’s embryo does not share any blood with the person she gives birth to. There is much talk about carriers influencing the expression of genes in the fetus they carry well of course her health can negatively impact the fetus but there is no switching on or ff the genes. The child will be no less related to its biological mother because he or she was carried in the body of another woman. If there is a negative impact from the carriers health it is to the same extent as anyone caring for a developing mind and body can influence positively or negatively its development. Influence and creation are two different things.

    • You realize that an egg is not a child. Roughly once a month a fertile women will shed an egg. Do you weep for that egg?

      And how is it denying a relationship with a mother, the child will have a mother, it’s usually the surrogate except in the case of gay male parents.

      Either way, your arguments are based on a undereducated emotional response, not logic.

      • Marilynn No please further your education regarding genetics. The environment of the womb absolutely has a say in what genetics are expressed, “turned on or off”. A baby birthed from the donor will be different from a baby who was birthed from the recipient mother. It’s called epigenetics.

        Anonymous, To diminish a mothers role because she used a cell from somewhere else is absurd. As Ideagirl said, the baby has a biological mother, the woman that grew and nourished him/her and birthed them. In no way are they “deprived” of a mother.

        In saying that, I do agree however that the child should be told how they came about. As only harm can come from keeping secrets. And if both parties agree to keep contact then I have no problem. It’s when uninformed people start preaching that it’s wrong for the mother to not want a relationship with the donor, that I have a problem with. Yes give the child all the information about the donor, but in no way should the mother feel obligated to have a relationship. Everyone has different emotions regarding it, so please leave it up to the individuals to make the choice without them having to hear if it’s wrong or right.

    • Would you rather not exist at all? Those were the options available. Nobody uses donor eggs or sperm as a first resort; they do it because there’s no other way for them to have a baby (adoption is not possible for everyone, and in any case adoption, unlike egg donation, actually does remove you from your biological mother). And the genes that combined to make you would never have combined at all if your parents hadn’t used a donor.

      • “Would you rather not exist at all?” Heck of a question to ask them. You can ask that of anyone complaining about being treated unfairly for any reason. Like Hey you women who are not allowed to vote, would you rather not exist? That’s just the way things are for women would you prefer not to have been born?”

        Who gives a rats butt what their biological parents intentions were before they were even biological parents? Once people have offspring and they are biological parents they should all be accountable as parents for their offspring to the same extent or their offspring won’t have equal rights will they? People are not suppose to be penalized for their parent’s actions. The fact that a parent does not intend to support of their offspring should not change the fact that the offspring has a right to supported by their biological parent. But that is exactly what happens to offspring of donor parents. They are the exception to the general rule. They are in a separate class with fewer rights than everyone else.

        ” Those were the options available. Nobody uses donor eggs or sperm as a first resort” Right their own biological child is what they really wanted, they only resorted to raising someone else’s child when they could not have their own. So what makes you think that having non bio parents in lieu of bio parents would be the first choice of donor offspring? Does that second choice thing only work one way? If they settle for a non bio kid isnt the kid settling for a non bio parent?

        “they do it because there’s no other way for them to have a baby (adoption is not possible for everyone” There is no other way for them to raise a child than to get a child from someone who fails to raise their own offspring. Fair enough, a parent has to fail in order for them to be given an opportunity to succeed. ,

        “and in any case adoption, unlike egg donation, actually does remove you from your biological mother)” No the bio mother is not raising the child. Only one woman can be biologically related as mother. Carrying the child does not create a permanent biological connection. If you choose not to see the egg donor as a mother that is not a belief founded in anything other than perception and personal choice, technically the woman the egg came from is the mother.

        And the genes that combined to make you would never have combined at all if your parents hadn’t used a donor” Well that is not entirely true the donor chose to create her offspring in this manner and so did whoever the man was who fertilized her egg. We don’t generally care why two individuals got together in order to have offspring. Whatever influenced their decision influenced their decision. They met at a party or they met at a clinic what possible difference should that make in determining the rights of their resulting offspring.

    • Sure it is: A woman ‘donates’ an egg, and then the agency ‘donates’ a few thousand dollars.

    • They do not pay the donor for the egg, They pay for the process which involves daily drug injections screenings physicals, pain, emotions and complications a women has to go through during the process.

  8. Jerry, I would very much like to get in touch with you to start a dialogue between feminist advocates and the gay community on the subject of third party reproduction. I am a life-long passionate feminist and a member of the board of directors of the National Organization for Women (NOW). As the former Executive Director of Connecticut NOW, I worked hand-in-hand with Love Makes a Family to get equal marriage passed in CT. I also worked very hard to get transgender people included in CT’s hate crimes act. For several years I have been very involved in issues of third party reproduction and exploitation/commodification of women. I work with an international network of feminists and am a contributing author of a call for a UN Declaration on global reproductive trafficking and violations of women’s human rights. I feel very strongly that a dialogue needs to be established between feminist activists and the gay community on how gay men’s desire to have a child/ren they are biologically connected to can be balanced with the serious short and long-term health risks to women who provide their eggs and/or rent their bodies as surrogates, the issues of exploitation of women, particularly financially vulnerable, low income and poor women, and the further commodification of women and their bodies beyond universal sexual commodification. I am impressed by your thoughtful piece on the subject of egg procurement (although I take issue with some aspects of it) and it seems you may be a good person to help me get such a dialogue off the ground. Please contact me if you are interested in this effort to respect everyone’s human rights.

    • Thanks for writing, Kathy. I appreciate the thought you’ve put into this subject and would be happy to discuss it with you further. I consider myself a feminist, and my initial hesitations regarding surrogacy were out of fear that it was somehow exploitative of women. It was only after my fears were dispelled that my partner and I chose to pursue gestational surrogacy, and I feel confident that both our surrogate and egg donor were treated well and rewarded (and I don’t mean financially) for their participation.

      I take issue with the notion that surrogates merely “rent their bodies”. I’d be curious to know if you’ve spoken to any actual surrogates who feel that way, and if so, I’d argue that they shouldn’t be surrogates if that’s their attitude.

      By all means, women should be fully informed of the risks of any medical procedure they undertake. Ultimately, there will still be women who, for various reasons, will choose to become surrogates and/or egg donors, and I respect their right to make that choice. I am also grateful that gestational surrogacy brought two amazing women into my family (one of whom was already related, actually) and my children’s lives, and I have nothing but the utmost love and respect for both of them. My partner and I consider them role models for the kids.

      • Thank you for your response Jerry. I’m happy that your situation has worked out so well for all concerned but that is far from the case with many others. Yes, I have spoken with surrogates who have had horrible experiences. Have you seen the documentary “Made in India” by feminists Rebecca Haimowitz and Vaishali Sinha or “Google Baby” that exposes how impoverished women in India are lined up assembly line-style in bed after bed as virtual prisoners of these clinics, not allowed to leave the clinic for the 9 months’ duration of their pregnancy? Without strict regulation of the $6 billion profit-driven fertility industry, abuses and exploitation of women’s poverty and subordinate status throughout the world increase their exposure to gender-based exploitation and physical harms. In the United States, there is NO regulation of the industry, no oversight, no mandates to disclose clinics’ annual rates, demographics (income & ethnicity), medical and legal outcomes. No regulation permits exploitation, unsafe practices, abuse and fraud. Information (data and statistics) must be obtained to develop legal and regulatory safeguards along with enforcement of laws and mandates. In Europe, surrogacy is an illegal medical procedure and the European Parliament has issued a Resolution stating that surrogacy and egg trafficking constitute an “extreme form of exploitation of women.” I highly recommend that you read GeneWatch magazine’s issue devoted to “The Ethics of Assisted Reproductive Technologies;” I have authored one of the articles on “Abuses of Women’s Human Rights in Third Party Reproduction.” The link is http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/GeneWatch/GeneWatchBrowser.aspx?archive=yes&volumeId=24&issueNumber=3. Again, I invite you to create a “round table” dialogue on these issues with me and other interested parties.

      • If anything, my experience has assured me that egg donation and surrogacy can occur without exploitation of women. I’m horrified that it’s not performed that way in other situations. If you’re looking for common ground, I think we’ve found it in the need for regulation of the industry.

      • Fantastic! New Jersey just passed a commercial surrogacy bill that provides absolutely NO regulation of the industry. I spoke at a press conference at the capitol in Trenton on this along with a diverse group of opponents, including surrogates. The U.S. is 2nd globally in the supply of surrogates after India because of its complete lack of regulation. It’s estimated that 50% of surrogates in the U.S. are “military wives” who represent an ideal supply source for agencies and brokers. They survive on low incomes ($16,000 to $28,000 per year) and tend to marry and have their own children at young ages, so the prospect of doubling their income by serving as a surrogate is a powerful incentive. These women have few legal or regulatory protections, making them sitting ducks for exploitation and fraud. It is no coincidence that surrogacy brokers and clinics are concentrated in areas where there are large military bases. One could also point out that while the military heavily recruits from the working class and poor demographics to provide cannon fodder for endless wars and occupations, these people are doubly exploited for their reproductive capacities by profit-driven private enterprise.

  9. Jerry, I am the producer of the award-winning documentary “eggsploitation” and your post caught my eye, as I so rarely see posts which factually deal with the real risks to a young woman’s health. I encourage you to watch the film to get better informed. I recently screened the film at Stanford University, joined by Judy Norsigian, author of Our Bodies, Ourselves, who told the audience, I tell any woman thinking about doing this NOT to do it. Like my colleague, Kathy writes, I would welcome the opportunity to dialogue.

    • I’d be happy to talk to you, too, Jennifer. I obviously have a different point of view on the subject of egg donation. There is a dark side to it, for sure, and I applaud your efforts to bring that to light. (I tried to be honest about it myself in my post.) However, in my case and in many others, egg donation is a beautiful, mutually-beneficial arrangement between consenting adults that brings new life and love into the world. I am a strong advocate as you might imagine.

      As I told your colleague, I fully support the spread of information on these topics and I wish you the best with your documentary. (I hope that you present both sides of the issue, though the title “Eggsploitation” makes me suspect otherwise. If you need someone to represent the other side, I’d be happy to do so.) No woman should enter into surrogacy or egg donation without being fully informed of the risks, be they physical, psychological, financial or otherwise. I believe that both of the women who helped my partner and me create our family were well aware of what they were entering into and consented fully throughout the process. I thank them every chance I get and remind my children constantly of their gift.

  10. Jerry, if you email me your address I would be happy to send you a copy of the film for free. You say you want women to be fully informed, and I agree. But they cannot be fully informed as we have never, ever done any long-term studies/research on egg donation. It’s very much like the early tobacco industry days when everyone was told smoking is harmless — only when decades later the industry was compelled to do the research and studies were done and low and behold, we found out smoking causes lung cancer and warning labels were placed and smoking was stigmatized as bad and harmful. Regarding presenting “both” sides, I invite you to go on any egg donation /fertility website and see where they tell the side of the women I have met. They tell one story – happy couples with cute healthy babies. As any documentary film does, it tells A story, and I intentionally told these women’s stories. Bright, educated “fully informed” women, who had real serious harms done to them. Surely that must give us pause and demand the research be done.

    • I would agree that more research should be done, but I don’t think a lack of research compels us to assume the worst.

      If egg donors aren’t being fully informed of the risks of the procedures, then perhaps the industry needs to be better regulated. It doesn’t mean egg donation is inherently evil or exploitative of women. I can assure you our egg donor was made fully aware of what she was entering into. Either way, this does not absolve you of the responsibility to present both sides – at least if you consider yourself a journalist rather than a propagandist.

      My offer stands. If you’d like to hear more about my story, I’d be happy to share – or you can simply read more of my posts on this blog.

      I’ve emailed you my address. I look forward to watching your film.

      • I don’t consider myself a journalist at all. I’m first a nurse (25 years experience) and have an advanced degree in bioethics and I’m a filmmaker. I think many people confuse the g’enre of documentary film making with journalism. Documentary films by definition – document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record.” I’d welcome hearing your story here on your blog or you can email me.

      • Fair enough, but if you’re on a mission to scare women out of being egg donors, I hope you’re aware that you may be frightening away some women who would benefit greatly from participating. I have no doubt there are horror stories, but there are happy endings, too, and it would be a shame if those were snuffed out in the name of “protecting” women.

      • Nope, not trying to scare anyone. Just making the case that there is no way to know which women will have happy endings and which won’t. The women I’ve interviewed (in print and film) were otherwise healthy women, who were working with very reputable agencies (Boston, SF, LA, etc.). No one could have predicted their outcomes. They went through all the screening and were given the green light, and then the shit hit the fan. I just did two more interviews with women a few weeks ago. Many I write and document on the film’s website

      • I haven’t seen your film yet, but the marketing certainly leads me to believe that fear is a big part of your creative arsenal. The image of the woman with a hand clasped over her mouth, the spooky music in the trailer. You’re certainly entitled to take a position and to sensationalize the topic to arouse interest in your film, but let’s be honest. These are scare tactics.

      • Jennifer’s technically correct about studies on egg donation, but she’s missing the point: there have been plenty of studies on the health effects of **doing IVF** (which is what egg donors do), and they indicate that there’s no long-term health risk at least up until IVF #6. In other words they’ve studied women who’ve done up to 6 IVF’s and found no long-term health risks. That’s why the ASRM guidelines provide that egg donors shouldn’t donate more than 6 times–because we know that doing IVF up to 6 times it’s safe, but we don’t have data on doing IVF more than six times.

      • The woman I donated my eggs to recently told me she has begun menopause..and she is too young for it- we don’t know if it would have happened this way naturally, or if hormones the from IVF jump started the menopause process. Her doctor said she believes IVF probably played a part in it…more research obviously does need to be done to know the full effects though. I gained a massive amount of weight when I took hormones to donate my eggs…but again, that also could have been combined with stress of getting another degree and working two jobs at the same time…one can never know the full correlation I think.

  11. I suggest you watch the film, which is going out in today’s mail, then you can weigh in. But suffice it to say, the stories in the film are true, powerful, compelling and say much about a heavily unregulated billion dollars a year industry. The image is provocative and suggestive, fitting with the industry which doesn’t want to be exposed. To be fair, the industry has images and slogans which disgust many of us feminist (e.g. the “our fairy godmother” website, and the sites with suggested gifts for your egg donor – a teddy bear, a starbucks gift card). I do like using the tobacco industry analogy again. You know their latest campaigns which show people with holes in their throats and all the grisly photos: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/health/policy/cdc-finances-nationwide-antismoking-ad-campaign-a-first.html/ Should we consider these scare tactics when only about 25% of smokers ever get lung cancer? If the majority of smokers don’t get lung cancer, let alone die from it, why do we work so hard with educational awareness and anti-smoking campaigns? But yet, turn a blind eye and let an otherwise healthy young woman choose to take such risk, pumping her body with powerful hormones we wouldn’t want in our foods we eat or water we drink?

    • Jennifer, I wonder if you have ever dealt with infertility yourself to be so judgmental on this issue. Or are you arevone of the lucky women who are able to conceive naturally as so many women who dont even want children (or deserve them) do. I personally have been thru the ivf process myself…the nightly injections, the swollen ovaries and the egg retrieval procedure. Yes there are risks and pains involved, however the fertility clinics (at least the ones I have worked with) do inform patients of all of them. The women who choose to donate their eggs for financial or altruistic reasons, are not victims. They are consenting adults. They may or may not regret their decision to donate one day, but isn’t that true with all choices in life. Reading your comments made me sick as so many other narrow-minded, self righteous people do.

      • Paula, I am asked that question often. Of course there are many things one can speak out about without ever having experienced them. We don’t require only women who have been raped are the ones who can speak about being raped. Same with domestic violence. Fill in whatever. I’m not a scientist but have many thoughts on climate change. Must I remain silent and only be allowed to speak about things I have personally experienced. But to answer your question directly, yes for five years I was diagnosed with “infertility with unknown cause”.

  12. my husband and i have had 10 ivf cycles and all failed we are now going to move on to egg donation and surrogacy , i think people like jennifer and others who condem it are lucky that they are not in the position where they need these services, perhaps they would have a different attitude then, also it appears to me like it is infertile women like me who are exploited on a daily basis by doctors and clinics who never know when they are getting enough money from us. we saved for ten years to afford fertility treatment and nothing is thought of that, also i was refused adoption due to a chronic pain illness!! so surrogacy and egg donation is my only hope of becoming a mother some day and my child will be the most cherised and loved child on this earth and i will alway be grateful and in awe of the wonderful donor and surrogate who helped me become a mother. ( that is assuming it works for me as after 10 failed ivfss we are emotionally and finantially drained and feeling low on hope)
    rosebud

    • Hi Rosebud,

      Please try to ignore the people who condemn and judge. There are many more of us, like me, who are rooting for you. I’m so sorry to hear about all you’ve been through. Best of luck with the surrogacy process, and feel free to contact me if I can answer any questions or do anything to help.

      Best,
      Jerry

  13. Im very interested in donating my eggs! its just the thought of going through an agency…If someone wanted me to do it I would want it private. its cheaper for them and more couples (wives/husbands. Or same sex couples) would be able to start family…I would love to help a couple….actually even a single woman…there are a lot of single women that want a baby and are more than capable to care for a child. If anyone knows someone have then reply to this message. I would love to do this amazing gift for someone!!!!

  14. I hope that every deserving woman that wants a baby…gets one…regardless of how he/she is conceived……if there were more private egg donors and surrogates there would defiantly more children on this earth that are born and taken care of! cause in my eyes too many babies are being born to mothers/fathers that are too selfish to put that precious gift first…my opinion….

    • Thanks for your comments. It’s good to hear you’re so enthusiastic and committed to egg donation. I decided to remove the comment where you give your email just because I don’t think this is really the right forum to match you with someone looking for an egg donor. If you’re ready to move forward, I advise you to contact a reputable egg donation agency in your area and go from there. Good luck!

  15. Can you or your readers tell me how interested are couples, gay or straight, in a multi-ethnic black woman’s eggs? Is it desirable? I would love to give the gift of donating but from my previous experience my profile sat around for a year or more without any inquiries. The clinic agency couldn’t or wouldn’t offer any ideas. This is something I’m curious to know.

    I haven’t given up hope!

    • It’s awesome that you’re so committed to donating. I would guess most people looking for egg donors want someone who somewhat resembles them or their partner physically and ethnically. If you have a particularly rare ethnic mix that might make it harder to match you up, but don’t give up hope. Maybe there are agencies that cater specifically to certain ethnicities? At worst, know that your intentions were good and the fact that you haven’t been chosen is nothing personal. Good luck!

  16. I was actually looking into possibly donating some eggs – but at 34, I couldn’t find an agency that would take them. I’m still looking for someone who wants my eggs – or at least won’t DENY my eggs based on my age. I understand the whole argument that the older you get, the more likely certain things can happen – but genetically, none of those things exist in my extended family – of over 80 people – some which were born from people over the age of 30.

  17. Thank you for your article. The differing view points are very interesting.

    I am 28 years old. I received my master’s degree at 23 and have held a stable and financially rewarding job ever since.

    I am currently on my third donation cycle.
    The intended parents in all three cycles have been very unique. My first cycle was completely anonymous. I know the name and location of the second recipients, but we have not had contact. The current recipients and I regularly Skype and they’d like me to be as involved or uninvolved in the process as I would like to be.

    Overall, my experience has been great. It’s a lot of work–you have many (well over 10) medical appointments per donation, must meet with a psychologist for psychiatric testing, and work with a lawyer that represents only you (the intended parents generally have their own lawyer). The financial benefit has been nice, but the fact that I have helped someone achieve their dream of parenthood is even more rewarding.

    It’s not for everyone, but I would not let some of the posts discourage women interested in donating.

    • Thanks so much for posting this. I’m glad to hear from someone who’s had a good experience with egg donation (besides my own egg donor, of course). I’m especially glad to hear you’ve been able to have an open relationship. What a great thing for everyone involved when it works out that way.

  18. Fantastic post! FYI, I’m 26 and going through the process of becoming an egg donor myself. The agency that I’m working with DOES open donation (which I am opting for).

    • I’m just now looking into it. I’d love to hear your thoughts. All you can find on the internet are horror stories.

    • HI, Can I find out the name of the agency you work with, or location specific enough I could look it up? I am very interested in finding an open egg donor. Thanks!

  19. I’ve been doing research on egg donation for the past few days. I must admit, my reasons were primarily financial. I’m applying to grad school and will be in tremendous debt pretty soon. If I wasn’t going to grad school, I probably would have never looked into it. However, before I sound like a horrible person, if I found it at all unethical or life threatening, I would never participate. Money isn’t everything. That being said, I’ve started to think about the actual child that may end up at the end of the spectrum. I’m 28, not currently dating, and I don’t have a crystal ball, so I have no idea if children will be in my future. At first I figured I wouldn’t want to meet the child just in case it created any psychological distress. However, after reading the comments about open donations, I think it could be beautiful. I love the idea of passing off my healthy genes to a couple who needs it, and an open relationship could very much benefit the child. Also, imagine the distress to the donor and the child if after 18 years, the child decides to make contact. Which, I believe, is legal as of 2005. I do worry about feeling an connection that is stronger than I would like, however, the bond of pregnancy, childbirth, and raising is what makes a mother. That is something that can’t be replicated and is what makes the infertile couple the true parents.

    • I felt terrified about future contact as well when I donated, but I have to say it has been amazing being in contact (and quite close) with my three bio kids and the recipient family. It certainly hasn’t been easy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I also believe it is really the best thing for the kids to know where they came from. I would strongly encourage you stay open to it. I’d be happy to contact you privately if you would like to chat some more about it.

      • I agree with one of the prior comments on this post. I considered donating and/or surrogating in the past. Working with an Agency always detoured me because I would much rather assisted a couple who could not afford the inflated Agency fees. It’s too bad nothing exists for women who would consider donating or carrying a child on a low cost or even volunteer no charge basis. Now I’m 37 and much too old to be considered. Had I found the right couple, it would have brought me great joy to give life without the financial burden.

      • That is a beautiful thought. I’m sorry egg donation and surrogacy didn’t work out for you, but I think it would be wonderful if there were a charitable organization where people could offer their services at reduced costs, or better yet, free. I wish more people could afford surrogacy.

      • Thanks so much! I just sent in my application so we’ll see if I get a call and get past all the rounds of testing.

    • I’m so glad to hear you’re considering egg donation. I hope you can chat with some other donors, here on this site, or elsewhere. I know there are horror stories out there, but there are plenty of wonderful stories as well.

      I can only imagine what it’s like to donate and then maintain contact with the child that’s created. It has its emotional risks, for sure, but I feel like if you have open communication with the parents and everyone’s on the same page about their expectations, the rewards can be great.

      Good luck with everything!

    • Remember that the bond of pregnancy is only experienced one way by the woman who is pregnant. Everyone that is born has two biological parents who are either there to raise them, or are not there to raise them. If they are not there to raise them, the question will be why not? In adoption the answers are complex but rarely except with genetic mothers who got pregnant in surrogate contracts, is the answert “I made you specifically to be given up in order to make some much needed cash” Bio parents are not suppose to think of their offspring as objects they can make and use to trade, barter,sell or gift in order to benefit themselves or others. Their offspring are people and we don’t give people to other people as gifts generally.

      So from the perspective of people who are born and living without one of their bio parents being accountable for them and raising them, think of how it will feel to have been given as a gift to the people raising you.

      • Oh fine, I’ll bite. You seem to have taken an interest in/developed an obsession with my blog, and I can’t quite tell if (a) this is an effort to drum up business for whatever it is you do, (b) you want to have an intelligent debate on the subject or (c) you’re just a kook. I’m betting (c), but what the hell. I’ll give you a shot with writing my intelligent response, while remaining as cordial as possible after all you’ve written.

        My children do not have a mother. At 4 years old, they already are — and will remain throughout life — aware of how they were created and where their DNA came from. They know their surrogate and their egg donor, and while we haven’t made the distinction yet because we don’t feel it’s important, we expect that they’ll someday do the math and realize that I was their sperm donor. None of this bothers any of us, and while my kids are still too young to fully grasp what makes our family unique, we see no reason for them to be confused by/ashamed of/frustrated with their family structure when we have been so transparent and positive about it since the day they were born. There is no reuniting to be done, no service you could provide them that would make any difference in their life whatsoever.

        You say you’re “down with gay parents”, but I wonder how true that is when you insist on forcing our families into your own rigid definitions. If you’ve read my blog, you’ll see I’m clearly of the belief that “mother” and “father” are terms reserved for the people who raise you. Thus, my kids have no mother and two fathers. “Surrogate” and “egg donor” are also terms of honor in our family, and those individuals have a very special place with us. To suggest that either or both of them need to take an active role in sharing custody of our children is to completely miss the point of the family we’ve built. Our surrogate and egg donor each have their own families and have no interest in sharing custody of our children. Nor would that be geographically feasible, as they are both prohibitively far away. Nor have my kids ever asked for this. Again, they’re only 4, and I imagine that will be your response, that you’ll assure me that they’ll never be fulfilled by our family structure. Well, I can’t prove you wrong. All I can say is, come back to me in a few years, and I’ll let you know.

        I’m aware that your definitions of family, mother, father, etc. are quite different from mine, and that you place a much higher priority on genetics than I do. That’s fine. You’re entitled to have your own views and to build your own family accordingly. But nobody asked you to judge my family according to your standards. There are plenty of people who don’t believe families should have two dads, and my response to them is the same as my response to you: stay the hell away from us. (Yes, that’s the cordial version of what I mean to say there.)

        I know plenty of people who’ve built their families through adoption, surrogacy, foster care, co-parenting, single parenting, just about anything you can imagine, and their families are beautiful. Many of them have chosen paths that wouldn’t have worked for me and my partner, but I love and respect them just the same and am glad they’ve found a family structure that works for them and that they get to experience the immense joys of parenthood.

        I wish the same for you and also hope you can someday appreciate that the diversity of modern families is a good thing for all of us.

        Thanks for writing.

      • I do what I do for free. I think plenty of well intentioned people don’t think through what people loose in these deals and it does not matter how much they gain because they are in different categories.

        It is great that they know who your egg donor, their mother is. I know she did not intend to raise them when when she decided she wanted to have offspring with you. They will want to know why she did not want to raise them that’s all. Well there is more but I’ll say that for now. The part about no legally recognized kinship with their maternal siblings is not real fair either.

      • Sooo, your point is that couples who has the inability to naturally have children should not be helped? I don’t know about you but, Im tired of flushing my eggs down the toilet why not use them to help a family?

  20. I’m blown away! Am I the only one reading these posts? Does the word selfish still exist? Egg donors for the money. The gay people because they can’t produce a baby with their lover (the reason for sex) so we rob that poor child of a mother and a father to raise them. How did this become o.k. in our world?? Unbelievable….

    • Well, Lester, I agree that it would be amazing if the medical community had plenty of volunteer egg donors, but I’m guessing that since egg donors are in such high demand, that they don’t. Here’s the thing. There might be a number of volunteer egg donors, but the criteria to be accepted is so incredibly high, 95% of them will be rejected. You should take a look at an application. There really cannot be anything physically or mentally wrong with you or your immediate family. It’s understandable. These families are desperate and are paying top dollar. They need to have no doubt that their child has no health problems. So more egg donors are needed because not enough volunteered. Man, I wonder why? Probably because you have to pump your body with hormones and get poked an prodded (EVERYWHERE and EVERYDAY) for 14 days, and the have a surgical procedure. Even with the high compensation, it’s not an easy decision to make. Women have to put their body through the ringer for this. At the end of the day though, a family that ends up with a child of their own probably could care less about the motivations of the donor and would still be eternally grateful.

    • Lester, the word ‘selfish’ does still exist. For your information, the words, ‘Uninformed’, “Ignorant’, and ‘Judgmental’ also still exist.

  21. I stumbled upon your post after perusing the internet for people who might share a similar experience as my own. About 4 years ago a friend of mine, who I had only known for about 2 years told me she couldn’t have children with her husband, and they needed an egg donor. As she described how they want the donor to be, I realized I fit all of their qualifications. My friend was pushing 40, and I was only 23 at the time. I told her I would donate my eggs to them. I felt like I would be doing a huge deed to humanity by helping this couple. After donating my eggs to them, I moved to China for work. I learned she became pregnant with twin girls. When I came back from China I met them 2-3 times. It was a weird feeling at first because they looked like I did when I was a baby. I’ve recently seen them again now that they’re almost 3. I think it is a weird feeling on one hand, because they have my mannerisms, my facial expressions and my *good* looks, but they are being raised by two wonderful parents, and I never once regretted the decision to help them. When they’re older they will find out that they were created through my assistance, and if I ever have my own family I would welcome them into my home for dinner or a chat anytime, and I would tell my own children about them. I am a gay female, and have a long time girlfriend. When I first told her about the twins she was uncomfortable with it, but she now embraces it, and understands why I decided to do it. I know it was the right decision for me, regardless of what my mother, or other people might have thought. I helped create a loving family for two people who wanted nothing more than to have children, and I am also a passive participant in their lives. I think everyone wins.

    • What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it. I’m glad your girlfriend came to understand. We worried about my sister-in-law’s future relationships when she donated eggs to us. Would her future boyfriend/husband want to deal with the baggage of her having donated eggs for her brother? But she told us that anyone she’d be interested in would understand.

      • That’s exactly right…although I am not raising the twins..they came from my DNA, and they are apart of me. Donating eggs is not like donating blood…there are two little people out there who look, and act just like me. It’s an amazing experiment of nature vs. nurture, because they’ve only met me 4 times and Skyped with me a few times…and yet their mannerisms are very much similar to my own. If someone I was dating was not comfortable with me having donated my eggs to a friend, and me maintaining communication with the conceived children then that is not a person I can be with long term.

  22. IdeaGirl writes:Jennifer’s technically correct about studies on egg donation, but she’s missing the point: there have been plenty of studies on the health effects of **doing IVF** (which is what egg donors do), and they indicate that there’s no long-term health risk at least up until IVF #6. In other words they’ve studied women who’ve done up to 6 IVF’s and found no long-term health risks. That’s why the ASRM guidelines provide that egg donors shouldn’t donate more than 6 times–because we know that doing IVF up to 6 times it’s safe, but we don’t have data on doing IVF more than six times.

    IdeaGirl, you are absolutely incorrect on this position the ASRM takes on “6 donations”. It has nothing to do with scientific studies of risk. It is an arbitrary, meaningless number, based on the number of children created by an individual egg donor – meaning 6 ‘seemed’ like a number where children wouldn’t be created and end up growing up and marrying each other. Please produce data you say exists.

    • Jennifer, it has nothing to do with 6 “seeming like a number where children wouldn’t… end up growing up and marrying each other.” If it did, it would bear some relationship to the number of donations that the ASRM recommends for sperm donors… but it doesn’t, at all. The guidelines for sperm donors are 25 donations per 800,000 population… MUCH higher than the egg donor guidelines. Why? Because donating sperm has no possible impact on a man’s health.

      • Actually the number of offspring for sperm donors and the number of offspring for egg donors is the same according to the ASRM documentation. It’s the number of cycles that they suggest not exceeding but the number of offspring is the same. Look it up

    • 6 cycles times 20 eggs is 120 embryos. That is about the amount of offspring that a sperm donor has to promise to yield in order for a cryo bank to break even for their administrative and storage costs over a five year period. They have to sell enough sperm for at least 100 kids in five years or they’ll be in the red.

  23. I’ve been considering donating eggs. I asked if I would be able to meet the child, or at the very lest meet the parents, and they said no. They said that prospective parents don’t want to have a third person involved in the kid’s life, but I think it should really be up for discussion between the donor and hopeful parents. I won’t donate unless I can find a group that will let me have some communication with the recipients.

    • Beth, I agree with you. Donating ones eggs is not the same as donating blood. I donated my eggs to someone I knew so I would always be a passive participant in the children’s lives. The amount of hormones and things I went through for them to be made was too much for me to just pretend I never made children. My friend is a great team player. She sends me pictures, videos, and skypes with me and we’ve met up a few times since the girls were born 2 1/2 years ago. I think it’s important for children to know where they come from, and not to withhold that information because the people raising them want to be selfish about it.

    • Hi Beth, have you had any luck with finding a group that has open communication between egg donors and recipients? I am desperately searching for an egg donor and would like them to be ‘known’. I think it would be most healthy for the child to be open about it.

      • I would love to be part of such a group. I was an egg donor twenty years ago and I donated eggs to 3 different families. I would love to see/meet the offspring for an open relationship. I also have four children of my own that would be interested in meeting any of these children. I donated my eggs with love trying to help others have babies. It took me 5 years to have my first and I know how precious they are. I just don’t know where to go from here.

    • Beth and you should not just give your children over to people you have never met just because they can afford to pay a premium for them. You have the emotional maturity to know that you are the only person truly responsible for your actions and that you would be choosing to create a child and contracting to abandon parental responsibilities for that child, the least you can do is control the process of who winds up taking care of that child. You are putting a child in a position where someone other than yourself is going to have to raise them. If you were handed a strange baby and told to find someone to raise that baby, would you choose the person to provide 18 years of care based on the same financially driven criteria as the clinic or would you do some background checking and some post placement follow up?

      You can see from the clinic’s response to your question that you would not be donating an egg. They don’t want your egg, they want your child and if you agree to that then they need your egg in order to make the child that you’ve agreed not to raise.

      You are willing to hand your offspring over to an unknown infertile woman so that she can experience the joy of raising a child for 18 years when I doubt you’d be willing to hand your car keys for an hour to a 16 year old stranger who’d never driven a car before so they could experience the thrill of the open road for the first time. Or how about turning over the keys to your house for just a week to a homeless person so they could experience the benefits of living indoors?

      Your desire to at least choose and monitor the people who are going to raise a baby to adulthood when you are the one making the baby in the first place is totally rational. If you must do this your smart to want to keep track of what happens to the dependent minor you cause to exist. Remember that keeping tabs on the kid won’t explain to the kid why you would not just want to raise them yourself with their father under separate roofs like all the other parents who are not couples in this world. It will not explain why their step mother is listed on their birth record as their mother when plenty of people have parents who are not married to eachother but are married to other people and have great relationships with their step parents. It wont explain why they were important enough for one bio parent to raise but not the other. The fact that their step mother was pregnant with them won’t matter to them because they were not alive to experience or remember that. That was her experience, not theirs. They were born and their bio mother chose not to raise them. That is how they will view it. Unless they are brainwashed.

  24. Beth, some IVF clinics and almost all egg donor agencies will facilitate communications and meetings between the parents and the donor if both parties want it. Some clinics don’t want to deal, I guess, with the extra workload of helping to coordinate that and having extra contracts drafted (egg donors sign contracts with the intended parents, and the contract for a totally anonymous donor will have different things in it than the contract for a partially known or fully known donor). But the “no” answer you got from whoever you were asking was just that person’s answer, not the entire IVF industry’s answer. You can choose to be either an in-house clinic donor or an agency donor, and you can choose which of those options you want based on their answer to that question.

    That being said, if you feel an attachment to any potential children that is strong enough that you would really want to meet them and be bothered if that couldn’t happen, that might indicate that you’re not really “wired” to be a donor–in other words being a donor might be a bit traumatic for you personally. It’s something to discuss during the inevitable psychological evaluation that clinics and agencies provide to potential donors.

  25. Hi,

    I have been an egg donor for 13 years and feel blessed to have had the opportunity to do so. I know that you said that there is no such thing as an open donation. . I actually have contact with a few of the families that I have donated to. The willingness of contact is agreed upon during the contract process. I love meeting the families. In fact, I am bringing together two families this weekend to meet eachother:) Becoming an egg donor was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

    Best regards,
    D.M.D

    • Hi Doris
      I reunite separated families for free and there are getting to be more and more from gamete donation contacting me. I found that many sperm donors actually donate not knowing if they will ever get to have and raise their children under traditional circumstances and want to be sure that their family line continues. They are excited about meeting their children and feel good about what they did when they know who is raising their children and that they are OK. The ones who have gone on to keep and raise some of their kids find it difficult to explain why they kept some but not others.

      Do you have, plan to have children that you keep and raise in addition to the ones that you allowed others to raise? If so how do you or will you explain why some were worth keeping and taking care of yourself and others you’d let be raised by someone else. Do you think that it is important for someone who does allow others to raise their offspring to know who those people are and to maintain continued contact for the peace of mind it gives you? I’d imagine that you sleep better at night knowing that they are well cared for and can contact you anytime they want. Also your family is probably well aware of their existence and would not be shocked if they were contacted by one of the kids you are not raising.

      If it is going to be done you’ve done it in the way that will ostracize your offspring the least from your family and that is a good thing. Sad that they can’t also have their legal kinship in your family, quite a few rights are lost by them and your family members but far less than if your family knew nothing of them and they did not even know who you were.

  26. Hi five to all “donators” you are amazing souls to be willing to help others whom are unable. I am left speechless by your love and generosity. To the typical naysayers….if you don’t like it, don’t do it! Simple.

  27. I have a son who was born from a donor egg. I carried him for nine months and he’s the best thing in my life. I don’t think I’m more selfish than any other parent who wished for a baby. Before deciding to use a donor egg, I had three failed ivf cycles. I’ve gone through egg retrieval myself and it’s not a big deal. To me, the mothers and surrogates who carry a baby to term are the ones who do all the hard work.

    Also, I read a lot of research into the effects of ivf on women’s bodies before having my first ivf cycle, and there’s very litle actual evidence that having one or several cycles of ivf will be detrimental to one’s health.

    I think helping someone to have a child is a beautiful thing. My donor chose an open donation and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. My boy can contact her once he’s eighteen, should he want to. I went to a fertility clinic in a European country where the donors are not paid, except for a small “inconvenience” fee, so there are people who do this for altruistic reasons.

  28. My question is…. If you use a “birth mom” (put your egg in another woman) would the baby have the DNA of the birth mom too???

    • No, Cecy, she wouldn’t, except perhaps in a few stray cells (pregnant women and their babies often exchange some cells). In other words the baby might have the gestational carrier’s DNA in a few of the gestational carrier’s cells floating around in her body, but all of the baby’s own cells would contain only DNA from the egg donor and the biological father.

      That being said, pregnant women’s bodies do influence the baby’s genes to some extent, deciding if some genes will get turned on or off, and so on. You can find out more about that by googling “epigenetics pregnancy.”

  29. Jerry,
    I am considering donation, and this article is great! I love the dialogue it started, and I just want to say kudos for your amazing, collected, and super intelligent responses to the negative, rude, and crass responses! :)

    • Thanks for writing, Amy. I feel like some anti-egg donation group found out about this post and rallied their troops to raise Hell here. (Wow, this is the 100th comment on this post!) I’m not planning to take the negative comments down, because it’s a fair discussion to have. But I also want this blog to be a place where potential egg donors can see all the good their gift can do and all the happiness and love it can bring people like me. Egg donation may not be for everyone, but hopefully a little information can let people like you know if it’s right for you.

      Good luck, and feel free to contact me through the contact me page if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help.

      • Thank you for your blog post Jerry! I just completed my first egg donation cycle today. I wanted to donate my eggs for many different reasons. Perhaps one of the more unique reasons is because being lesbian, I will sort of have to be on the receiving end of things in the future. I wanted to experience the giving side as well. The only issues I had during the past 6 months were with my egg donation agency. They confused my records with that of the surrogates for well over a month and had me go to unnecessary doctors appointments before my doctor realized their error. That was a very uncomfortable experience but I decided to continue with the procedure because I felt like the intended parents were counting on me. I wish I had an open donation like you did with your egg donor. I think it’s because I’m a very open person so it goes against my nature to kind of hide like this. If I do this again I really hope that I have that opportunity. My agency informed me that most intended parents feel more comfortable with anonymous donations, but I will be working with a different agency in the future so maybe they will feel differently. I’m happy to know that there are parents out there like you who want an open donation.

      • Congrats on completing your egg donation cycle! What a great reason to donate, kind of like paying it forward in advance. Sounds like you had a lousy agency, which is unfortunate and one of the problems with egg donation being so unregulated. I hope you do find a better agency next time, and one that allows open donations. I’ve received a lot of feedback on this post, and other people have said that they’ve done open donations and found agencies that do them, so I encourage you to keep looking. There may not be a ton of intended parents looking for open donation, but if that’s what you want, you have every right to hold out for that before donating again.

        Good luck – and thanks for writing!

  30. *** There is Hope on Earth***

    I would like to share my story with anyone who could consider my experience useful! The story starts in 2005 when I was diagnosed with cervical carcinoma. As you understand I have no chances to give birth to my baby. After long long consultations with my psychologist, me and my husband were told that the best (and I think the only) way to have a child for us is to find donated eggs and a surromom.
    I need to tell that we decided to do everything in Europe, because I heard and read a lot about Spanish and Czech IVF clinics. Most of the feedback I read made me confident about this destination. So had my travel begun. I had two unsuccessful tries, one with fresh eggs in Barcelona, Spain, which lasted 2 years because it took really long time to find a donor; half of my heart had blown away when I heard that the girl lost our child.. Next try was in Prague, Czech Republic; it was not so long, because they found the donor quickly. We had to wait until they find us a surromom and everything seemed really well! But the pregnancy occurred to be ectopic. Frankly, at that time I was deeply depressed and almost dropped my hands. I am really thankful to my husband for all the help and support I received from him!
    My husband stumbled on a forum website, and saw a testimony of Prophetess Asheika Stewart from USA. who help people in having there own baby’s, we saw a lot of encouraging testimonies about this Prophetess. We read 100s of good reviews about her online,this boosted my faith and i decided to contact her,she prayed for us,and we ordered for her pills that she recommended for us.Surprisingly,i started feeling better and my health was restored..(doctor confirmed). When we finally decided to try again,i fell pregnant at the age of 37,everything worked like a miracle,we had our baby boy 2 months ago and it was a success,we are all in great and perfect condition..
    I want to advice all women in same position to never give up,it happened to me and it could happen to you..no more traces of carcinoma and other infertility in me…This great woman has also helped a lot of women i know…
    you can always visit her on prophetessasheikastewart@yahoo.com

  31. I donated my eggs 5 times between 2003 and 2005. I would do it again, but 5 times is the limit in PA unless someone requests you. I only know of one successful outcome, but would LOVE to know of more. I did opt to be contacted one day if the need or want arose. I also joined the Donor Sibling Registry with a lifetime membership – JUST IN CASE! I started because I knew I didn’t want my own children and thought this would be a good way to give back to the next generation. I agree the money is nice, but reading the thank you cards from the recipients made the biggest impact on me!

  32. Pingback: Fertility Support and Finding the Perfect Egg Donor | Health Blog | Health News | Tips | Advice | Diet & Nutrition | Beauty & Skin | Wellness | Best Health Advisor

  33. I just recently donated my eggs, and I’ll admit, I did it mostly for the money. I’m not proud to admit that, but the truth is the truth and going to grad school (even in the medical sciences) is incredibly difficult for low-income students like myself. Every other girl I know here at my university (8 of them) who has donated eggs fits a very precise demographic: we’re all low-income and barely scraping by when it comes to food or housing. This is likely the norm for the vast majority of egg donors in college, which is something that I think prospective parents should be aware of and agencies should inform them of.

    Of course, the big question is, would I do it again?

    Probably not. I’m very well-versed in medical jargon, ethics, procedure, etc. due to my doctoral concentration. And the way that I was treated by the agency I went with (which is the top in my region) did not sit very well with me at all. They did not want to listen to me or advise me when I was having very unpleasant side-effects and I was ignored when things started to go wrong (such as contracting OHSS). Overall, I felt like they just wanted my eggs and didn’t care about my health at all once those eggs were out of me. I would never treat my patients with the dismissive air that I was given there. And the term “designer donor” also really put me off, too.

    I’m happy that I was able to provide eggs to an infertile couple, but the actual process was very unpleasant and made me feel like a commodity. I’ve spoken with the other girls at my university who were egg donors and four of them felt similar during their donations as well. That’s not a good sign when half of these girls feel like they were just a number and not a person.

    I think the main issue stems from the agencies themselves, not the donation itself or the prospective parents. More openness, long-term research studies, and regulation to protect both the donors and the eggs seems very necessary at this point. And as a soon-to-be epidemiologist, I’m surprised these agencies haven’t gotten in trouble yet for the lack of studies and practices I saw during the process.

    However, I do not begrudge the couple who received my eggs. They would likely be very upset if they knew how some donors were being treated by the agencies and egg brokers.

    • Daniella, The concerns you raise is one of the main reasons I produced the documentary “Eggsploitation” (which I just released in a new, updated and expanded version with more donor interviews of OHSS, stroke and other complications). Just yesterday, the editorial in JAMA, by Dr. Evan Myers at Duke University sites the important flaw in IVF using donor eggs – no tracking, follow-up, short- or long-term health safety studies on donors, and how this compromises informed consent.

    • Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply, Daniella. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t have a more positive experience donating your eggs. Sadly, I fear that too many women are being treated poorly when they try to donate. (I know our surrogate wasn’t thrilled with her treatment by our agency, and I was appalled at some of the stories she told me.)

      My partner and I ended up using a known donor, which was a great decision for us but which isn’t an option for everyone, so it’d be great if the industry could get its act together in this regard. One thing I think we’d all agree on is that more regulation would be welcome.

      By all means, share your experience with your friends and with everyone who will listen. That’s the only way your agency and others will pay attention to donors’ needs and to the areas where they’re falling short. I’m sure I speak for Intended Parents when I say that we don’t want anyone to feel regretful about donating their eggs. And your friends who’ve had positive experiences should share their stories as well, to steer people toward the agencies out there who are really doing good work.

  34. I am an almost 30 year old egg donor. I am also a mommy of a 6 year old little girl. I will admit my first cycle was driven by the $8,000 check. One week into that cycle though I realized it was so much more than the money. I love being a mommy and am so happy to give that gift to someone else. I am now going through my second cycle and have my retrieval Wednesday. I did not have any emotional side effects and the shots do not phase me at all. The bloating has been rough tho! And I cannot sleep on my stomach or back bc both out pressure on my ovaries. I will say in the end it is worth it. I do not have any attachment to my eggs- I am not using them and if they can help make a family with parents that will love and care for them – then great! I truly enjoy being a donor. This will likely be my last cycle though. I feel that the long term effects of the drugs are too dangerous to test my luck and do any more cycles. I also am getting to a high age and feel my body may not handle the drugs and well as they have these past 2 cycles. I can say it is a big commitment and the nurses and doctors feel my age and maturity has made me a great donor compared to younger donors. It is a decision that should be made after getting all the facts first. I also ask a lot of questions and I am a part of my check ups – I ask to see the ultrasound and am very honest and open with the nurses and doctors. I would say there are some clinics that are better than others and I really lucked out with the team I am working with!

    • Thanks for sharing your perspective. I think a lot of the anti-egg donation people fear that women are being exploited and coerced into doing this. I’m not saying that never happens, but it’s so good to hear from someone who looked out for herself, had a rewarding experience and decided to do it again. I definitely recommend potential egg donors ask a lot of questions and only move forward if they’re 100% comfortable with the medical staff and the intended parents. Egg donation should be a positive experience for everyone involved.

  35. Pingback: 8 Surprising Facts About Egg Donors — Everyday Feminism

  36. Hi! I read your blog and found it very refreshing and honest. I am a 28 year old female. I have been fortunate enough to come to America and now i am getting an education that I could only dream off if I was back home !

    Anyway, I have 2 gay brothers. I have another brother, but he is what you would cal a ‘breeder’ (3 kids and counting). The two others are amazing human beings and I am so proud to call them my family. I have told both if them that when they are ready, I will be more than happy to carry their babies for them. (Insert the egg donor here).

    I am nowhere ready to have my own babies, but I am interested in donating eggs to a couple. Granted, in your post you mentioned the age thing, and so I’m probably considered a dinosaur, but I have thought about this for years and have taken my time to think this through.

    I think I have an advantage over those teenagers that you mentioned in your post. For one thing, I can have a conversation without using the word ‘like’ a hundred times in one sentence. I’m rambling, my point is, I would like to help but I don’t want the couple who will raise the child to start their journey into parenthood off in major financial dept.

    Any and all advice would be helpful.
    Thanks

  37. Just stumbled across your blog and am glad I did. I am a single Mum to two boys. My eldest is almost 17 and my youngest has just turned 2. He is my full IVF cycle baby with my own eggs at 41 via a sperm donor who is gay. When I chose Mark to be the donor it was because he was happy to meet any prospective children (he has 3 other donor children aswell as my son who is the 2nd youngest) and because his 10 page letter about himself and such just stood out from the others. I had 2 counselling session’s before my IVF which was 4 cycles and resulted in two pregnancies (one I lost) but it was never a problem for me to use donor sperm. My eldest son is from my a previous relationship but I have not been with his father for many years. This is going to sound like a double standard as I am adopted but I do not think I could donate my own eggs even though I used a sperm donor. I would find it hard to not see someone I helped create although I love my “adopted” Mother more than my biological mother who I met at the age for 23. To me my real Mum is the beautiful woman who raised me not the one who gave birth to me and then gave me up for adoption. With that said I am so glad that others donate eggs or sperm and am happy that your partner’s sister helped you and your partner become Dad’s. Being a parent is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Best wishes from DownUnder xo

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  39. Great post. I donated about 20 years ago when the process was relatively new, and I was still in college. I knew I never wanted to bear children (and still feel similarly today), but hated the idea of needles, etc, in fact, I generally fainted. The donor couple was probably on their own pins and needles as I tried to inject myself without fainting. Fortunately, I had a co-worker who helped me out.

    I had a bad reaction to the hyper-stimulation and nearly lost my ovaries, but recovered. Though I was a one-and-done kind of donor, even as I was being wheeled out of the hospital, seeing excited new parents made it all worthwhile.

    Its a great gift to give someone and I think of that family fondly hoping they are healthy and happy.

  40. I cant believe what i am reading. It truly breaks my heart for all the innocent children involved. Donating and buying sperm and eggs….. This is something that is done out of sheer selfishness. There is no way that anyone can deny that its not. The only people that are benefiting from these sales, are the people receiving these eggs and sperm and the people that receive money from “donating” them. These are HUMAN BEINGS that are being created from these transactions we are talking about. Human beings with hearts and feelings and thoughts and souls… not objects. Just because the parents get what they want and are happy, it makes all of this ok? What type of world do we live in ? A world that cares about nothing but money, truthfully. Human beings purposefully being stripped of their rights to know both of their biological parents, all for money and all to make someone else happy is just wrong. Clearly nobody thinks of the children involved and their feelings at all. Have any of you people read the stories of these donor children or spoken to one of them personally? While they are grateful for their life, the vast majority of them are disturbed, deeply scared and have many problems later on because of the way they were created. You people are making yourselves happy and fulfilling your dreams of becoming a parent at the expense of someone else. In what world is that ok? One that only cares about money. And before anyone says anything, I myself am infertile and probably will never be able to have a child. That doesn’t mean I am willing to hurt someone else to get what I want. And I am not a monster or any other name you want to call me because I don’t agree with you. I usually have no problems with the decisions others make in their life. As long as their decisions aren’t hurting someone else, and in this case your decisions are hurting someone in ways that you can’t even begin to imagine. Of course nothing that anyone says to any of you that partake in this business will convince you of the truth, because people will always find ways to justify the wrong things they do, because its what they want and that’s all that matters. Wow.

    • What a shame you feel the way you do Ash. I have a friend whos best friend recently donated eggs and my beautiful friend had her precious donated embryo transferred last weekend. I really hope it works out for her as she will make an amazing Mother and why should she have to miss out on being a parent when her own eggs are no longer viable and our country has strict adopting laws. My own 2nd child has a so called Donor Father who is a friend but I used my own eggs. As an adopted child who was adopted out AT BIRTH I disagree with you saying that my son or others who are surrounded by a loving family will react the way you are submising because one parent donated. All children are created with love. Are you sure its not the fact that two men who are gay have had a family member (in law) help them become parents? Hmmmmm

    • “While they are grateful for their life, the vast majority of them are disturbed, deeply scared and have many problems later on because of the way they were created.” Where is your proof, ash? Provide the facts or your statements bear no resemblence of the truth. You have an agenda and should be truthful about that.

  41. Wow… These comments got me thinking! And, I agree the financial end has gone up quite a bit. I donated my eggs five times between 2002-2005. I was told five was the ‘safe limit’ by the agency I went through. I only know one was successful – the 1st one.
    I got $2500-$5000 by the time I was done and the last two cycles went to multiple couples because I harvested so many eggs.
    I did it because I knew I did not want to have my own children and I felt this way I was giving back to the next generation as well as helping a couple in need.
    I would do it again in a heartbeat! The letters/cards they give you the day of your follow up appointment from the couples are heartwarming and made me cry every time!
    I chose on my form that I would be willing to be contacted although the agency I went through has since merged with a large hospital. I also joined the Donor Sibling Registry site as a lifetime member so if ever needed, a possible child could contact me.
    The new movie Delivery Man with Vince Vaughn I think has many people thinking… My 1st donated egg would be 12 this year… That’s crazy to think about!

  42. Gentlyjax, I care about nothing but the children conceived in these situations. The kids period, point blank. You are speaking of the people on the receiving end of this deal and their happiness, Not the children. These donor children are oh so loved and wanted are they? How about the fact that these children wouldn’t even exist if these infertile people could have biogical kids of their own? How many people do you know that wanted a family and could have them on their own/with their partner that decided to use donor sperm or eggs just for the hell of it? Exactly. They are created as a last resort. How do you think that affects them to know that??? I do not give a solitary crap if your friend is suffering from infertility, her pain does not justify the pain inflicted on donor children! You seem to have the idea that being a parent is a persons right. It is not. Youre telling me your friends needs and wants exceed the needs and the emotional trauma these kids will likely experience? Disgustingly selfish. It is a fact that the majority of these donor kids have a problem with the way they were conceived. Talk to some of them……read their stories. You will find that 95% of their stories will bring you to tears and asking yourself how the world can allow this, if you have any sort if heart. The man who made this blog did a good thing by getting a known donor so if his kids have any issues in the future they will be able to contact the mothers. While in my eyes he did a good thing, that doesn’t mean the kids are going to feel any better about the way they are conceived when they grow up. And the vast majority of these kids are stripped of their basic human right to know where they come from = anonymous donors. Its like they are third class citizens. Nobody thinks of them and the way they will feel and the problems it in most cases will cause them. There is a reason why anonymous donations have been banned in the UK. These donor kids will all grow up one day……What will you say to them then? Aren’t you happy to be alive? You were loved? You made us so happy? Yeah parents who receive these donations have tried all of that before. It doesn’t work. I’m not going to partake in this convestation anymore. There is no reasoning with selfish people. I’m a demon for thinking of the kids, I know.

    • OK, ash, I agree with one thing — that you need to call it quits trolling my blog. I’m curious what donor children you’ve spoken to and where you come up with your 95% statistic. I’d love to introduce you to the donor children I know, such as mine, but I shudder at the thought of exposing them to someone as negative and judgmental as you.

      There are kids are who are conceived and born under some legitimately terrible circumstances. Kids who are neglected, abandoned and abused. You’re telling me that my kids will be traumatized because two men wanted them so badly they went to great effort and expense to have them? Nonsense. They were conceived out of love and are being raised in a loving home. I’m fine with my decisions, and if you read the comments here, you’ll see that most of the other donors and parents are as well. I know, I know. You don’t care about us or our happiness. But I do. You’re insulting my people. Now leave.

      Bye.

      • I am donor-conceived. I founded AnonymousUs.org and have a big fat book of testimonials from other donor-conceived people declaring what agony it is to be deliberately denied a natural parent. Being “wanted” is an immature argument. You’re only wanted so long as you please your buyers. If you’re conception is commissioned and they discover you have Down Syndrome or a missing arm—you’re likely to get aborted. If you’re like me and you grow up to reject how your biological parent was obliterated and paid off—then perhaps they won’t kill you, but they’ll cut you off/ hurt you in other ways. Because the whole point of your existence is to make your parent happy.

      • My 2nd son has down syndrome Alana and his Father is a friend who helped me concieve him thru IVF. Marks sperm and my eggs. I did not terminate my son during my pregnancy for having ds markers. In fact I refused the amnio to find out before he was born as he deserves to be here as much as you or I. I dont know where you live but here in Australia a donor can not donate more than a few times, there is none of this ridiculous 500 donor children per person like the recent movie that has come out. In my country there is a donor registry and donor Mothers or Fathers can meet their donor children. Im adopted and I wanted to get to know my biological parents and did meet them as an adult but my real Mum and Dad are the 2 people who raised me. The other two are like extended family I guess, not my parents. Of course there is always two sides to every story. Sorry to hear you have not coped well not having both biological parents around. I will stop by and check out your .org website tomorrow for a look.

      • There are kids are who are conceived and born under some legitimately terrible circumstances.

        Kids who are neglected, abandoned and abused.

        Just trying to understand how being wanted and loved by someone other than one’s bio parents makes up for the fact that they are unwanted and unloved by the bio parent. It’s sort of additional love right?

        With adoption of abused kids people adopting can say that the kid was separated for his safety due to reasons like the one’s you cite.

        Do you think the biological mother of the child you are raising has a tendency to neglect or abuse children? Is there any evidence that would lead a judge to remove her offspring from her custody were she to give birth to her offspring and be held accountable for them? Should her other offspring that she wants to keep be seized at birth due to eminent danger in her care?

        Your kids won’t be traumatized because two men wanted them so badly they’ll be traumatized that their bio mother did not want them. It’s not about what they are getting its about what they are not getting from their mom. You say they were conceived out of love,their mother and father did not conceive them in love, their father partly love partly commerce because he wanted to give a baby to his partner so he bought out the mother of his kid;,

        Being raised in a loving home.no doubt. But what about their missing family?

    • ash, you provide no facts. You provide no studies showing “95% of their stories will bring you to tears. If you can’t back up your statements with proof then you are simply writing fiction which is a nice way of saying you are a liar.

  43. Ok so let me get this straight Ash…You dont care about anyone but the children and not about the adults at all? Any adults? What a lovely person you are then NOT! I think there is no reasoning with someone with judgemental blnkers on such as yourself. Over and out!

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    • Hi Jerry I came across your blog last night after a midnight search on egg donor recipient stories. I will confide my thoughts to you from a different side (the young almost donor). I have been considering to become an egg donor and have recently submitted applications. In the process of ED, psychologists are included to help women with the emotional turmoil that we do face. My psych is un reachable so you get to hear at a front row seat what some of these thoughts are. Sometimes the thought of the outcome of my offsprings sometimes doesn’t let me sleep. I think that maybe if there was a greater reason besides the financial crises I face.. I will feel less unethical about it. This particular night I cried myself to sleep hoping to forgive myself. I think that the idea of helping a family have a child is a very beautiful and sacred thing. As a woman I would want to help gay couples and other women have that gift, that miracle of life that every child is. On the other hand the thought tears me of any child resulting from my genes to be raised by negative people (we do live in a world of humans). How can I be sure that that child will be happy and kept safe always, that he or she will be encouraged to be of greatness. From skimming through your blog I found comfort that there are families out there that will love that child and raise it as their own with overwhelming grace. Thank you. Another thought is that I want to be a mom someday, how will I face my child knowing his or her siblings were not raised together. The thought of my genetic child or children being out there (some unwilling to meet me), not being able to see them become great individuals and all the trivial things of raising my genetic child myself is something that will break me. How will my husband feel about this if I went through with it. When I see my mom how will I ever confront her and tell her there are grandchildren out there she will never meet, I wouldn’t be able to find the words. I cried myself to sleep for fear. Fear that I would reach a desperate point and actually go through with donating my eggs. I know there are amazing people out there that benefit everyday from egg donors. But as a 24 year old student that lives alone and works full time, the only reason I go back to for considering this is money. I learned of ED on a google search for body items I can sell for money, ED felt ‘right’ at the time, and donating 6 times would eliminate student loan calls. After that determination and the idea has become more real came a very unexpected emotional draft to consider every single aspect. Once you realize as a young woman trying to cherish her independence, the money is enticing. Of course after that realization I’ve become obsessed with ways to brainwash myself into not feeling guilty or emotionally attached about it. As an aunt being around children is hard not to be. I cried because it made me sad, the amounts of women out there that feel that financial pressure. I have decided to be strong and resort to other means, I pray for the women who don’t have the luxury of other options and hope their hearts will heal. It’s not for me. On a brighter note I was inclined to sharing that to you because believe it or not we (most of us) will say what we have to say to get selected and get paid and deal with our emotional distortions privately. But it’s that emotional part that as humans we should treat with fragility. Rare women would do ED freely to a stranger. The women that do this without wanting to be contacted are driven by the money and coping with the guilt by avoiding this child and self-forced to separate themselves emotionally. The ones that do wish to be contacted need the reassurance of that child being ok. Thank you for having a heart and not denying them that right, some of us are broken inside at the thought of finalizing the ED process, thank you for being human. Bless your family and your beautiful children. Keep writing I enjoy your blog!! And thank you for listening..

      • OMG Jen, it sounds like you absolutely should not be an egg donor. Being an egg donor is a wonderful thing–for the intended parents and for women who are cut out to be donors. But if you’re talking about crying yourself to sleep “hoping to forgive” yourself, worrying intensely about the children born from your donation, etc., just stop right there. You are not cut out to be an egg donor.

        Some women are; there are women who feel great about doing it–I even saw an interview with a woman in France who did it for free (egg donation is uncompensated there) and said she did it because she wanted to make a difference in someone’s life and said that even if it didn’t work, at least she hoped that the couple she was helping would feel, because of her generous donation, less alone in the pain they were going through.

        It takes all kinds of people to make a world, and you are clearly not the kind of person who should be an egg donor. I hope you have shared these feelings with the psychologist who evaluates potential donors at the clinic or agency you applied to. Turn your attention to resolving your financial stress in a way that is a better fit for who you are as a person.

  45. Thank you for your reply. I wanted to do it to make a difference in others lives, but I agree with you completely. I am not cut out to be one even though I would have liked to help out. Unfortunately in my case the emotional distress would consume me. That being said I have contacted the clinic to remove myself from their list. I’m glad there are strong women out there who do this as a selfless act, it means a lot to know that. And people wishing to form their families should be allowed that opportunity and I’m extremely glad that they do.

    • Hi Jen. I’m glad Daleth already said what I was going to say and I’m glad to hear that you removed your name from the list. Egg donation isn’t for everyone, and it clearly isn’t for you. That’s not a personal failing or anything, so don’t feel bad. It’s just who you are. There are plenty of other ways to make a difference in people’s lives, and I’m sure you’ll find one that suits you better. While I’m on the topic, please don’t sell your body parts. The short-term influx of cash is not worth the potential long-term effects. I know student loan debt can seem overwhelming at 24, but trust me, you’re young and have lots of time to figure it out. Refinance, take advantage of whatever programs you can, start off making the minimum payment until you can afford more. They’re meant to be paid back over the long term. I know that prospect is still scary, but it’s far less scary than selling a kidney in my opinion.

      Best of luck to you.

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