“What if my embryos were created with donated eggs?”
There are two sides to this story: the embryo donor family with remaining embryos and the adoptive family “going home” with those embryos. In this post, we will focus on the donor family’s experience.
Our first encouragement to families who collaborated with an egg donor to build their family is to tell your child his or her conception story. If you have already done this, great! If not, consider setting up a time to talk with your child about how he came to be. The Donor Conception Network lists the following reason to tell your child about their origins:
- Puts honesty at the heart of family relationships.
- Respectful of donor conceived children/people as individuals in their own right.
- Allows donor conceived people to make choices about their lives.
- Allows donor conceived children to learn about aspects of their history, integrate the knowledge as they grow up and accept their story without shock or distress.
- Means that significant differences between a child and parent (in looks, talents etc.) can be easily explained. Some DC adults have thought they must be adopted or the result of an affair by their mother.
- Means that a true medical history (or lack of it) can be given to doctors, making diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions more accurate. It also removes anxiety about the inheritance of disorders from the non-genetic parent.
- Does not mean that children will reject their non-genetic parent.
When it comes to your embryo adoption, it is important that your child find out from you about their conception, not from their future genetic siblings.
Need resources to help? Check out these books: Three Makes Baby, Mixed Blessings, Let’s Talk About Egg Donation, and The Pea That Was Me.
Our second encouragement is to the donor mothers specifically: stay engaged throughout the embryo donation process.
We have found that placing mothers whose children were conceived with an egg donor tend to take the back seat throughout the embryo donation process because of the lack of shared genetic material with the embryos. Be encouraged that these embryos are a part of you! These precious embryos were created out of your love and will be connected to your children and family for years to come. Be proud of the role you played in bringing these embryos to be.
To learn more about your options when it comes to donating your remaining embryos, visit EmbryoAdoption.org.