Links about Donor Egg IVF that I find helpful and think you will too. First, I’d like to bring your attention to the distinction between a genetic mother and a biological mother.
Donor Egg Mothers are the Biological Mothers
A lot of 3rd party reproduction language comes from adoption language — but there is a huge difference between a genetic mother and a biological mother. In DEIVF, the term ‘genetic mother’ isn’t widely used because it implies that the donor is the mother. She is not, and doesn’t want to be.
By contrast, the woman who receives the donor’s eggs is the biological mother because it is her body that grows the life. Specifically, it is her uterine environment that actually shapes how the baby develops.
In a donor egg pregnancy, the pregnant woman’s womb is the environment. It is her genes, not the donor’s, that determine the expression of the donor egg baby’s genes. A donor egg baby gets her genes from the donor; she gets the ‘instructions’ on the expression of those genes from the woman who carries her to term. This means that a donor egg baby has three biological parents: a father, the egg donor, and the woman who carries the pregnancy. The child who is born would have been a physically and, no doubt, emotionally different person if carried by his genetic mother.
In horse breeding for example, it’s not uncommon to implant a pony embryo into the womb of a horse. The foals that result, are different from normal ponies. They’re bigger. These animals’ genotype – their genes – are the same as a pony’s; but their phenotype – what their genes actually look like in the living animal – is different.
It’s a terrific example of how much we are influenced by nature and nurture!
Overview of the DEIVF Cycle
- Bay Clinic – DEIVF Overview – well-written article and diagrams about DEIVF that explains everything the donor and the intended parents (recipient mother and her male partner) must do and why.
- Oocyte Donation – a handbook in PDF format
- Egg Donation Factsheet
Making the Decision to do DEIVF
- PVED.org – wherever in the world you are, PVED is, hands-down, the best resource for anyone at any stage of the egg donation process. There’s also a forum where you can connect with other parents.
- How to Select an Egg Donor – advice on figuring out what’s important to you
- Getting Ready, Letting Go – coming to terms with the loss of the genetic connection
Talking to Kids About Their Genetic Origins
- Parents Who Used Donor Eggs Often Struggle Over Decision to Tell Kids (Study found that anxiety ended once the revelation was made)
- Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates: Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families I love this book. I think it’s very well written. Diane Ehrensaft discusses a wide range of issues with warmth and sensitivity. I recommend this book to anyone using a third party to build their family.
- What Makes a Baby This is the first book I bought V. It’s not specific to egg donation, but would be helpful to anyone who wants to tell their kiddos about IVF.
- Carole LieberWilkins: Talking with Your Kids About Their Unique Conception (PDF)
- Carole is the mental health advisor for PVED and has written a bunch of articles on alternative family building. Carole adopted her first son; her second son was one of the first 11 children in the world born via egg donation. She really knows her stuff!
- Madeline Feigold: various articles on third party reproduction, including surrogacy.
- Creating a Family: Infertility in the News
- Irish Examiner: Egg donations: Talking to your child about their origin
- IVF Traveler: Perceptions of Donor Conceived Children
- USA Today: More women seek pregnancy with donor eggs
- Study: Egg donation parents and their children: follow-up at age 12 years
- Study: Study finds egg donation families well-adjusted
- New York Times article from 1984 about the first US-born DEIVF baby
- Science Daily: New Method to Detect Genetic Defects in Egg Cells Could Double Success Rate of IVF
- Resolve – Check out Resolve’s website to see if there is a third party reproduction support group in your area.
- San Diego Cookies – If you are in San Diego County, you can join San Diego Cookies, an infertility support group that has a Third Party Reproduction support group. Email email@example.com to request membership. (For members’ protection, you will have to post your full name and story to the forum.)
- Donor Sibling Registry: A Guide to the World of Donor Conception (PDF)
- Parents Via Egg Donation (PVED)
- ART Parenting
- Donor Sibling Registry