Egg donation. How do I make a decision?
By Rozina Paleologou, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Psychologist
Nowadays, the term family has a broader meaning than it used to. For some people it is related to biology and for others it is not. Some people consider relatives the closest, while others consider relatives those who belong to the wider circle. There are also those who are so close to their friends that they feel like they are family to them.
Most of us picture a typical family with the mother, the father and the children. The fact that we have such a stereotypical image of the term family in our lives, makes the situation difficult when such thing does not seem to be possible for us and then we have to turn to egg donation.
What happens when a couple wants to have children of their own and can’t? What is the first reaction to the idea of turning to egg donation or sperm donation? The expert answers.
Getting a couple to start thinking using donor eggs usually means that they have gone through a lot of IVF attempts and have suffered both physically and emotionally. You can read more about the success rates in assisted reproduction in our related article.
It is possible for a woman to get pregnant with donor eggs and it may bring hope, but let us not turn a blind eye. None of us grew up with this dream.
It is very normal to feel anger, sadness, jealousy about whether you want children in this way, and even guilt for all these feelings.
It is very common and normal for all people to feel that way. You are walking on a path that you never imagined and no one told you about.
Talk about what is important to you and your partner
Make time and talk to your partner about the situation in total. Talk about your financial capabilities, your medical condition and all you want him to know. It may take time and seem difficult to get into such a conversation at first, but during the process it will benefit you.
Talk about what each of you wants and needs in your life. Try to come to an agreement that satisfies both of you as much as possible.
Here are some helpful questions to make your conversation more productive:
These questions have no right or wrong answer. They aim to find answers that suit you and your partner, so that you can plan your next step together.
Your feelings will change
Even after making a decision, thoughts and feelings will continue to exist and trouble you. However, as it happens, emotions are changing.
It is perfectly normal to need support from a specialist, for everything that happens to you along the way. Partners may have opposing views and attitudes about how to have a child. It takes discussion and effort on both sides.
How will I feel about the child? Will I be able to bond with it?
The doubt about bonding and loving a child from a donor egg is common. Women are afraid that they will not love the child that will arise because it will not be “theirs”. Such thought is completely normal.
Fortunately, there is material that proves that genetic connection does not play a role in the creation and evolution of this complex bonding process. What plays an important role is to have an environment of support and trust but always within the appropriate limits. Fortunately, the genetic connection between the child and the caregiver-parent does not matter if this bond is healthy.
Decide on how you are going to proceed in this as a family.
Another usual question is whether we tell the family and the children that we used donor eggs. Researches show that children want to know their origin and the younger we inform them about it, the easier it becomes for them to become part of their identity. In the end, they do not care whose was the egg.
When growing up, the questions become more and more complicated in an effort to understand themselves and the world around them. So, think such discussions as an ongoing process and not as a formal announcement to a family council when they “grow up”.
Children, like adults, live happily when their life experience is lived as normal, not as embarrassing. In this way they learn to trust themselves and others around them.
When it comes to talking to others about it, think of what you want to do as a family. However, keep in mind that it is very important for children to know their origin and to learn it from you and not from someone else, accidentally or intentionally
To learn more about Egg Donation, Sperm Donation and related legislation, you can visit the relevant categories of our site.
Everything you want to know about IVF is mentioned in detail in our relevant section.