Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Donor/Recipient Relationships


Recently, a fellow DEIVF sister reached out me with some concerns she had about the way I referred to our egg donor in a recent post that I had written for Chelsea's "What it's Like Series".  It sparked a little debate between us and I really felt compelled to write about it because I do understand that others may feel similar to the way that she feels.


I will say that this girl and I have been connected for several years, we've both used donor eggs successfully and I value her input, her opinion, and her friendship.  She was an amazing support to me when I started through the donor process always answering questions and helping me feel like I wasn't alone.  There is nothing wrong with respectfully disagreeing with someone, it's one of the beauties of free thinking.  I'm glad that she reached out to me instead of taking offense to what I said and not speaking up about it. 


In my post I wrote this:
What I love about our open donor relationship is the ability for Georgia to really know her roots and her history, to know that she has biological half siblings and a mother that she can one day meet.


What bothered her about this statement is that I referred to our donor as her "mother."  (I should have referred to her & her children as "genetic siblings and mother", but I feel like the words "biology" and "genetics" are often looked at as having similar meanings.)  I can certainly understand her reasoning behind why this bothered her.  I agreed with a lot of her points and the things that she said, however, I also stated in my original post for Chelsea that Using a donor, whether it be an egg or sperm donor, or even a donated embryo is a very unique situation.  There are so many different scenarios and so many different relationships between donors and recipients that there will certainly be a difference in how we define those relationships in each situation.  For example, someone who used an anonymous donor may never want to know anything about the donor other than what they can obtain from their clinic.  They may never want their child to even know they came from a donor (not recommended), then there's the other side of the coin, those of us who have a strong relationship with our donors (say a friend, a sister, etc.) and our hopes are that our children do know their donor on a more intimate level.  There are even more sides to this coin, but for time-sake I'm not going to elaborate any further.


As mothers of donor egg babies we are considered biological, but not genetic parents.  Our donors have no legal obligation at all to the offspring of their donation, they aren't responsible if we decided to drop them on their doorstep one day, and my choice to have a friendship with our donor and refer to her as Georgia's "mother" is my choice.  That doesn't mean that I consider myself to be any LESS of her mother, it just means that I consider another strong, beautiful, selfless, gracious, influential woman in her life as one of her "mothers".  I may refer to some of her aunts and my friends also as her mama's, I know a lot of us who have our "second moms" and we have them because they have done something great for us, or they love us, or they helped raise us, or we looked up to them.  This is my hope for Georgia and Amy.  I hope that Georgia can love and appreciate what Amy did for us and maybe be inspired by her to one day become a nurse or do something selfless for another couple, and I really don't think there is anything wrong with referring to her as one of her "mothers" for that reason. 


Like with many other choices in the world of infertility, this is a deeply personal choice and because light was brought to what I said, I am taking it as a learning opportunity to maybe share more about my relationship with our donor.  Not everyone may agree with it and that is totally fine.  I feel like we are very lucky to have this open relationship between donor and recipient.  I love Amy and her family and I know that she feels the same about us, we have had the conversation before and I know that our situation is unique and most people don't have the opportunity or even the desire to have an open donation that is totally fine too!   I respect that and that was once my thinking as well!  That was actually our plan before we received Amy's selfless gift.  Anonymous donation was going to be the path we took and then the Universe decided to place something else in front of us and I am thankful for it every single day and would not change it for anything. 


I hope you can all understand and respect my thinking here.  There was a time when I never considered the fact that I'd be writing a post like this, there was a time I never thought I'd be writing an egg donor post, and a time I never thought I'd be writing an IVF post or a miscarriage post, or the fact that I couldn't get pregnant naturally.  Now here I am, still blogging 6 years later and writing about some pretty heavy stuff.  Again, I felt like this was an amazing learning opportunity for my readers and for anyone who may not understand our donor/recipient relationship.  If anyone ever has any questions or concerns about my writing, I'd urge you to reach out to me, I am always happy to answer questions, even the tough ones.

5 comments:

  1. I love this. I have many second (or even third) moms. Strong, beautiful, supportive women in my life. To have more does not make you any less. It just means she has that many more people to love her.

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  2. I agree that it is totally what you choose and what is best for you. That might not work for others and it's ok :)

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  3. You make a great point that I think we can all relate to and that's that many of us are lucky enough to have women in our life who are like another Mother to us in some way shape or form. You addressed such a tough topic with such grace...It is what is best for everyone and I think it's brave of you for sharing your thoughts!

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  4. Love how you address this and your thinking about your donor. You are amazing!

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