Donor Diaries: Francine

pretty woman on bridge

I’ve donated eggs a lot. In fact, I don’t quite remember how many times I’ve done it! It’s either four or five. The truth is, once I realized there was a need for donated eggs, I couldn’t think of anything greater than helping a family grow. So I started donating eggs and didn’t stop for quite a while!

It makes me giggle to hear that people think hormone injections are scary. You just pick a time in the evening, prepare the mixture, and pull out a pinch of belly or thigh fat and poke! It’s over just like that. No big deal.

The egg retrieval procedure was completely problem-free. I felt great physically and emotionally right away. Twilight anesthesia isn’t for everyone, but personally I was unfazed, had little pain, and was able to go about my day according to recommendations.

Not only did I get the pleasure of helping a family grow, but there are other perks, too. Great medical screening and follow-up ultrasounds, which aren’t typically covered by insurance, for one. Then there’s the compensation. I used a lot of mine to help with graduate school loans.

Do I have regrets? Nope. In fact, I’d do it again if I weren’t past the age cut off. I am completely unconcerned about the possibility of the children finding me in the future. I would prefer they didn’t, though. I do not feel attached to my genetic information, and that might be hard for them to comprehend.

My daughter is not special to me because she looks like me or is part of me. She is special to me because I carried her, brought her home, and have loved her every day since. My “donated egg” babies already have that with the parents who wanted them so badly that they went to the greatest lengths to have them. I simply feel that I have no real place in their lives.

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Having a daughter of my own, I am even more honored than before to have done this. Knowing that I helped someone have what I have is magic. If they have been able to experience even one day of the joy I feel, then everything was worth it.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.