To think using donor eggs is selfish

(157 Posts)
Dilemma81 Mon 30-Sep-13 10:28:25

I have had multiple miscarriages. I have been trying for a baby for over 5 years and the last ivf round has now failed. Although i’m in my early 30s, using an egg donor has been mentioned several times now because it seems my eggs are not good quality. Whilst I wouldn’t ever judge other people’s choices for using an egg donor, I have been up all night wondering about the ethics of going down this route for us. I don’t have religious beliefs so that’s not my problem. But is it selfish to go down this route? If I think about the child, how would they feel when they are a certain age to learn that I’m not their biological mother? Part of them would surely be missing and they surely would be wondering who they are. On the other hand, I’m desperate for my husband to be a dad and I know he would be up for the idea of donor eggs. But again, I keep thinking that nature is telling us something and perhaps it is wrong to try and defy it. Very interested to hear what people think.

AngelsLieToKeepControl Mon 30-Sep-13 10:30:08

I think you should get your title changed tbh, that is going to upset anyone who has used a donor egg.

GangstersLoveToDance Mon 30-Sep-13 10:31:45

Personally, I would use donor eggs if it meant the difference between oh having bio children or not.

As we are now (2dc) then should we want more children and be unable, I would prefer to adopt.

Essentially, having children is always a selfish act, however they come into the world.

CadleCrap Mon 30-Sep-13 10:32:57

So your DNA is not the same, who cares?

Did you love, cherish and do the best that you could for your child?
That is what counts IMO.

You would still be their mother. You would carry the baby, grow it, then love and care for him/her when born. The egg donor is not the biological mother, they are a very kind egg donor .

EST0106 Mon 30-Sep-13 10:34:47

I think it's about how you handle these situations and explain them to children. IMO children want to be in a loving home and aren't to interested in biology, as they get older I'm sure there will be questions but it's how you explain things that counts. Openness and transparency would be best I think. Having said that I have no experience of this sort of thing, other than adoption which is similar I guess. Are there any support groups/ people who've done it that could offer you advice? Good luck x

BOF Mon 30-Sep-13 10:35:36

I'm really sorry to hear about your miscarriages thanks. I think that posting this in AIBU with a provocative title (I assume for more replies?) is probably a bad idea though, as it is likely to upset other posters who have used donor eggs, and lots of posters won't read your OP properly and will just pile in to give you a kicking, so it will end up making you feel shit too. I'd honestly recommend that you report your post and ask MNHQ to repost this in another section with a less judgy-sounding title so you can get some support with your decision and a less fraught discussion. Good luck.

fluffyraggies Mon 30-Sep-13 10:35:39

Yes, i was going to come in all full of bluster based on the title.

OP this is something you need to work through before making a decision, obviously. With your DH.

All i can say (with no experience of IVF or egg donation, but with experience of struggling to ttc) is that personally i've never met a person who wishes they had never been born based on their parentage and origin.

There are sensitive ways to handle the question of 'where did i come from' when the time comes - as with adopted children, children from donated sperm etc.

BrokenSunglasses Mon 30-Sep-13 10:36:27

I don't think it's selfish. There doesn't have to be a child of a certain age suddenly finding out that you aren't biologically related, you can tell the child about it when they are still toddler age and accepting of anything. All young children learn a tiny bit about where babies come from as they have baby siblings or their friends do, and you can just build your minor difference into those conversations.

My mum is my mum because of the fact that she brought me up, not because we share DNA.

I also don't agree that nature is trying to tell you something. I think if you truly believed that then you wouldn't have gone for any type of IVF in the first place.

You need to talk about how you feel about using donor eggs with a counsellor that can help you identify and come to terms with the way you are feeling.

Methe Mon 30-Sep-13 10:37:31

It's a controversial topic isn't it. I don't think using donor eggs is selfish necessarily as long as they childs biological history is somehow traceable.

It's certainly less selfish than the way a lot of children are brought in to the world.

froken Mon 30-Sep-13 10:38:06

I am sorry for your losses sad

I don't think it is at all selfish to use doner eggs. The child may be curious about their genetic background but you will be the one who grew tge baby, you will teach him/her your values, they would probably be very like you in other ways. I have an adopted sibling who is so alike my dad, they have exactly the same posture and expressions.

I have a baby and there are occasional fleeting moments where I think he looks just like my grandma or he has my smile but mostly 99.9% of the time I just think about him as him.

If you didn't use tge doner eggs the child would never be born. Yes they may go through a stage where they are curious and they might wish they had a more conventional genetic history but ifeel the advantages ( being born) outweigh the disadvantages.

Good luck with the path you choose.

BarbarianMum Mon 30-Sep-13 10:38:26

No I don't think it's selfish.

What a child born this way will think of it will depend very much on what/how they are told and their personality but I think most will come to terms with it, esp. if they are able to gain at least some basic info about the egg donor post-18.

Imo I don't think one has to automatically pay attention to 'what nature is trying to say'. Nature tries to tell people their time is up from disease constantly. Modern medicine is for those who chose not to listen - hence we don't have high child mortality figures any more. Hence many people survive cancer.

Nature doesn't have an opinion, it's just a blunt instrument.

Using donor eggs may not be the right decision to you. But please make the decision that it right for you. Don't worry about what anyone else, or the universe, thinks about it.

Ninehoursahead Mon 30-Sep-13 10:39:32

I was a donor. That baby is not mine. I am not his mum. He has a mum who carried him for nine months and breastfed for 2 years (I am a known donor)
I don't think she is selfish for wanting to experience being pregnant and doing all the things that mums do.
It is also about being open and the child knowing where they came from. That conversation is a difficult one wherever they come from!
Have you been on Fertility Friends? there is lots of support there.

Kendodd Mon 30-Sep-13 10:40:16

One thing I don't really understand is the need some people feel that they must have a (bio) child of their own. To me adoption is just as good and not second best at all. The only negative thing I would say about adoption (for parent and child) is that you don't get they child as a tiny baby, but then we can't see the future and can't go around whipping peoples children away before they've done anything wrong.

ReallyTired Mon 30-Sep-13 10:42:19

I am sorry that you are suffering infertilty issues. However you are really going upset someone that title. Certainly the ethnics of IVF egg donation are a difficult area and prehaps you would benefit from proper councelling to decide whether egg donation is right for you and your family. I feel the "Am I being unreasonable" section of mumsnet is far too feral place for such a sensitive discussion.

How you feel about your baby not having your DNA is a personal view. For some people having a baby with someone else's ova will not relieve the pain of infertility. Prehaps you may be happier with the adoption route.

I don't think that "selfishness" comes into it. There is really no right or wrong answer on whether its OK to do egg donation or even IVF itself.

sugarman Mon 30-Sep-13 10:45:57

I think donor egg and all other fertility treatments are fantastic. A good friend had her beautiful donor egg daughter yesterday. She bought the egg in Thailand. So much joy.

Helpyourself Mon 30-Sep-13 10:46:04

Your post and title don't match- ask MN if you can change the title as you're asking a reasonable question and will get help thinking it through if you don't upset people with the title. Good Luck

digerd Mon 30-Sep-13 10:47:18

I don't think it is selfish. I wouldn't do it myself as the baby would not have any of my genes, so would not be any part of me or my parents.
There are pros and cons with everything in life. With decision making you have to first decide on your priorities.
Ethically, I have no problem as the giving of life to me is a precious gift.

SilverApples Mon 30-Sep-13 10:47:54

I've never been personally involved in any issues around infertility, so this is just a general observation.
I've always felt that being a parent was about the raising of that child in a loving and supportive family, Not about the conception.

sugarman Mon 30-Sep-13 10:48:04

Kendodd I didn't want to adopt. I was scared I couldn't love an adopted child as much as a biological one. And adoptions here have to be open which frankly sounded too complicated.

LadyBigtoes Mon 30-Sep-13 10:48:54

I think I would share you worries, but I haven't been in the position of having fertility problems, when I might feel very differently.

People use sperm donors, people even adopt a baby that is not their biological child at all. They are still parents.

I have friends who have used an egg donor and they have an amazing little girl now and are the most wonderful happy family. There are plenty of children out there who aren't fortunate enough to have parents who love and adore them and wanted them so much - I think that's probably more important.

LtEveDallas Mon 30-Sep-13 10:53:05

A mother is a mother no matter how the child came into being. It is how you are to that child, what you are and what you do. Biology doesn't come in to it.

colafrosties Mon 30-Sep-13 10:55:09

Hi OP, we used donor eggs as we were not able to use my own eggs for IVF, and were very lucky to have DS (now 3.5) from the treatment.

I did initially have concerns that we were somehow “going against nature” and that it might be unfair to a potential child to tell them that I wasn’t their genetic mother.

But once we got started on the treatment and now that we have DS, the fact that he came from a donor egg is just not a big deal. We will tell him as soon as seems appropriate and keep it as simple and positive as possible so he can take in the knowledge without it seeming “unusual”.

So, as long as you choose a good clinic which treats the donors well, I don’t think using donor eggs is selfish at all.

mistlethrush Mon 30-Sep-13 10:56:15

We struggled with TTC - and had agreed that, if things went 'wrong' again we would see if we were accepted to adopt a child.

FreudiansSlipper Mon 30-Sep-13 10:59:08

I do not think it is selfish but it is not as simple as saying the person who loved and bought you up is your parent and your biological parent does not matter for many it does. the need to know feels like a fundemental right for some others not

YABU, and best don your hardhat and flame retardant knickers.

Methe Mon 30-Sep-13 11:03:17

It's all very well to say 'biology doesn't come in to it' while it might not be an issue at all for the recipient parents it might be a huge issue for the child when they are growing up or as adults.

WomblingFree12 Mon 30-Sep-13 11:03:18

We went down the donor route and now have a beautiful and amazing little girl who we wouldn't change for the world. I can't imagine being without her.

But I am aware it is ultimately a selfish decision to take this route to having a baby - because you can never ask the child how they will feel about it, it has to be. And, I must admit, I do worry how she will feel about her origins when she is older. We have started to tell her (not everyone does apparently but I couldn't imagine not doing) and have been reading her a children's book specially written for the purpose. Again, everything I have read or heard from other people suggests that it is far better to have always known than to be sat down when you are older and find out then.

You might find the Donor Conception Network helpful while you work through your decision making process. Others have mentioned Fertility Friends too which I found a great resource (although I did find that all the tickers people use on there are quite hard on the eyes).

I am so sorry about the hard time you have had up to now and wish you the very best of luck with your decision.

nigelslattern Mon 30-Sep-13 11:13:07

DH and I have a child conceived with the help of a male donor. We have already started talking to him about this aspect of his birth (he is 4) and can't think that he would ever have a problem with it - he knows we are his parents. All our friends and family know and noone has ever commented negatively.

Our donor is a registered donor and as such in the uk is non-anonymous. He has been screened etc. and is willing to agree to meet any children he begets should they wish to do so in the future. Our child is not missing anything and won't have any unanswered questions.

There are many ways to be selfish in life, I really don't think this is one of them.

Nancy66 Mon 30-Sep-13 11:13:09

In your situation I don't think the child needs to know it was donor conceived.

magictorch Mon 30-Sep-13 11:14:33

I am so very sorry for your losses and the pain you must be feeling, but please, please, please get your thread title changed. It is very upsetting and I say that as the mum of a six month old son born thanks to an egg donor after many years of heartache.

He's my son, I've grown him since he was a three cell embryo and he's playing quite happily on his mat knowing mummy is right here.

You may want to check out the Donor Conception Network, Fertility Friends and the Care Fertility boards.

I hope you get the baby you long for.

SummerRain Mon 30-Sep-13 11:17:24

The egg donor will have provided one cell. All the other millions of cells which form that baby will have been grown by you, you will be the one to give birth, feed and care for the child, worry about them as they get older, kiss them better when they fall over, teach them right from wrong... all the things that make a mother.

Egg donors give their eggs because they want someone else to have the joy of raising a child, they donate because those eggs will simply go to waste otherwise.

Studies have shown that nurture is as strong if not a stronger influence on a child's life than genetics, and genetically the child will be 50% your dp, so that tiny influence of the donors genetics will mean little enough in the grand scheme of things.

I think you would regret not being a mother far more than you would regret not being genetically related to the child.

nigelslattern Mon 30-Sep-13 11:19:07

you can never ask the child how they will feel about it

The lessons learned from donor-conceived children now grown up is that they just want to be able to join the dots and have the opportunity to meet their donor - that's why the law was changed in this country, removing anonymity from donation. How can it possibly be selfish to bring a child into a loving family?

RafflesWay Mon 30-Sep-13 11:20:48

Totally agree summerRain! Couldn't have explained better.

nigelslattern Mon 30-Sep-13 11:23:23

Nancy66 children do need to know they are donor-conceived - that's a shockingly ill-informed thing to say.

WomblingFree12 Mon 30-Sep-13 11:25:53

Nancy66, I am not sure I agree that there is any situation in which a child need not know it was donor-conceived. It is a huge thing not to tell your child and relies on you keeping a massive secret from them and from everyone you know (because if anyone else knows there is a risk of it slipping out).

Then there are all sorts of health-related situations in which such a secret can potentially come out, or you have to lie to keep it covered up. Surely honesty has to be the best way forward?

EasyMark Mon 30-Sep-13 11:32:34

My sister has twin boys from egg donor and she had a csection and still breastfeeding them at 2.5 years old. She is their mum. Her relationship has just broken down and all three kids have to live with that but she is a good mum. She is 50 and has a limiting health condition. She is finding it very hard and has said if she cant cope they will have to go into care. I find that unbelieveblely selfish. To create life and be unable to support it instead of giving a home to a child already on Earth but no one can see the future.

As long as you can love and support the child for the next 25 years i dont think it matters how the child is concived. But please think about adopting as well as ivf. Family is not only blood but actions and love.

Every child desevers a loving careing stable home.

Kewcumber Mon 30-Sep-13 11:34:23

Having children is selfish.

Not one person on this thread or probably the whole of MN had a child in order to repopulate the earth, because you know they will cure cancer or any other saintly reason. They have children because its what they want. Before the child is real, having children is massively selfish.

I could say its selfish of anyone to give birth to a child when so many children need families!

What lengths you will go to to fulfill your desire is very personal and often illogical - I would use donor sperm but not donor eggs but would have considered donor embryos. There was a thought process involved in that but I'm not sure anyone else would understand it!

As it happened I adopted a child from another country as a single parent - you can't get much more selfish than that. We are both currently very happy which is in essence what you aim for whatever child you have.

But if you are going to make a child through any of the less traditional means then you do need to think through very carefully how to handle it with a child and other people. The Donor Conception network can be very helpful in advice on how to deal with this area.

NotYoMomma Mon 30-Sep-13 11:48:12

are you for real?!

just tell them the truth from a young age

I'm adopted but my mum who raised me is my MUM.

I would be an egg donor or a surrogate for someone in need of a hand - it isnt selfish at all

if you feel like this though I guess its not for you

Kewcumber Mon 30-Sep-13 11:48:20

KenDodd - anyone who thinks the only difference between adoption and giving birth is that you don't get a tiny baby is I'm guessing not an adoptive parent!

frumpypigskin Mon 30-Sep-13 12:29:30

I don't think it's selfish. I think we are very lucky to live in a time where this is possible.

IVF is taking things out of the hands of 'nature' so I don't see how this is much different.

I don't think you should try to second guess how a child from an egg donor pregnancy would feel. Hopefully, they would feel loved and happy that their parents wanted them so much they went to all this effort to have them.

You have other options available to you such as adoption etc. You have to work out how you feel about it. I became pregnant after 3 IVF cycles and I would have seriously considered egg donation if we hadn't been successful.

I hope things work out for you.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Mon 30-Sep-13 12:33:06

OP I think you need to talk to an egg donor, or a clinic, to get a better understanding of the whole process.

mscorduroy Mon 30-Sep-13 12:38:58

I have donated my eggs twice, as part of an egg share program whilst having IVF myself. Both times the woman had a baby.
I don't view it as me having 'given away' babies. I donated a cell. It is the best thing I have ever done for another person.
I don't view it as any different to donating blood, or an organ. But as a recipient it's really important you are comfortable with using donor eggs. Your clinic should offer you counselling.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Mon 30-Sep-13 12:40:04

I'm sorry for your losses.

I don't think it is selfish, though.

Someone who has a lot of love to give to a child is not being selfish by having them.

Retroformica Mon 30-Sep-13 13:05:31

Please don't forget you would still be carrying the little blighters for 9 months and give birth to him. He would grow up with you and know he is very wanted and special. Yes there maybe some questions about the donor but its much much less complex then an adopted child looking back on his own history. Many women donate spare eggs with the intent of helping others. At the end if the day your DH will be his father and you will be his mother.

Dilemma81 Mon 30-Sep-13 13:07:33

Thank you so much for giving me your thoughts. I did wonder about posting here but I wanted to gauge people's thoughts even though I know this is a non supportive environment. Whenever you read about donor eggs or even ivf in the newspapers, it attracts so much hostility and the nasty judgemental comments speak for themselves and I worry whether my family and friends would be as judgemental as these people if we went down this route. Anyway I am sorry if i offended some people with my wording. Obviously not my intention as I myself need to come to terms with this. I think donors are incredible human beings too. Anyway clearly not right forum for this discussion.

Dahlen Mon 30-Sep-13 13:13:51

I'd never even considered it might be selfish. While the act of having children is in itself a selfish act, I can't see how the use of donor eggs can say anything other than "I wanted a child so badly I was happy to use donor eggs to conceive" - any child hearing that will know it was conceived in love.

Also, don't get hung up on genes. Science has progressed far enough for us to realise that the nature v nurture debate never really existed as anything other than an academic exercise. As more and more is learned about the effect of nurture on nature, we are realising that the two are interconnected. Genes can have multiple expressions. Which route they take is affected by the environment they are exposed to. The effect of your body and your lifestyle will influence the development of the DNA in that baby in a way that is unique and makes you just as much the biological mother as the woman who donated the egg. And in terms of nurturing it's all you.

The only thing that would make this child any different to a child you'd conceived with your own egg would be the need to be informed about the donor's medical history.

I'm so sorry for your miscarriages. I wish you good luck for the future. flowers

TheBigJessie Mon 30-Sep-13 13:13:55

I'm not sure if this will help you decide or not, but information makes people freer than not.

Pop science is generally a bit simplistic- his DNA, her DNA, etc. If you go down this route, then yes, the donor egg would originate from someone else, but your uterine environment is individual and that would significantly affect what genes were expressed. There is the genotype, the DNA that someone started with, and the phenotype, which is the results after DNA and environmental influences (such as exact hormone concentrations in the womb) interact. So the baby wouldn't simply be half biologically someone else's.

You would have contributed to his/her genetic make-up yourself.

TheBigJessie Mon 30-Sep-13 13:17:27


Dahlen Mon 30-Sep-13 13:18:59

Amusing cross post. Yours sounds much more informed though Jessie grin

DontGiveAwayTheHomeworld Mon 30-Sep-13 13:45:55

At the end of the day, only you can decide if you're comfortable using donor eggs. You can have all the information there is, but if it doesn't sit right, that's fair enough. I'd advise getting as much information as you can and seeing what you think after that.

I would like to point out that family is a very fluid concept. Everyone has a slightly different setup. If a child is raised in a happy home, with people who love him/her, does it really matter where the child came from?

pinkdelight Mon 30-Sep-13 13:58:45

I'm a sperm donor baby. I wasn't told till I was middle-aged and it's made no difference whatsoever. My dad is my dad. And he didn't even give birth to me, so egg donation is even more biologically involved. I think this can't possibly be what's really troubling you, this 'selfish' business. As some already said, having kids is selfish anyway. I think you just need help to get your head around the baby not being from your own egg. Your issues with that sound bigger than any your DC would have.

Kewcumber Mon 30-Sep-13 14:20:22

just to pick up on something sugarman said - I know the thread has moved on but I didn't want to let it pass in case anyone reading might misinterpret...

* And adoptions here have to be open which frankly sounded too complicated.* assuming you are talking about the UK, adoptions do not have to be open (depending on what you mean by that). At 18 adoted adults have the right to access their file, but that has been the case for some time.

However an adoptive parent is the childs legal parent and can make the choices they feel are right for their child - that often means letterbox contact yearly with birth family and sometimes though more rarely contact meetings too. Very often there is no contact at all between birth and adoptive families. Once the adoption order is granted its your decision to make, hopefully in the best interests of the child.

It can be complicated but then having children can be complicated.

That's not said to talk anyone into adoption - it really isn't for everyone but there isn't some kind of compulsory life long contact between adoptee and birth family.

TheBigJessie Mon 30-Sep-13 14:33:58

Dahlen funny! I thought yours sounded much better and clearer grin.

Pennyacrossthehall Mon 30-Sep-13 14:36:38

My mum is my mum because of the fact that she brought me up, not because we share DNA.

And, of course: My dad is my dad because of the fact that he brought me up, not because we share DNA.

I believe this absolutely.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Mon 30-Sep-13 15:35:45

Re: the nature thing. I got pregnant with dd very easily. During her birth I haemorrhaged very badly. Had I gone with what nature said then dd would be here but she would have grown up without a mother. And there would be no ds.

Nature sucks!

Although I have to admit I have no clue what I'd do in your situation.

Pigsmummy Mon 30-Sep-13 15:40:32

I read a great explanation recently, the baby will have three parents, the fathers sperm, the donors egg then the birth mother supplies the blood and all nutrition to the baby. All three needed to create the life.

Pawprint Mon 30-Sep-13 16:16:01

First of all, I am sorry about your miscarriages - I had several myself and I still don't know why they happened, despite extensive testing.

Re. the donor egg - it's not something I know much about. On one hand, it is 'just' an egg from another woman and 'just' DNA. However, whilst I don't think it selfish, I can imagine that the child born of such a procedure would be curious as to where his/her maternal DNA comes from.

CHJR Mon 30-Sep-13 17:10:28

Having been through some of this myself, I understand the ethical quandary, though I don't think "selfish" is the word you're looking for. People who have never been in this position do not really understand the whole picture, and people who are in this position become very sensitive and alert to the possibility of being insulted.

In the end we didn't have to go this route, but we did conclude that adopting just the egg is best considered as a variant on adopting a baby (which adds up to donor egg, donor sperm, surrogate womb). This can inform your decision either way -- adoption brings up the same ethical concerns about whether the biological parent/donor is acting freely or is being coerced by economic pressures, for instance, and the same concerns about feeling kinship to your child.

Don't condemn others or yourself out of hand for considering a donor egg, but do get some counselling/help talking through the issues with your husband and doctors. For one thing there are many different ways of obtaining a donor egg or an adoptive child, some of which will enable the child to identify its biological parent(s) later, some of which may come with more guarantee that the donor is truly donating and not being forced, some of which will cost more and take longer.

BTW, much sympathy for your pain. It took us 10+ years but now the only time I think of it is when someone like you posts on MN!

Tavv Mon 30-Sep-13 17:14:26

> One thing I don't really understand is the need some people feel that they must have a (bio) child of their own. To me adoption is just as good and not second best at all.

So did you adopt, kendodd?

Lilka Mon 30-Sep-13 17:15:59

Honestly, all parenthood is selfish. People mostly have children to fulfill their own desires. I adopted 3 children then tried one round of donor insemination (which failed, and I felt able to give up on the idea of a birth child after doing that). All selfish decisions, all equally selfish. A bit of selfishness is actually a good thing - children need to know how loved and wanted they are. Imagine feeling unwanted. You would probably feel like that if you knew your parents didn't have you out of a real strong selfish desire to parent a child. "I did it for you" does not sound good to a child, it sounds like "I don't love you very much/I have to sacrifice everything for you and don't get lots back in return" etc. Not good.

I'm not saying that there is no such thing as too selfish, some things are so selfish/ill thought out they really shouldn't be done - like (IMHO) not telling a child they are adopted/concieved through gamete donation - and I would never say that your own selfish desires should lead you to do something which is either harming somebody else or taking away their rights. Like the childs right to know their medical history which includes what is known about their genetic make up. Likewise, if someone said they were going to illegally traffick a baby from another country into this one because they wanted a child so bad, no one would think it a good idea.

The difference between good selfishness and bad selfishness is how it affects the other people

So no, I don't think there's anything wrong with egg donation, and I don't think it is any more selfish than becoming a parent through any other means. The child is not (IMHO) harmed by your actions. As long as the donation process is ethical and you tell the child, you're in the clear.

OP, maybe you would benefit from a bit of counselling? Also, fertility friends has a lot of people in your position, and you can talk to clinics about whats involved until you feel comfortable (or decide against).

Viviennemary Mon 30-Sep-13 17:23:07

I can see your point about this and would worry about it myself. However, I don't think it's selfish. It's just something people have to work out if it's right or wrong for them. And the person donating them is quite happy to give them and give people the chance of having a child so I would focus on that.

fairy1303 Mon 30-Sep-13 17:33:17

You want a baby so badly you plan, pick a kind donor and put all that work into having your longed for child.

You will carry it, give birth to it, feed it, love it care for it.

You will be its mother.

Think of it like baking a cake - you might have had to borrow the eggs from your neighbour but you provide the flour, sugar, butter and cook it yourself.

As someone who has brought up her SD since aged 4, I can tell you catagorically that DNA is overrated.

Good luck having your longed for baby.

Preciousbane Mon 30-Sep-13 17:42:41

There was a lovely thread yesterday about a woman who is looking after her niece as her actual parents are unfortunately drug users and in prison. The little girl wanted to call her Mummy, gosh it made me cry. This woman is nurturing this child and the love she felt for her came across strongly in her posts. She is not her bio Mum but she obviously loves her.

I have no idea how I would have felt in your position because I have had two dc. The fact that you are fretting makes me feel that you would make a lovely Mum and I personally hope that your dream is fulfilled by whatever it takes.

Tavv Mon 30-Sep-13 17:54:51

> There are many ways to be selfish in life, I really don't think this is one of them.

That's a great summary! Well said.

StitchingMoss Mon 30-Sep-13 17:58:08

Tavv I was going to ask exactly the same qu of Ken - generally find people who trot out this nonsense about adoption have popped out their own kids with ease.

Kewcumber speaks much more sense on adoption.

Cheesy123 Mon 30-Sep-13 18:33:35

I went to see about being a donor sadly now I'm too old, my daughter will need a donor if she wants babies when she is old enough, I don't see anything wrong it, it's a beautiful gift to give someone and whoever raises the child is their mum DNA doesn't matter.

BlingBang Mon 30-Sep-13 18:44:49

I think saying DNA doesn't matter is simplistic and often not the case, at least from the child's POV or many adopted children (also possibly egg and sperm donar)wouldn't be trying to find out more or track down their bio parent, the person whose DNA helped bring them into existence.

Not that I think egg donation is wrong or that I wouldn't have chosen that route if I couldn't conceive my own children. Wish you all the best whatever you decide, having children is selfish to a degree in this day and age - no matter how they are conceived.

CHJR Mon 30-Sep-13 18:45:36

OP, another thing you might want to take out and examine in the quiet of your heart/bustle of your doctor's or priest's office is how much of an issue it could become if your DH is biologically related to the child and you are not. You say you're desperate for DH to be a dad and are sure he'd be up for egg donation. Ask yourself: does that mean he's not up for adoption, that he does believe having a biological link to the child is very important? If so, how will that affect his view of YOUR relationship to the child? Also, are you feeling "guilty" that you can't get or stay pregnant and trying to "make it up to DH" by giving him a "stronger" biological link to the child? Then there is the practical matter that generally IVF, even with a donor egg, is quicker and cheaper than adoption. And that even if some of your or DH's feelings aren't rational, they still matter and need to be taken into account.

One potential difference between donor egg and adoption is that it can introduce (or highlight) an imbalance in the parental roles -- adoption is like when the two of you are from different countries and live in a third country where you are both equally foreign; donor egg can be like the two of you living in a country where one of you is native and thinks s/he knows how to do everything while the other always feels like an outsider. On the other hand I think that in lots of families where there was never any infertility, both the mothers and the fathers (and sometimes DC) feel that mothers bond more easily with the DC. And as a parent by both birth and adoption, I must say I think it's a real benefit to know before you get there that all DC are in fact separate from both of you.

This is just one illustration of what I mean when I say I don't think the real quandary is selfishness but just that infertility throws up all sorts of questions a quick easy pregnancy may not. Since, as many above have said, all parenthood involves negotiating complexity, there is statistical evidence that parents who deal with these questions during infertility end up with stronger marriages in the long run. I also think the fact that you're thinking hard now and not just plunging ahead without a second blink is a sign that you will be a good parent. Forget your concerns about going against Mother Nature (WHY is she called MOTHER? believe me you won't call her that once you've seen what "natural" labour and delivery are like grin). Is it fighting against nature to treat TB, or heart disease? As many above are basically saying, parenthood is really not about putting an egg together with a sperm. No matter how hard getting this DC proves, by the time he or she is 10 years old, like mine, you will know getting the child is the simplest part of the job!

Lilka Mon 30-Sep-13 19:11:42

generally IVF, even with a donor egg, is quicker and cheaper than adoption

Assuming OP is in England/Wales, adopting domestically is much much cheaper than (private) IVF. The total cost could even be £0, but might well be a couple of hundred pounds, if your LA make you pay for your medical check and court fee.

International is pretty expensive though

BigBirthdayGloom Mon 30-Sep-13 19:25:51

We have three donor conceived children (dh has no sperm) and honestly, his ability as a parent renders biology interesting but irrelevant on a day to day basis. We have shared the way they were conceived with them although at 7,4 and 2 they are largely uninterested. I'm sure this will change.
I do agree that really, the desire to have a child is a selfish one, albeit nobly selfish. If you do go down the donor route, you will have counselling and will certainly have actively considered your decision to become parents more than some, although not all, parents who don't require help from a donor.

Kendodd Tue 01-Oct-13 15:32:16

> One thing I don't really understand is the need some people feel that they must have a (bio) child of their own. To me adoption is just as good and not second best at all.

So did you adopt, kendodd?

No I didn't. From talking to people who have the adoption process looks so hard in this country (UK) it seems designed just to put people off, maybe that's the point, only the most determined and resilient survive.

I remember I heard something a few years ago on R4 talking about donor (sperm) conceived children reaching adulthood and a very common feeling was resentment about the process. Not to say that they loved their parents any less but that they felt a piece of them was missing, deliberately taken from them. I was thinking about this for the last couple of days and, I know it is very much going against the common opinion but maybe it's better just not to tell the child produced. I know that seems unfair and they have a right to know but if that knowledge only results in upset, well.... are they really better for it?

Lilka Tue 01-Oct-13 15:50:29

Well, issues surrounding family/genetics etc can be complicated. But at the end of the day "they have a right to know". That's it. End of story. Their right to know does not get trumped by some worries you have in your head about how they might feel one day. But equally might not. If you have worries about how they might feel, you need to talk to people before concieving and get to a place where you are comfortable with telling them, and have located some resources to help you if you need them (again before concieving).

Using the same logic, "Some adult adoptees have very complicated feelings about adoption, and sometimes feel very sad or angry about it. Therefore I won't tell my child that I adopted them"

Suddenly, that seems like bad logic

People who always know their 'story' tend to do a lot better than people who 'find out'. Some of the stories of both adoptees and donor concieved children who found out as an adult after their parents tried to conceal it, are awful to read, because of the devastating effect on them when they realised they had been lied to all their life. It wasn't the being donor concieved/adopted that was the upsetting thing - it was the lying

PeriodFeatures Tue 01-Oct-13 16:02:37

I have had experience of this OP. I had exactly the same dilemma as you are having now. I think it's a healthy concern and you are thinking about your child's identity.

Before you are accepted to receive donor gametes you will have implications counselling. This is exactly what they are checking you have considered.

We now have a beautiful dd and a reserve for a sibling.

It's a huge journey to embark upon but at the centre is a little girl who is very much loved and who will, one day know that her biological origins are different but we plan to raise her to understand that families are all made differently, as indeed they are.

Who knows what the future holds but we will do our best.

Good luck. PM me if you want to ask anything flowers

PeriodFeatures Tue 01-Oct-13 16:08:45

pinkdelight Fabulous.

Fairy I love your analogy about baking the cake!

Kendodd Tue 01-Oct-13 16:17:01

People who always know their 'story' tend to do a lot better than people who 'find out'.

And how do they do compared to people who aren't told and don't find out? Men have been raising children that aren't their own for thousands of years. I'm not saying this is right and I know it's going against the grain I'm just saying that if that knowledge brings pain, which for some it does, are they really better knowing....I don't know, although you seem absolutely convinced they are whatever the personal price to the child... maybe you're right? IMO comparing donor DNA to adoption doesn't work, they are too different although I can see it might be the closest thing people can think of.

Wossname Tue 01-Oct-13 16:23:47

I had a consultation today as I am hopefully going to donate eggs. I really think it cant be selfish to have a child this way. You must really really want to be a parent to do this, and not just sort of bumble into it as so many of us do otherwise. That's surely a good thing for a child, to be so utterly wanted?

fairy1303 Tue 01-Oct-13 16:31:30

I completely agree wossname, I often think the same about lesbian/gay partnerships who decide to have children - it's that much more difficult, those children must be so desperately wanted.

Wishihadabs Tue 01-Oct-13 16:34:11

I don't think it's selfish (I don't realy understand why you do). But it is you not your DH who would have to go through IVF to conceive like this so if your not comfortable with it I would say don't do it. Having conceived naturally (when you miscarried) do they not think you might again. Early thirties seems young to be thinking of donor eggs.

MummytoMog Tue 01-Oct-13 16:38:09

Well I have donated, and no, I don't think it would be selfish to use donor eggs. FWIW, I would completely understand if my recipient never chose to tell her baby/ies how they had been conceived. I don't think she has any moral duty to explain that she is not genetically related to them. I'm just glad that I could help her on the way to conceiving what must be desperately wanted children.

Kendodd Tue 01-Oct-13 16:45:43

Men have been raising children that aren't their own for thousands of years.

I should add that obviously for almost all this time it hasn't been possible to know who a child's father is anyway.

I think if I had been donor conceived I would rather not know.

magictorch Tue 01-Oct-13 16:55:26

Just to point out that early thirties isn't especially young to need donor eggs. I was 35 when I found out that I had premature ovarian failure (hence lack if success and response to previous cycles with own eggs) and that using a donor was the only way for me to conceive.

Lilka Tue 01-Oct-13 17:03:57

I do think that adoption and donor conception are very very different, but the similarity is the lack of genetic connection to one or both parents, and the implications of that are basically the same. I'm not trying to overcompare, but some of the stories told by adult adoptees and adult's concieved by gamete donation are VERY similar, in terms of feelings etc. So I think some comparison is helpful.

I should add that obviously for almost all this time it hasn't been possible to know who a child's father is anyway

It is interesting seeing where new technology is taking us. It's entirely possible that within the next generation-2 generations, our genetic make-up will be far more understood and contribute much more to our medical treatment. Even now, there are popular webistes which offer analysis of your genes and match you with genetic relatives who have given their DNA (23andme for instance). We (humans) are not going to reign in or stop this advance in genetic technology until we can do everything that it is physically possible to do with our genes. That means that my grandchildren could one day have their genome sequenced for them and have it on their medical records, and know all sorts of things about themselves and have their medical treatments specially tailored for their genetic profile etc. One day in a few generations, it could be unheard of to not know about your own DNA, and what it means for you, and whether you are genetically related to your closest relatives.

Anyone thinking of not telling their children now, needs to seriously think about the future. The world does not stand still (for another comparison, when i adopted my DD1, there was no such thing as social media and it really was case of 'you can trace at 18+'. Now, less than 20 years later Facebook has lead to adoptees being traced/tracing their birth parents as teens aged 13+ on social media, with huge implications for families)

nigelslattern Tue 01-Oct-13 17:05:29

KenDodd I think if I had been donor conceived I would rather not know

I think the point is that if that is the reality, it is better to know than to find out, as you may well do, from a doctor or relative. I would not like to keep something like that secret from DS because that would be implying there is something wrong or shameful about it, which I do not think there is.

Children do not usually have any difficulty taking in information like this, but they do have a massive problem finding out in later life that they have been lied to.

Kewcumber Tue 01-Oct-13 17:41:11

It really isn't possible to be sure that you can keep such secrets these days (adoption or donor conception). The degree of DNA testing, blood testing/typing thats done already precludes the idea of keeping such a secret - and who knows what will be commonplace in 20 years time - genetic testing as standard?

Finding out your parents lied about such a fundamental thing must be mind-blowing.

Kewcumber Tue 01-Oct-13 17:47:13

And adoption is not hard because we make it hard in the UK (although sometimes we do) but because it is hard.

Adoption is not lovely - it comes from a place of terrible loss for all parties involved that needs a lot of time and attention to heal even for those with the smallest losses.

Of course my child is lovely (as is every child to their parent) but his adoption has not been lovely - it has been a lesson to me in how to help my child learn to live with his adoption and to heal from it where-ever possible and to accommodate it where he cannot. Its a constant journey which sometimes feels like it has no end.

The fact that adoption is necessary is heart-breaking and I struggle at times to deal with the fact that I benefited from something so painful to him and his birth mother.

BlingBang Tue 01-Oct-13 18:26:32

That is the difference though. Adoption is necessary and can only be beneficial to the child in having a family rather than growing up in care. With using donor's, you are going out of your way to create a child knowing that the child could have problems coming to terms with the circumstances of their genetic make up.

Again, not against donars and would probably have considered it myself if it had been necessary. But it is an issue and one the op is aware of and trying to come to grips with.

kiriwawa Tue 01-Oct-13 18:31:56

Could is the operative word here. There must be about 10 threads a week on MN where mothers are talking about the unsuitable donors they've chosen to be the 'father' to their children. And yet, I've never heard anyone chastise another poster for choosing to procreate with a man who looks like they're going to be a pretty hopeless father.

All families are different and being loved and wanted goes a long way IMO

OddBoots Tue 01-Oct-13 18:33:02

As an aspiring scientist I love the discovery of DNA and how it works but I hate that there has grown with it the belief that it is so key to parental identity. Genes do not equal parenthood in it's most meaningful sense, day to day experience is so much more crucial in the bringing up of a child.

StitchingMoss Tue 01-Oct-13 18:36:38

Kewcumber, I totally agree with u about the DNA stuff. I have a friend with cancer who has recently done loads of family genetic testing due to the prevalence of cancer in her family - imagine if from those tests they turned round and said "but these people are genetically related to you in anyway" shock!

I'm having this v conversation with a friend who's dh is being completely unreasonable about not telling their DC DD about her origins - they're sitting on a time bomb sad.

StitchingMoss Tue 01-Oct-13 18:37:16


I just don't get it. The baby is yours, your blood feeds it, your body makes it grow. You will (may) use your own milk to make it grown once its born.
You will be its mum forever.

How can the fact that its not your egg outweigh all that?

I have offered friends of ours my eggs as they are struggling to conceive and they are considering it. If they do I wouldn't in any way think of the baby as mine.

ChoudeBruxelles Tue 01-Oct-13 18:39:33

What about adoption - is that selfish? Wanting a child and looking after one who, for whatever reason, cannot live with its parents.

Bloody selfish gits parents the lots of them wink

Fakebook Tue 01-Oct-13 18:46:56

An egg is not a child. It's just an egg. It will be fertilised with your husband's sperm. That fertilised egg, that embryo lives inside you for 9 months. He/she will know YOU as the mother, not the woman who held one part of her in her ovaries.

BlingBang Tue 01-Oct-13 18:58:08

Purplehonesty - I don't think it outweighs who raised you but only time will tell how the child feels and deals with it. You might not have a problem donating your eggs, your friends might be happy with the outcome. You all have control and a say - the child doesn't. I would hope anyone who goes down this route of donating or using donated eggs considers this.

Just seems that some folk are blasé about this or don't think it could be an issue as they are happy about it.

quickdowntonson Tue 01-Oct-13 19:14:42

Surely if you use a donor egg, you be made aware of any relevant health issues/ family health issues of the egg donor?
Other than for obvious reasons of genetic health issues, I honestly cannot see why you would need to tell a child they were conceived in this way. What exactly would you be hoping to gain from telling them? To me, THAT would be selfish.
The child would be loved and wanted, so what would be the point?
If it was me, I wouldn't need to know.

stringornothing Tue 01-Oct-13 19:21:27

I quite agree that trying to keep gamete donation a secret from a child is a terrible mistake, given the way modern medical science is evolving - it is almost inevitable that they will discover you've been lying.

The HFEA looked into it in a lot of detail and talked to a lot of donor conceived children before they decided that egg donation was ethically justified but only if it was not anonymous.

Jackanory1978 Tue 01-Oct-13 19:35:37

I really feel for you; I've treated patients going through miscarriages & I've also worked in subfertility clinics & some of the things I've seen have really touched me.

I can completely understand the need to have your own baby (as opposed to adoption). It's amazing to feel your baby grow & move inside you, I'm sitting here bf ds & it's one of the best experiences ever. My friend adopted & missed out on all those experiences, she says she feels sad that she never gave birth etc as those were 'womenly' rites of passage that she'd just assumed she'd have. (although she loves the adopted child to pieces).

Personally I don't have an issue with egg donation. I believe that if you went down that route when you felt the baby move, gave birth etc that you'd instantly think of the baby as yours, & feel such a bond with it. I think that as long as the child is loved that you would always be mummy & that they wouldn't suddenly pine for some women that they've never met.

Good luck sweetie.

digerd Tue 01-Oct-13 19:44:17

After my first and only experience of child birth, I was so traumatised from the 72 hours of agony, I wished that science would soon discover an artificial womb and parents could see their baby grow from an embryo to full term in the antinatal labsmile. < Always loved science fiction>

janey68 Tue 01-Oct-13 19:44:44

I have the utmost respect and admiration for the women on here who have donated eggs or are in the process of donating. You are doing an amazing thing, helping make a new life and giving such a wonderful gift to others . I'm past the age I can donate now, but I wish it's something id known more about and thought more about when I was younger.

BigBirthdayGloom Tue 01-Oct-13 19:52:40

Quickdowntownson - I've been on both sides of this. My family kept secrets from me and it was very painful finding out. Thing is, things kept secret have a habit of coming out anyway, usually at a point of pressure when no ones really thinking properly. There is plenty of anectdotal evidence, and possibly research too, to suggest that children who have their donor conception shared through their childhood from being tiny, in age appropriate ways of course, are very at ease with it. They are often curious to know more about the donor, but have strong parental relationships with those who bring them up.
Those who are told later on are often upset and feel secrets have been kept and that they then can't trust their parents. The older donor conceived "children" often had their beginnings shrouded in secrecy and these are often the ones who have spoken out. But if you read some of the stories by teenagers and young adults who have been told the truth (on donor conception network website) there is quite a different story.
I get the logic that makes people not want to tell and have experienced a very strong longing myself to be "normal". It's a very personal decision.

Dilemma81 Tue 01-Oct-13 20:10:11

wow, you all have been very supportive, thank you. Some really interesting thoughts especially all the scientific talk. CHJR you are completely right and 'selfish' is not the word I was looking for or should have used. I also want to personally thank you for taking the time to write so much thoughtful information and raising a few questions. I have already re-read your post several times as it has really made me think. Infertility and miscarriages have brought massive guilt. I feel terrible for my husband who has watched most our friends have babies and when I see him with kids, it makes my heart bleed. He is a very kind man and has never blamed me or been unsupportive but still the guilt hangs over me like a dark cloud. I actually raised the idea of adoption to him and he said he would prefer to go down the donor egg route. It is really important to him to pass on his genetics. I wonder whether part of me does want to make it up to him. But you really raise important points about the potential imbalance of parenting. It's all something to explore.

Anyway thanks to everyone for their thoughts. I have really been (over) thinking so much about this because a very good friend of mine and her sister found out that their Dad couldn't have children and so their mum used donor sperm back in the 70s. They found out in their 30s and it came as a very distressing shock to them. My friend is fine about it now and strangely she always had an inkling that something wasn't 'right' but her sister has gone to absolute pieces and sadly has hit the bottle.
Again, it just raises things to think about. But let's face it kids can go to pieces or go down the wrong path even with the most loving conventional family so nothing is a given.

Kewcumber Tue 01-Oct-13 22:21:42

I am an adopter. I have a wonderful son and don;t regret a moment of heartache that ended up meaning he became mine.


I don't advocate for adoption (and I know few adopters who do) because you really have to be ready for it - you do yourself and any prospective child a big disservice to go into an adoption because you feel its the "better" thing to do than use a donor and give birth yourself.

When (if!) you're ready to embrace adoption you know it (IMVHO!) and until that point you should investigate all the options that are open to you.

Don't underestimate the benefits to you and a child of growing inside you and being with you from birth - not having that is a big deal and whilst its not an insurmountable one, it would be a fool who chose to ignore it.

Anyone who chooses to give birth instead of adopting is selfish so put that to one side and think through the things which bother you. Thinking about telling children who are adopted or donor concieved has changed quite dramatically since the 70's. Talk to someone at the Donor Conception Network who should be quite helpful and might be able to put you in touch with some members who have older children who know all the facts about their conception.

Good luck

JulieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 01-Oct-13 22:38:34

Hi, Dilemma.

Would you like us to alter the title for you?

Loopytiles Tue 01-Oct-13 23:11:12

Agree with blingblang. It's easy to say that biology doesn't matter, that it's the time and love put into parenting that counts. But DC might not feel that way. They should have the option to find out about their biological parent if they want to.

Also strongly disagree with lying to children about this.

wannaBe Wed 02-Oct-13 01:01:53

It is far too simplistic to suggest that all a child needs is love and that biology plays no part. While biology certainly isn’t the be-all and end-all, it is human nature to wonder about one’s heritage and parentage.

It’s also far too simplistic to suggest that an egg is just a cell – it may start out as just a cell but it has the potential to become a child – a child who may one day want to know where he/she has come from.

I actually feel far more uncomfortable with the notion of donating eggs/sperm than receiving them (although I personally couldn’t do either) because it’s like giving away your biological children, people justify it on the basis it’s just a cell but actually it isn’t. People wouldn’t hand over their actual children to a complete stranger so why their biological material, allowing a child to potentially be born into the world who has a whole biological family they know nothing about and who might not want to know them if they came knocking on the door in eighteen years time. Also, what about existing children, is it right to essentially give away your eggs in the knowledge that those eggs/sperm might result in other siblings with whom they will be denied a relationship?

Wrt people who go down the route of using donor eggs/sperm, IMO it depends on how they go about it. I don’t judge someone who goes down that route in this country where donors are volunteers who are counselled in terms of their donation. (while I might not agree with the concept of donation I do think that if it is done then it should be done properly and under strict guidelines), however I think going to Thailand/india/<insert third world country of choice> to buy a donor egg is utterly abhorrent. The women who donate these eggs generally come from deprived backgrounds and are exploited for their eggs which are then bought by rich western couples. I don’t care how desperate someone is for a child, nothing justifies going too those lengths IMO. Just because something can be done, doesn’t mean that it should.

Op I am assuming that you are going down the route of donation in this country, and you are wise to consider the implications not only on you but on any potential child you might bring into the world as a result. You are right to be questioning whether it’s the right decision for you and your family, because there are so many different implications, and no, having a child that is loved is simply not enough. But whatever you decide it will be the right decision for you.

As for comparing a donated egg to adoption – of course there are no similarities. I am often hmm at these people who talk about all the unwanted children in the world and question why people don’t just adopt them, as if it’s as simple as just going to the clinic and picking out a child. hmm

MidniteScribbler Wed 02-Oct-13 01:31:31

I worry whether my family and friends would be as judgemental as these people if we went down this route.

I have a son via donor sperm and I'm a single mother (working in a catholic school!). I am very open about his method of conception, as I don't want him growing up thinking that there is anything "wrong" with how he was born. Not one person, including my priest, has said anything negative to me about having a child on my own, and all have been incredibly supportive. I spoke to our priest before going ahead and he said "how can bringing a much wanted child in to this world ever be seen as a bad thing by God?". The general response by family and friends is "that's cool" and it's amazing how many strangers (women) open up and start asking questions as it is something they have considered themselves.

Think of it this way - if someone judges you for it, are they someone that you would want in your life, or your child's life, anyway?

HopLittleFroggiesHopSkipJump Wed 02-Oct-13 01:52:29

I have a DD with a dad who doesn't really bother with her.
The relationship was occasionally violent when I fell pregnant (unplanned), and it worsened in early pregnancy. We split up, and I knew she wasn't going to have an ideal dad, or likely a good relationship with him, but I continued with the pregnancy.
I would say that is much more selfish than using an egg to bring a much planned, wanted by everyone and loved baby into the world, but I doubt DD will regret being born (except in future teenage tantrums!).

Regardless of any issues we've had along the way, I wouldn't change anything about DD. If she had been born at a different time, or with different "genetics" she wouldn't be her, and I'm sure you would feel the same about a baby you had, doner egg or not.

Any potential egg doner babies you give birth to and bring up will be your children just as much as DD is mine.
All DNA really is is appearance and medical traits, their personalities, expressions, morals, life experiences and security will be built by you and DH.

Sycamor Wed 02-Oct-13 03:05:23

Can I just add to this by saying what absolute joy a donor conceived child (or any child) can bring to a family.
My daughter is donor conceived and I wouldn't swap her for a child I conceived myself in a million years. She's funny and loving and impish and smart and she makes us a family.
The road to having a child can be and has been for you horribly difficult. Having her to love makes it worth it.
We have been very lucky and ill always be grateful to the anonymous lady who helped us have our child. She will know about her origins and we will support her as best we can with any issues she has, as any parents would.
All the best OP with whatever decision you make.

Annakin31 Wed 02-Oct-13 07:28:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

janey68 Wed 02-Oct-13 07:43:21

I think if you feel you can't do it yourself then you certainly shouldn't do it. It doesn't mean it's selfish though; it's a personal decision and as others have shown on here, can bring deep joy and fulfilment when donor and receiver are both comfortable about it

BlingBang Wed 02-Oct-13 08:43:04

I imagine those who go down the donar route probably do consider all the diffent angles and issues it could bring. Probably just on here that folk gloss over it and say it's just a cell etc. And of course it's more than just a cell, it souds so blasé just saying that and make lt of any future issues any child might have. Unless you have faced to being able to conceive yourself, we probably don't know what lengths we would go to, to have a baby if we were desperate so i understand why people use donated eggs or sperm, I find it harder to understand why people donate - it's not like giving blood.

aurynne Wed 02-Oct-13 10:11:41

I am an egg donor, and two of my eggs have helped conceive two gorgeous children who have made their parents' lives full and happy. We keep in contact and I am their "aunty". Their parents will tell these children about our story, they have actually started with the older one in terms she can understand. There is nothing selfish about conceive with the help of a donor egg: the donor does this selflessly and wants a family to have a chance at pregnancy, birth and maternity/paternity. The children conceived ill not have feelings of abandonment or confusion about their origins, because it is an open and honest process, and they will know that they were very loved, very wanted children. Not only that, but if the families agree to keep in touch, they will have an extra person in their life (an aunty, or "fairy godmother") who will also consider them special.

For me personally, it is one of the most worthwhile things I have done in my life. The happiness it creates, with just a tiny short-lived discomfort for me, has been mind-boggling. If I lived another 100 lives I would do it another 100 times.

BlingBang Wed 02-Oct-13 10:38:02

But you don't know they will be very loved (I'm sure that the majority are) and that they will have a happy childhood. Do none on these parents have the potential to be abusive, split up etc - just like any other parents?

I know of a woman who had twins after years of trying to conceive then going down the IVF route. Children very much wanted, then after they were born he couldn't hack it and left her and the babies.

And why would you be happy to have hundreds of children who have half your genetic make up walking around - I do find that strange.

MidniteScribbler Wed 02-Oct-13 10:41:08

Anyone has the potential to split up or be abusive. Can we limit everyone from having children if they have the potential to split up in the future, or is it just those that need to use donor eggs or sperm that you want to limit?

What is selfish is those who have not have any problems conceiving thinking they have some right to dictate the use of perfectly legal forms of conception for other people.

BlingBang Wed 02-Oct-13 11:09:44

The point I was making is that many have said, -this child is much wanted, will be much loved and have a wonderful happy childhood. We don't know all that like we don't know what lies ahead for our own relationships and children.

I said I can understand people desperately wanting a child and using donors, I find it harder to understand the donor. i'm not against this but people soft coating it and saying it's just a cell or that raising the child is all that matters isn't exactly true - maybe not to the child who has to come to terms with their conceptions and that they have other genetic family out there. And it's only right that someone considering using a donor or being a donor considers all this.

Would they be just as dismissive about issues many adopted children face, or children who have an absent bio father?

kiriwawa Wed 02-Oct-13 11:12:42

I'm also a single parent to a donor-conceived child. I can't speak for all of us obviously but I've never met one that hasn't thought long and hard about the potential issues for our children as they grow up. It's not something you do lightly or on a whim.

MidniteScribbler Wed 02-Oct-13 11:20:17

Good grief, do you think I suddenly woke up one morning and went "hey, just for a lark I might go get knocked up." It took me years of thinking about it, then years of actually trying to conceive. Where I live, there is compulsory counselling before being able to access donor sperm or eggs. We think about how to discuss it with our children, we discuss it with other parents who have chosen this same path. It is law here that DS will be able to access his records when he is 18 if he chooses. We have already made contact with his sister from the same donor and catch up with her and her mother regularly and I'm in contact with a group of other women that live near me who are either trying to conceive or already have a child or children. It's not something you do without having to consider all aspects of your decision first.

MummytoMog Wed 02-Oct-13 13:08:51

Why on earth would I consider a child born as a result of my donation mine? My children are the children I decided to conceive, to gestate and to raise. Not the genetic material I gave to someone else so that she could have a child. She is that child's mother. Not me. That is absolutely clear to me, despite the fact that there is somewhere out there, right now, a woman who is pregnant using one of my eggs. I have never had even the slightest parental twinge.

Kendodd Wed 02-Oct-13 14:07:22

Just out of interest, bio half family, do donor conceived children know about them? I know it is very unlikely but I would also worry a bit about the possibility of them meeting and marrying in the future. Maybe that is over thinking though, and besides, plenty of men spread their seed far and wide without looking back.

I have a friend (single) who used donor sperm and now has a little girl. At first her family were all dead against it, to the point of disowning her if she went ahead. Once the baby arrived though everyone came round immediately and how she was conceived didn't matter, everyone loves her and she is treated no differently to her cousins. My friend though says she thinks about the donor all the time and is always wondering what he must be like and trying to see signs of him in her daughter.

Another friend of mine is tracing her family tree, her mum is adopted and I asked what do people do in those cases, which line do you follow? She said that genealogists always follow the blood line and that's what she wanted to do. It seemed a bit sad the her nan and grandad's line seem to be written out. Donor conception is a bit more complicated though and besides it might seem a bit silly worrying about what grandchildren and beyond will think.

Kewcumber Wed 02-Oct-13 14:23:11

From memory you aren't allowed a more than a certain number of live births per donor (I think its 10 now) so the dramatic examples of hundreds of people wandering around genetically related to you is impossible - unless you're just a bit of a lad down the local in which case its entirely possible. Genghis Khan manged to impregnate half of central Asia but to be fair he had a head start being a dictator and all...

Adults conceived by donor are allowed to check with HFEA that there is no sibling relationship with another adult.

A few people have said things like "of course DNA is important" - well yes obviously it is to you but it isn;t to everyone. I know thats hard to get your head around when it IS important to you but it really isn;t important to everyone. Of course you don;t know in advance whether it will be important to your child so you do indeed have to think through how you intend to handle it. But as someone pointed out above - studies show those children who were told (adopted or donor conceived) very early (in fact too early to really understand it) seem to be much more accepting of the situation than those who found out later.

Also those who had stories of ther grandparents dimples passed down to them from their mothers laps from an early age - not everyone has living grandparents or even grandparents that their parents knew and no-one wrings their hands about it, also lots of families don;t share particular physical characteristics. My mother had NEVER said to me "ooh you're just like Granny Smith with your wild brown hair and cross eyes" because to be honest she doesn't remember clearly enough what Granny Smith looked like.

Ironically DS (who looks about as different from me as its possible to look) is frequently told my people "you're so much like your mum"!

Kewcumber Wed 02-Oct-13 14:24:13

Ken - family trees for adoptees are often done as branches and roots - with birth family being the roots and adoptive family being the branches. No need to exclude one if you have some information you can follow.

fairy1303 Wed 02-Oct-13 16:15:28

kew we get that too - DSD and I frequently get stopped and told that she looks just like me, she has my nose etc. DSD thinks it is hilarious!

Sallykitten Wed 02-Oct-13 16:19:40

Well when they find it out then they wouldn't exist if you hadn't done it would they? So really, not selfish at all, because if you hadn't made the decision to do it they wouldn't exist would they?

Unless they end up having such a terrible life they wished they never existed then they will probably just be thankful that you gave them life, no matter what the ins and outs of it are.

BigBirthdayGloom Wed 02-Oct-13 19:07:32

Annakin, you raise interesting points, all of which we discussed with the counsellor we saw before we went down the donor conception route. The teenager thing was one I particularly thought. Of course, it might well be thrown at dh when our three are hormonally challenged. I actually think its more likely that they'll say to me "I wish I wasn't genetically related to you". But there you go-teenagers will throw something at us for absolute certain and dh is well adjusted and secure enough in his parenting to cope with it.
I guess I'm better placed than some to understand how biology does and doesn't matter. My parents and I have a hugely challenging relationship and I have often considered not seeing them at all. Dh's parents are the rock that supports us both and I call or text dmil pretty much daily. She is the one I want to tell about proud or exasperated dc m

BigBirthdayGloom Wed 02-Oct-13 19:10:56

Sorry- proud or exasperated moments whilst I tell my parents out of duty.
I don't know what the future holds. None of us knows what we would or wouldn't do until we're there facing it. I am certain that we have three amazing children. I am certain that dh is an amazing father. I am certain that we went into this with as much careful consideration as possible. I actually think it would hurt no one to have counselling to think through becoming parents by whatever route.

Phonics4all Thu 16-Jan-14 20:25:42

I just saw this thread. I realise its been a few months since you posted.
However, if you haven't yet made a decision on this, I'd recommend you read the stories on This site gives the accounts of the full range of participants, from egg and sperm donors, to the recipients, to adult donor-conceived children. Its food for thought.

CwtchesAndCuddles Thu 16-Jan-14 21:15:43

I don't think it's selfish but when I was with my ex our only option to have a child was donor sperm. After a lot of thought we decided we couldn't go down that route - it wasn't right for us.

Take your time, talk about it and only go for it if you are sure. It's a very personal decision with many pros and cons.

DixieGoesToHollywood Thu 16-Jan-14 21:59:49

Nasty thread title.

I'd hate to hear what you think of me and my DP - two lesbians who will have a baby using an unknown sperm donor biscuit

Waltonswatcher1 Thu 16-Jan-14 22:09:00

How can the gift of life be selfish?
My friend used a donor egg.
She is already introducing story books especially covering this topic and he is only a toddler. I will read those same stories to my toddler so this becomes a non issue for their friendship.
She is an amazing mum .
I hope you reach a decision you are happy with.

Coumarin Fri 17-Jan-14 01:00:09

I wish this had a different thread title. I avoided it like the plague when it was first posted thinking it'd upset me but there's actually some good advice posted from those who've experienced it.

No it is not selfish. Yes yabu if that's what you think. No yanbu to have doubts and lots of questions.

Coumarin Fri 17-Jan-14 01:00:55

thanks Good luck Dixie.

Thants Fri 17-Jan-14 02:34:41

I agree op. I think using donor eggs and surrogacy is wrong. It devalues women and I think it is wrong to use women's bodies for personal gain especially for money!
Adopt smile

Dromedary Fri 17-Jan-14 03:34:23

If you choose the donor carefully based on sufficient information and they are if at all possible traceable once the child is 18, and if you are able to accept that the child will not be your biological child, but will be your husband's biological child (I think some people can find that difference hard), and if you feel that you can be good parents (not everyone is suited to parenthood), then I don't think it's more selfish than having your own biological child. Make sure the child understands it from the word go and they will very probably take it in their stride.
It would, however, be far less selfish again to adopt a child who needs parents. Not saying that you should though, more than the rest of us.

BohemianGirl Fri 17-Jan-14 06:16:47

I believe nature has a way of sorting things out.

My first husband and I never had children, we didnt use contraception. We were together 4 years.

Both he and I have gone into other relationships and remarried. He's certainly managed to have several children as have I. Neither of us have fertility problems

I think nature knew we were a bad combo.

EmmaBemma Fri 17-Jan-14 06:47:00

I don't believe that nature "knows" anything. Shit happens, is my view- anything else is dangerously close to saying that people somehow deserve to have infertility problems.

Thants, I have been an anonymous egg donor twice. I didn't claim any payment. Nobody "used" my body- the previous few eggs I managed to squeeze out were a gift freely given.

janey68 Fri 17-Jan-14 07:03:43

I agree that you shouldn't use a donor egg OP, as you obviously think its wrong.

However, I entirely disagree that it's selfish . Certainly no more so than having a child any other way, in that having a baby is inherently 'selfish' in that we do it because we want to. I would far rather a couple think through carefully all the implications of deciding to bring a new life into the world, than see babies being conceived without a second thought by a couple in a crap relationship, or a one night stand. And what about the children who are raised with a lack of stimulation, emotional support etc? Now that's selfish... Now that's selfish... To have a child without accepting the responsibility that goes with it.

As witnessed on this thread, there are altruistic women out there who are freely giving the greatest gift to people who will raise a child in a loving and happy home. If you have a problem with that, then it's important that you don't do it

Cheesy123 Fri 17-Jan-14 09:49:49

There is more to being a mum than just giving birth or having the same genes.

Slainte Sat 18-Jan-14 10:56:11

Nature didn't know you were a bad match Bohemian, what a twattish thing to say.

Does that mean that all couples struggling with infertility are "a bad match"? angry

Slainte Sat 18-Jan-14 10:59:30

Thants how exactly are women being devalued by donating/receiving eggs???

formerbabe Sat 18-Jan-14 11:04:28

I don't think it is selfish.

However, I would never donate my eggs, nor would I want to become pregnant with someone else's eggs.

I do know that is very easy for me to say, as I have not had any fertility problems.

eurochick Sat 18-Jan-14 11:24:22

OP, there is a lot to get your head around with any kind of fertility treatment. I struggled with the concept of IVF full stop. I hated the artificiality of the process. Between egg collection and transfer, I missed my embryos, which seems ridiculous, but I wanted them back in me. Donor egg/sperm adds an additional level of issues to get your head around. It's not for everyone. It might not be for you. Your clinic will offer counselling if you are thinking about the DE route. This should help you work through your feelings. Personally, we decided to move to adoption if we were not successful with our own eggs and sperm. But that was just where I came out. A number of women on the Conception board have gone down the DE route. BTW, did you know that in the womb the embryo apparently picks up DNA from the mother, so even if the egg is not yours, the embryo will pick up bits of "you" as it grows. There are some articles about this you can track down if you are interested.

mrsjay Sat 18-Jan-14 11:39:59

an egg does not make you any less a mother as anybody else what about sperm is that selfish too ? i hope you manage to reach a decision about this but i think you have to talk this through with your Drs really, the baby would still be yours

Slatecross Sat 18-Jan-14 14:04:51

Bohemian chew on my big hard biscuit

UptheChimney Sat 18-Jan-14 15:14:37

But again, I keep thinking that nature is telling us something and perhaps it is wrong to try and defy it

But you had IVF? Surely, that's a procedure which "defies nature"? I don't get it.

And no, using donor eggs is not selfish, in and of itself.

drbonnieblossman Sat 18-Jan-14 15:22:58

yabu to use the thread title you have, sorry.

that aside, its a personal individual decision, too difficult to make if you have recently undergone the trauma of an unsuccessful ivf process.

for me, adoption or fostering would be preferable.

drbonnieblossman Sat 18-Jan-14 15:24:09

chimney, ivf does not defy nature. icsi does, but not ivf.

drbonnieblossman Sat 18-Jan-14 15:24:30

chimney, ivf does not defy nature. icsi does, but not ivf.

drbonnieblossman Sat 18-Jan-14 15:24:44

yabu to use the thread title you have, sorry.

that aside, its a personal individual decision, too difficult to make if you have recently undergone the trauma of an unsuccessful ivf process.

for me, adoption or fostering would be preferable.

drbonnieblossman Sat 18-Jan-14 15:28:06

sorry for the multiples

cingolimama Sun 19-Jan-14 14:29:43

Can I just clarify that women who conceive with donor eggs ARE THE BIOLOGICAL MOTHERS of the child. They are not the genetic mothers.

Also, can we have done on this and other threads from posters who say "oh, I could never (shudder) do IVF or use donor egg" followed closely by "of course, I never had any problems conceiving". Really you know nothing.

OP I'm so sorry you're having difficulties and I forgive your silly thread title. It's a tough road ahead, whatever you decide. However, could I offer one piece of advice: Yes it's going to be difficult. But keep your eyes on the prize. Imagine a child in your arms, to love and cherish. Keep that image in your head and heart and it may give you courage.

I wish you all the luck in the world.

Coumarin Sun 19-Jan-14 14:44:25

I want to applaud your second paragraph Cingo

cingolimama Sun 19-Jan-14 14:48:23

thanks Cou!

Caitlin17 Sun 19-Jan-14 14:52:21

I don't think it's selfish. The donor made her own decisions.

I'll probably get flamed for this however but as you will carry the child, the birth certificate will show the 2 of you as parents, the 2 of you are bringing the child up, the donor mother will have no involvement why is there a need to even tell?

(In saying that I'm assuming the egg is provided by an anonymous donor rather than a friend or family member)

I'm not convinced by all this " have to know about my DNA" stuff and I say that as someone who doesn't know and doesn't care.

SuperScrimper Sun 19-Jan-14 15:08:06

I think it's utterly immoral to hide their genetic history from a child. What of one day they need a transplant or happen to over hear something. It is disgusting that in this day and age people think it's ok to hide something like that from a child.

I found out my DM was adopted as an adult and I can tell you it has ruined my relationship with her. She let me go for genetic testing for breast cancer as my DGM had suffered from it, knowing perfectly well that I wasn't actually related to her.

Lies and secrets always out. What is just accepted by a child is a horrible shock for a person in their 20's.

wishful75 Sun 19-Jan-14 15:30:25

yes that's correct, the birth mother is indeed the biological mother.

With the advance of science in this area its becoming increasingly understood that epigenetics (how genes are expressed etc..) and the environment the baby grows in play an extremely significant role in the creation of the baby so its fair to say that the contribution of the birth mother and her biology play a greater role in influencing the outcome than either of the genetic parents. In that sense the recipient of an egg donation is more the actual parent!

wishful75 Sun 19-Jan-14 15:36:10

So you are being unreasonable as you would be the biological mother and you would be underestimating the biological influence you would have on the child.

I never buy the nature argument because we dont apply it to medical intervention with regard to illness.

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