Donor Diaries: Jennifer

I got into egg donation after seeing many ads in the back of newspapers asking for egg donors. I did a little research, talked with my family about it, and then just jumped right in.

The hormone shots were a little difficult for me, but my medical phase went smoothly. My retrieval was actually a piece of cake!!  Besides the IV (used put you to sleep) it was the easiest part of my whole experience. Plus who doesn’t love an hour or so of perfect sleep?!

A lot of people tend to say mean things about donating eggs.  I’ve heard everything from, “Oh you just did it for the money” or, “You’re crazy! I can’t believe you gave up your kids” and even, “There are so many little Jennifers running around. They’re going to come knocking on your door one of these days!”  They look at egg donation in a totally different light then I do, that’s all.

I see egg donation as blessing someone else with something that I have and they don’t. If someone on the street is homeless and looking for a meal, the humane thing to do is to give them a few bucks so they can eat, right?? Well, to me, this is kind of the same thing. When you meet the Intended Parents you can see how much they care and dream of having a child, you can feel the void in their lives.

I am not giving up MY kids. I am giving up my eggs, sure, but they are not guaranteed to become kids. I am also giving someone else a chance to become a mother which is worth so much more than a check, or an egg.

Do I have any lingering emotional feelings?  Not at all! I’m not going to say you aren’t going to wonder about the outcome of your donation, but you have to remember you are protected with legal documents and that means:

  1. You will have no idea how many, or if any embryos were created.
  2. You won’t know if there was a successful pregnancy.

You have to be open minded and understand that you are doing this to help another couple create a real life human being which they were not able to do on their own. That’s a huge accomplishment! It gives you self worth knowing that you have done that.

To the critics of egg donation I say, “Do your homework!” Many say women do this simply for the money. I am not going to lie and say the compensation did not affect my decision at all, because it did. I was a struggling college student at the time and saw this as an opportunity. For that opportunity I will be forever grateful! Because of my donations, I got myself through college and had the privilege of meeting some amazing people along the way.

Donating eggs has a lot of benefits for a woman. It creates opportunity because of the extra income, it raises self-worth, and it allows women to feel accomplished in a way that no man will ever understand.  I always try and get my friends to donate! But this is just one of those things that it’s either for you or it isn’t.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last 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 of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, 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 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 created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.