Sharing Your Story

The choice of whether or not to share your decision to become an egg donor with friends and family is very personal. While most of our donors tell us their donations are points of pride in their life that they regularly and openly talk about, several others choose to keep their choice to donate to themselves. No matter what decision you make in this scenario, your choice is valid.

Some things to bear in mind when deciding if you’ll share and, if so, with whom could include:

Dissenting Opinions- Plenty of people will have strong opinions on your choice to donate. Not all of them will be favorable. Some may believe all assisted reproduction is wrong, or they may specifically see fault in you having biological children you’ll likely never meet. Before you choose to talk with people, be prepared for the possibility that they may not agree with your choices.

Personal Questions- Another thing egg donors experience as a result of sharing their story tends to be an abundance of personal questions. Everything from, “How do your parents feel about that?” to “How can you walk away from your children?” and even, “How much did you get paid for that?” are commonly asked. Remembering that most people are ignorant as opposed to mean spirited can help you keep your calm when addressing invasive questions.

Excessive Praise- Not all interactions will be negative. In fact, you may also become the subject of excessive praise for your choice. Some people will respect and look up to you for helping another person in such an intimate way. We’re often told that excessive praise over your decision can feel uncomfortable, so you’ll want to be prepared for this possibility as well.

Interest- Your experiences may also motivate others to want to become egg donors! In this instance, it might be a great idea to have a short narrative of information in mind to provide to potentially interested egg donors.

If you do choose to tell your friends and family about your choice to donate, you’ll want to closely consider whom you choose to share your story with. Unless you’re okay with this choice being public information, you’ll want to ensure the people you entrust with your story are indeed trustworthy. Once you’ve shared your choice, you can’t un-share it. Before you choose to share, be certain that you’re 100% comfortable with this part of your life being out there.

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.