Will Egg Donors Develop Attachment?

One of the most common questions potential egg donors ask us is, “Will I feel an emotional attachment to the baby resulting from my donation?” This concern is one that is echoed by those learning that you’re planning to donate your eggs. Rest assured that this is a normal concern and feel secure in the knowledge that, with few exceptions, the resounding answer is no, you will not.

For most donors the detachment starts before the donation is even scheduled. Many of our egg donors tell us they do not feel attached to the eggs they will be donating in a maternal or a possessive way. In fact, many donors tell us they experience a total disconnect from the eggs. The common sentiment seems to be one of, “These are eggs that I wouldn’t be using on my own. It’s OK to donate them to loving couples.” While the genetic makeup will be uniquely yours, most donors tell us they do not feel ownership over that DNA.

Another point to remember is that you do not go into this process blind. By the time you are matched with a family you will have been screened thoroughly with a number of people, all of whom are interested in protecting your best interest. You go into this with the goal of donating something priceless, so walking away from those eggs is usually met with satisfaction and achievement as opposed to attachment or regret.

Growing Generations staff will work hard with you through your screening process to determine if you’re a person who may experience an emotional attachment. Keep in mind that egg donation is not ideal for everyone, and you may not be an ideal candidate if you do feel like you’d experience extreme anxiety at the idea of a genetic relation to you being out there in the world.

Do know though, that none of our egg donors have reported feeling regret at their decision in the years to come.

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.