The Anonymous Us Project is a safety zone for real and honest insights regarding third party reproduction (sperm & egg donation, and surrogacy). We aim to share the experiences of voluntary and involuntary participants in these new reproductive technologies, while preserving the dignity and privacy for story-tellers and their loved ones. All stories are contributed anonymously because "anonymity in reproduction hides the truth, but anonymity in story-telling helps reveal the truth." Read More
I am an egg donor. I did it once and not for money, it was purely an altruistic favour for a former family friend that couldn't conceive.
I did it in the moment. It seemed like the right thing to do and I don't regret it for a second. However, I see now photos of the children, by default and the six degrees of separation that is social media. Plus, am occasionally related stories about them through members of the same family I am still in contact with (the mother hasn't contacted me since the birth).
But, as I see them growing (they are now teenagers) and how look so like me and my own natural relations, share the same interests and mannerisms, traits and ways of thinking that are very unique to my own family, it is very difficult for me not to want them to know me and my family. The difficulty is that the parents have kept it a secret from the children and I am obliged to keep quiet and honour their decision. It means I can't visit other members of the recipient family who I am still close to, when the children or parents might be around etc as the mother is fearful of them finding out.
I always wanted to them to know the truth because I don't believe in living lies and think it's the childrens' birthright to know, and I was always bought up to believe that love is elastic and something that should be shared and not possessed. I saw a programme recently when an adopted son was searching for his birth mother and was helped so generously by his adoptive parents who were more than happy for him when he found his biological parent. It was heart-warming to see and it made me cry because I will never have that.
Other people I know have contact with the children, see them all the time and are allowed to be part of their lives and experience them growing up and for me not to be a part of that is hard.
I partially understand the mothers' reservations and insecurities - at the same time what once were two eggs have grown up into such lovely children, how could I not want to be a small part of that? Therin lies the difficulty from another perspective - it's not all about the recipient, donors have feelings too.
When I was in college, I decided do egg donation as a way to make some extra money. A clinic in my county offered $3,500 to women like myself to donate their eggs and $3,500 was a LOT of money for a college student back in the '90s. It's a lot of money now, in fact.
Even though I signed up to be an egg donor, I never considered that the fact that if my eggs were used, I would have children walking around in the world and that they may want to know me until a young woman claiming to be my daughter called my home last year. My husband answered the phone and immediately hung up, thinking it was a prank call. I returned the call the next day, once my husband had left for work and the kids had gone to school.
The woman had as much information as she'd been allowed to gather, including the name of the clinic her parents had used. She told me that she wanted to meet me and that she considered me to be her mother. I told her I needed a day or two to think about everything. That was in October 2013. It's now July 2014 and I've not called her back since.
I haven't intentionally ignored her these past few months. I just can't bring myself to face her, even over the phone. I've started dozens of letters to my daughter but I can never bring myself to mail them. Everything I have to say to her to justify or explain my actions sounds so utterly lame that I feel ashamed. She's my daughter and I abandoned her. I sold her for money. And she suffered greatly for it. How do you even begin to apologize for that? You can't.
The thought that I may have more children out there fills me with anxiety to the point that I have panic attacks. I've had to be put on Xanax to deal with them. If I knew back then what I knew now, I never would have gone through with the donation.