Mary* decided when she was 13 years old that she wanted to be an egg donor. She was traveling by airplane with her mother and read about egg donation in an in-flight magazine. Mary turned to her mother and asked her opinion. Her mother told her it was something she might want to do when she was older.
Seven years later, Mary read another article about egg donation and decided to apply. She comes right out and says, “In the beginning, I was money motivated. I was young, in college, and had a love of shopping (and racking up credit card debt). I heard you could make money while helping out a family in need, and decided that it would be a cool thing to do.”
So Mary applied and describes the application process as “more tedious than the actual medical process itself.” But she went through the process, as well as the medical exams and was eventually selected to be an egg donor.
Her biggest concern at the time was whether a future husband would have a problem with her having biological offspring somewhere in the world. “Now,” Mary says, “I have no concerns at all about what people will think.”
She’s been completely comfortable telling her friends and family. Her mother, she says, is “totally fine with it.”
Mary says she has donated eggs five times so far. She has only met the intended parents once, because “it was a friend of a friend, and they wanted to meet me before they officially selected me to be their donor. They were lovely and I was so happy to be able to help them with their fertility struggles.”
Loving travel, Mary has usually used the money to pay off debts or take a trip. After her last donation she took five months off work to travel, spending three months in India, a month in Europe, and another month jumping between the U.S. and Mexico.
Mary never specifically asked her physician if her eggs resulted in a pregnancy. However, at the first clinic she worked, with a nurse showed her a photograph of twins and told her that she’d helped make them. “It was cool and surreal at the same time. I was expecting to feel a connection when I saw the photo, but it wasn’t there. It was a nice feeling to know that the egg donation process worked for a family in need.”
Initially, Mary had no plans to donate more than once. When the physician called and asked her if she would donate a second time, she says she didn’t need the money, but “felt the need to help others. What really kept me donating was the feeling I got after the donation when I received a handwritten card from the recipients thanking me for the priceless gift I had given.”
*ED name has been changed