April's Journey to Fertility: More Thoughts on the Egg Donor Option


April is a CNY Fertility Center patient and has been on her journey to fertility for approximately three years. April will share candid stories and a unique perspective on the fertility challenges many women and couples face. CNY Fertility Center has locations in Syracuse, Albany and Rochester, NY.
Week 72:More Thoughts on the Egg Donor Option
When we were first considering the egg donor option I struggled with the following questions:
•    Who do we tell about our choice to use an egg donor?
•    Do I tell my future child?  Furthermore, when do we tell our future child if we decide to do so?
•    Do we tell our family?
Personally, I find the decision regarding when and how to tell my child (versus my friends and family) to be the easier one! After speaking with a mother who became pregnant using an egg donor, she told me there are a number of children’s books that explain the egg donor option to children with the use of cute characters and age-appropriate metaphors. Before I realized how common the egg donor option has become, I wondered how and when I would tell my child. The reality is, however, that the egg donor part of my baby’s creation need not be any secret, but part of the overall miracle of his or her birth. After all, isn’t this a testament to how much we loved our children before they were even born?
If you go to the following links, you will be able to peruse the children’s book options and read their general summaries. I have heard of mother’s just mixing these books in with their children’s other storybooks and discussing the topic as their children were ready.
•    http://www.donor-conception-network.org/childrenbks.htm
•    http://www.tracytrends.com/books/egg-donor-story.html
Additionally, the following link provides an overview of when to disclose this information and to whom you may want to consider making such a disclosure.
•    http://www.theafa.org/library/article/talking_with_children_about_ovum_donation_2009
As far as disclosing such information to family and friends, this is where I truly struggle. In the end, I think it is important to consider the following questions:
1. Does my need for support outweigh my child’s future need for privacy? Of course the answer is “no!” but we must consider how the support of others fits into the overall picture, with respect to our future children’s needs.
2. Am I telling those who are trustworthy and supportive of my family building process, in whatever way that may unfold?
3. Am I disclosing the information when I am vulnerable and only because I need support, or because I truly believe those with whom I am sharing the information will always keep both my and my child’s emotional needs in mind?
4. Have I thought of how the information I am sharing will affect my husband, my child, etc? I know I have a tendency to talk about whatever the issue at hand is, but my husband may sometimes be more guarded. Be sure that you are making “team” decisions in terms of who to tell and when to tell. When you are parents, you will be making decisions as a team, so why not begin this decision making practice now?
Wishing you wisdom,
April all Year