Egg donation dilemmas


Imagine this: a lovely, warm and gentle woman has been trying to conceive for 10 years. She and her husband have tried everything. She can’t get pregnant, but she can’t imagine a life without having a baby, without experiencing pregnancy and birth.

And there is another woman, smart and sensitive. She’s already a mom to two busy toddlers and a pre-schooler. She had no problems getting pregnant. She loved being pregnant, and her babies’ births were beautiful and empowering experiences. She feels deeply touched by this couple who wishes for a baby. She decides to help them, and she offers her egg. She’ll become their egg donor. This woman is my friend.

I’m incredibly moved by my friend’s decision. It’s not an easy process, egg donation; it takes weeks of preparation, it’s painful and rather unpleasant. But she has decided to do it. The recipient is not even her close friend; she’s a woman that my friend sees a few times a year at backyard barbecues. She’s someone experiencing infertility who could use my friend’s help.

I think my friend is an angel. She’ll be giving the recipient couple a possibility to have a newborn in their arms: to have a baby to care for, to kiss and cuddle. A toddler to run after. A kid to craft with. A family. I’m so uplifted by her act and so impressed by her unselfishness.

But I would never do the same. I couldn’t ever give my egg. For me, it would be like giving one of my kids. When I look at my older daughter Lili, it’s so obvious she’s mine. The fact that she speaks Polish like me and loves planes like her dad: that came from us raising her. But her temperament, her willingness to do new things, to meet new friends: that’s me. She would be like this even if raised by somebody else. And she looks a lot like me. My second daughter is still a baby, but I can already tell that she will have a calmer temperament like her dad’s. But she too has my smile. There is this genetic component that influences not only how we look, but also what our temperament is like. In consequence, it influences if we are spontaneous or not, if we are willing to try new things and open up to new people. That’s why, for me, it would be like giving up my kid.

Looking at another woman getting pregnant with my egg, I would feel that she’s pregnant with my baby. I would always feel like I’m also the mom.

However, I can totally relate to this woman who wants so badly to be a mother. I wanted that as well, but I had no problem at all getting pregnant. The minute I thought about getting pregnant, I was. And I really think that my friend is amazing, by giving her egg, her potential child.

Would you do it? Would you donate an egg to your friend? Or maybe it would be easier donating an egg to a family member? I know that even if I had a sister, I still couldn’t donate my egg. I’m really happy for my friend, though: I think that after this she’ll be going straight to heaven!

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  1. I think I could donate an egg to a stranger, but I don’t think I would be comfortable donating to a friend or family member. In my heart that child would be mine. I couldn’t watch the child grow and not want to play an active role.

    That would be an unnecessary complication, and not something in the best interest of the child or parents.

  2. I have to disagree on this one. On average, women have a couple of hundred thousand eggs and will never use all of them. If you see the donated egg as your child being raised by another family, isn’t that still a better fate for that potential child than just being, well, basically discarded in a given month? I like this post, thought provoking!

    1. You are right that from the egg perspective it is better to become a baby than nothing 🙂 But for me, as a women, it would be frustrating to see a baby that could have be mine, but for whom I have no rights.

    2. Well I dont know If I would ever do an egg donation. I know somebody who donated 2 eggs, since the process is expensive is recomended to have more than one placed. They both successfully got implanted on the uterus. The problem came latter when the baby’s were born. One is “white” with straight hair like her “mom” and dad. The other is black like the egg donnor “mom”. Guess what daughter is treated better and gets the all the attention? The ” mother” of the twins was prepared for one baby not 2 and has clear preference for the daughter that looks more like her husband. The egg donner is very close to the girls and sees how the girls are treated diffrently. She has kids of her own and they look almost identical to the girl that is treated differently. She sometimes regrets doing the donation.
      In the other hand I think not knowing the faith of that egg donated and having kids myself could represent a preoccupation. What if this kids meet in the future and fall in love without knowing they are genetically related. Let’s not go far, what if they meet and have a one night stand that ends in pregnancy? Well I know is a litle extreme but it has happened before with adopted kids, why can’t it happen with egg or sperm donations?

      1. That’s an incredible story, so sad though. I hope it’ll get better for the sake of this little girl.

  3. I don’t know if I could do it either. Kudos to women who can be that selfless. I have a long way to go in that department!

  4. I think I could do it – although granted it would be easier for me with a stranger. Donating to someone close to you opens it up for all kinds of things – comparisons, disagreements, etc. Kudos to your friend for being selfless. What a beautiful gift she is giving.

  5. Wow, what a thought provoking question. As a mother to 4 beautiful healthy babes, I want to think that I could be so selfless as to help provide someone else with the great experiences that motherhood brings. But, I’m not quite sure that I could do it. I certainly applaud those that are able to do that for others though!!

  6. Wow! That takes a lot to do. I’m not really sure if I could do that. But it’s wonderful that she has decided to do this in order to help someone else.

  7. You know, before I had my son I would have said OF COURSE I could donate an egg. I’m not using all of them! But now that I see the little miracle that forms from them, I just don’t think I could. That’s part of me. How do I give that away to someone else? I think it must take a really special kind of person to do it.

  8. I would (which is easy for me to say because no one would want my eggs- too many genetic issues in the family). I don’t think I would think of the resulting baby as mine. I wouldn’t feel that baby kick inside of me, I wouldn’t give birth to that baby and most importantly I wouldn’t be the one raising that baby. When my kids were born I loved them but they felt a little like tiny strangers. I think they feel like they are mine because I have cared for them and not because they are genetically mine. The people we take care of we become attached to. I think I would feel more like an auntie. That said, I probably would be more comfortable donating to my sister or one of my sisters-in-law or one of my godmother’s daughters (who feel like family to me.)

  9. I could and would do it!…. After 12 years of trying to have a baby of my own, I’d give all my eggs to another woman if it coud give her at least a hope of having a baby… My wonderful daughter is 9 months today, I am so blessed to be able to hold her… No woman should be denied this wonderful experiance… Your friend is a wonderful woman, I love her!<3

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