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Adoption v Donor Eggs - What's the Difference?

17 replies

sadie42 · 18/11/2009 16:56

I recently found out I have very little ovarian activity left. I'm devastated but have been preparing myself for the diagnosis for a couple of years - i'm in my early 40s, already had 2 myomectomies to remove multiple fibroids and a late m/c a year ago. DH and I have a great r'ship and he's been amazing throughout the m/c and fertility problems. But now it's become clear that he never really processed the thought that I might be infertile, he thought it would all work out fine (he's 5 yrs younger). I've reached the point where I think adoption's the best route, but he's thinking a donor egg might be the way because he's having problems accepting he won't have a biological child. I don't see a massive difference between a donor egg and adoption, and am frankly (and maybe selfishly) sick of being prodded with vagina cams and needles and being operated on. I realise a child from a donor egg would be biologically his, but I'm conflicted. Has anyone else faced a similar problem, or just have any thoughts or advice on the issue?

OP posts:
KristinaM · 18/11/2009 20:13

hi sadie and sorry to hear about your bad news

there are many differences between getting pg and giving birth ( albeit with a donor egg) to a newborn baby and adopting a toddler or school aged child

the first one is age of the child- if you live in the uk you would be very VERY unlikely to be allowed to adopt a baby ie a child under 2 years, because of your age. the exceptions to this would be if you are a black or mixed heritage couple or can adopt a baby with significant special needs

the second one is risk - any child you adopt will have suffered trauma, perhaps in their family and almost certainly in the care system. some of this damage cannot be reversed, even by the most loving and devoted parents. in addition there is the genetic risk - of addictions and mental illness. i know nothing about the screening process for donor eggs but i assume it woudl rule out serious addiction or mental illness.

obviously a child with a donor egg would be biologically your husbands and you coudl ensure that you have good pre natal care .

a third major difference would be timescale. if you were to adopt you need to find an agency willing to assess you. they wont do so until you have completed all your assisted conception treatment and then waited, probably for a year. many wont even consider a white couple in their 40s.

if you do find an agency it will take at least a year to get approved, then you have to wait to be matched. its not a "waiting list" type system, where if you wait long enough to get to teh top you get a child. Its more like a job interview, you are considered alongside everyone else and it doesn't matter how long you have been waiting, they will take the best match for that child

so i woudl guess you are looking at at least three years from now

obviously there are many other differences but thats the main ones off teh top of my head

sorry i cant be more positive

Kewcumber · 18/11/2009 21:03

I can identify with the impatience to move away form IVF I had three failed attempts and nearly called the last one off part way through. IN my case the infertility was completely unexplained - my eggs were fine and each IVF failed for a very identifiable and different reason so the case for donor eggs in my case was very dubious.

I probably wouldn't have decided any different in my specific case becasue of that but I am much clearer about the advice I give people than I was before I adopted. I should add that I have a fantastic DS and wouldn;t change him for the world... BUT...

Parenting a child with such a major loss in their life can be painful, it isn;t something which impinges before you have a child but when that child is real and you love them, helping them process the loss of a birht motehr can be heart-breaking.

Also it is a massive benefit to any child to be with their mother from birth (and before!) and a huge advantage to be sure of at least half of your DNA.

Even if you choose to go overseas to adopt a child it is increasingly difficult to get a child under 18 months from the countries which are currently both open and which don't have ridiculous waits to be matched and even then you are looking at around 3 years from application to bringing a child home - IF YOU LIVE IN AN ENLIGHTENED AND EFFICIENT LA!

I know that you are bearing the brunt of the treatment but if the situation were the other way round, how would you feel about your DH catagorically denying you the ability to have a biological child.

How are you going to feel if you go down the adoption route and discover that the only childrne being offered are significantly older or have significantly more problems than you had anticipated and because of your age you might well have missed to egg donation boat by then.

Be absolutely sure in your own mind that you are completely at the end of the fertility route before you embark upon adoption because you need to be able to look back in 10 years and know that you tried as hard as you could for both yourself and your DH.

FYI my friend went down the egg donation route with a Madrid clinic (same problme with eggs as you) and become pregnant at her first attempt aged 45 (now of course thats partly luck but just to prove its possible)

michellebrook · 22/11/2009 20:21

hi there - I can completely relate - reached 40 to find out that I have run out of decent eggs. I have decided to try the egg donor route. The waiting times appear to be 12-15 months - I have been registered for just 2 months. I keep trying to see if I can find someone to donate on my behalf which would assist another woman and push me to the top of the waiting list (not to me directly as I do not want to know the egg donor and I have been told by my clinic's therapist that is the preferable route). Anyway, hope you can make the right decision for yourself. x

Italiangreyhound · 19/06/2010 20:01

Hi Sadie42 I know it is long time ago that you posted but did you resolve your decisions?

Kewcumber do you know which clinic in Madrid your friend used?

deeply · 19/06/2010 22:15

In my opinion as both a birth mother and an adoptive mother you would be well advised to go down the donated egg route. Many reasons include:

You will have the joy and experience of pregnancy and birth.

You will have much more control of events instead of numerous social workers who will already consider you too old to parent an newborn.

Your baby will be yours from the moment of conception, all the most important milestones will shared between you and your DH. Your husband may be the biological parent but you have carried the baby and given birth.

Birth, first smile, first everything will be yours alone and not shared with numerous foster parents/social workers.

Egg donation is widely used yet seldom acknowledged. Good Luck with your choices.

alexis123 · 21/06/2010 14:39

I could have written your post a few years back except I already had an older child. Met new parner when reached 4, he was 5 years younger. Tried for 4 years to have a child ivf etc with no success-eggs were too old. My husband found it v difficult to accept he would not have a child so after much soulsearching we decided on egg donation. Within 18 months we had twin girls. I love them as much as my 1st child.They are my children in every way. I initially though found it v difficult to come to terms with donatoin. We went abroad and were able to see choose our donor on website so saw photo and life history and educatoin. We were also able to ask her questions via 3rd party. This was very important to me. Know one knows they are not genetically mine in fact one of my daughters looks very like me. If I'd have known the outcome I'd have gone down the donation route sooner. Good luck

Italiangreyhound · 21/06/2010 16:28

Alexis123 Not wanting to hijack someone else's thread but as you replied may I ask you where you went, please?

My husband and I have one daughter (from IUI) now aged 5 and a half. Since she was 9 months old we have tried to have another. When we she was about 18 months old we were told my eggs were no good and we would not have another so adoption was recommended. We looked into it and were basically told our daughter needed to be older for us to do it. I was not happy just to sit and wait so I looked for second opinion etc. We ended up having more IUI treatment and finally donor eggs in the UK after a 14 month wait (which failed, this April).

Now hubby is keen not to go down the IVF route again and wants to look into adoption. Which we are both interested in. I am keen to have another child and for my daughter to have a sibling. So we have enquired about adoption but again must wait 6 months because we have had fertility treatment. I am trying to get my head around it all, and was interested to hear about Spanish clinics where there is no wait (well one or two months wait) for donor eggs. Was also wanting to hear about adoption and see what that would mean, hence posting on this thread.

Duritzfan · 21/06/2010 19:34

Hi all

just wanted to say a good friend of ours is pregnant with her first baby ..very same situation as you OP .. anyway, she had rounds and rounds of ivf here in the UK and it failed every time .. They decided to try a donor egg and she fell pg first time - this was the clinic she used..they were fantastic - she is due any day now..any thoughts of the baby being "not hers "faded as soon as she started to feel that baby kick.. as far as they and the rest of the world is concerned that is their baby .

I wish you all the luck in the world, whatever you decide.. x

Duritzfan · 21/06/2010 19:37

meant to say ..they used this place in Barcelona

LadyBiscuit · 21/06/2010 19:39

Italiangreyhound - if you have a look at fertility sites (I think Fertility Friends is the one people I knew used) there are a lot of discussions around donor eggs and clinics in Spain. Good luck

alexis123 · 22/06/2010 14:09

Hi Italian Greyhound
We went to America for our donor eggs. I think if you put donor eggs usa you will find lots of agencies.I think we used an agency Shelly Smith though might be wrong as have thrown all material relating to our search away. We contacted them in a January and after we paid a small sum of money were given a pin to access a site with a lot of donors with photos age height and eye colour. We were then able to get more information on some we were interested in. Once we'd chosen a donor and she accepted us we were able to ask her specific questioms. We also had a telephone interview. They were v keen you tell your child about their origins.I initially was happy to do this but my husband was dead against it.4 months after 1st contacting them we had the embryo transfer. Unfortunately that failad but 4 months later we tried again with frozen ones and 8months later had 2 lovely little girls.

Italiangreyhound · 23/06/2010 00:40

Alexis123 thanks, and congratulations.

sadie42 · 06/07/2010 21:17

Hi all, I'm heartened that people responded to this thread and delighted for those with success stories. I'm coming around to the idea of egg donation, and it seems like Spain is the best place to try. But I'm curious to know if people who have had babies by this route tell family and friends about the child's origins. It would seem tempting not to in the early years, but I worry that it would become more of an issue as the baby becomes a child, then an adult. Could it turn into a secret myself and my husband would live with our whole lives? And I wonder how I would react to, and cope with the "oh s/he's got your eyes/your smile" comments.

OP posts:
Kewcumber · 07/07/2010 00:42

my friend has told close family and friends but nit others. She takes all teh "oh he looks just like you" comments with a smile and good grace!

Italiangreyhound · 07/07/2010 02:22

sadie42 beware long post!

We had treatment with donor eggs, which was unsuccessful. We have contemplated more and I have heard good things about Spain. Not sure yet which route we will take.

Before starting on the donor egg route I decided that I would definitely want to tell the child (if there were one) that they were conceived with a donor egg.

I think what you decide to do regarding telling the child will possibly influence who else you tell.

My understanding is that this kind of information if drip fed to the child over a number of years is just part of their story and is therefore not a shock or strange to them. The Donor conception network may be able to advise about how to tell etc.

However, if you do not tell the child then it would be a secret you would have to live with. The more people you told the greater the chance that the secret may come out. I think that for a child to have grown up believing one thing to be true and then to find out something else is true it could be a shock and could damage the relationship, though I am not sure much - I'm not being a scare-monger but just think that it is easier for kids to know this all along.

Everyone is different but personally I would not want to have the chance that the information could come out one day and change my relationship with my child. I also think that it is in the child's best interest for them to know. That way they can know as much as possible about their medical history etc (which would be different from yours). Once I had come to terms with the idea that the child would not look like me etc it was actually something which I felt very comfortable with. Lots of birth children look nothing like their parents.

Exactly who else to tell is obviously your choice but personally, I chose to tell my mum and sister about treatment and had we been successful I would have told all our close relatives. Again, for me, I think it would be hard for close relatives to think that the child was genetically related them and then find out that they were not. Where as if they knew from the beginning then the relationship would bloom and blossom naturally with no secrets.

Having said this, there is no need to tell everyone and obviously once you tell people you can't un-tell them so I would be careful not to tell too many people especially people who you are not happy to tell.

I wish you every success with your path, whichever you choose. Please do not be put off by the fact that our treatment did not work, I know other babies born by donor and they are lovely and one does actually look like her mum.

There is even some suggestion that a woman's womb may turn on or off certain genes so could influence the outcome of the baby anyway even if born from a donor egg - this is not certain! Just read it on the Internet.

Whatever happens hope you feel peaceful about your decision and are happy.

sadie42 · 09/07/2010 21:34

Thanks to everyone for wise advice x

OP posts:
deeply · 10/07/2010 21:09

Good Luck with your decision.

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