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Donor egg - how many half siblings?(9 Posts)
Hi all, am 2 failed ivf cycles down and donor egg was mentioned today. We will try again but have now been thinking about whether we would do a donor egg conception and the biggest issue for me is having to explain to the child there many be multiple half siblings out there who they are nothing to do with (in terms of not a half sibling via myself or their father) or even saying they need to get a dna check In case they’ve met one of their donor siblings. How do you all deal with this and does anyone know how many eggs are likely to be out there from the same donor? Would it be possible to purchase all the eggs a donor has given to ensure there are no half siblings?
The HFEA set a 10 family limit to limit the amount of partially genetically related siblings. This doesn't mean 10 babies will be born as many egg donors will only donate once or twice and treatment may be unsuccessful. The chances of genetically related siblings will differ depending if you are using a shared or an exclusive donor or if the eggs are from a frozen egg bank. You wouldn't be permitted to 'buy' all the eggs from that donor although if using a frozen egg bank they may allow you to purchase sibling eggs once your treatment is successful. If your treatment works when your child is older they can approach the HFEA to ask if they had any partially genetically related siblings at the time the donation was made, this may include children born from donation and also the donors own children if any
We were able to have 2 children with our own embryos but having had them now I would say try not to overthink the half-sibling thing. It is a huge deal to you now as it's a massive part of your life and current decision making but before I had children I had not appreciated how much they completely take things in their stride. You can tell them as much or as little as you choose in an age appropriate way and they just accept it as normal. My children deal with difficult issues so much better than I do!
Once they are adults they can choose to ask the HFEA for more information about the half-siblings and I think that's a good thing, it gives them a chance to meet more people with a genetic link to them but different lives (a bit like meeting a cousin you don't really know as an adult).
I know it's such a lot to think about. We have 2 frozen embryos remaining and it hurts my head to think about them. There are so many difficult decisions involved in treatment. I wish I had donated eggs while I was young enough, and I would quite like to donate our embryos but my DH cannot get his head around either thing at all. He places great importance on the DNA, whereas I don't really.
Best of luck whatever happens and fingers crossed for future treatment.
One thing to be mindful of is they wouldn't be given any info about the partially genetically related siblings beyond knowing they existed. If the donor was open to contact when the child was 18 they may choose to provide info on their own children and also may even be supportive of encouraging contact but for any children born through donation you wouldn't be given any info of them or their parents.
Many children born through donation also have no idea they were the results of donor egg or sperm. Obviously you need to do what's right for you and your family but be mindful of making out they have more genetic links they may get the opportunity to meet with as that's not often the reality. That said the rising popularity of genealogy sites opens up extra opportunities for donor conceived children to explore things further
Sorry yes Lauren is absolutely correct. When I was thinking about it I was approaching it from the perspective of being the donor and being contacted by a conceived child, therefore them finding out about my existing children. Sorry if that was confusing and thank you Lauren for the clarification.
I wasn't trying to say your views were incorrect sorry if it came across that way, my son is donor conceived and I will support him whatever he decides but I hate the thought of him thinking he may meet the donor or genetically related siblings as the reality may not be that. He is only 2 and I'm hoping when he is older he understands my reasons for using donor eggs
If the donor has donated previously the clinic will tell u how many successful pregnancies have happened, if it was a multiple and if they have any biological children of their own
That doesn't tell u what may happen in the future obviously
I went abroad because I wanted it to be anonamous but obviously its a completely different country so the chances of them meeting a sibling is small , yes other people from the U.K. use that clinic but they only use their donors a certain amount of times and they don't share eggs all the eggs you receive are yours.
Tbh having DE twins I don't ever feel like my kids are anything but full siblings as they have an older brother whose biologically both ours - I don't know if I'll tell them about it when they're older if I do it'll be before a time it would be detrimental to them.
There is also books you can buy about egg donation.
Uk clinics can and do share a "batch" of collected eggs either between 2 recipients or between a recipient and the donor herself