Conned out of my eggs

Submitted on: January 5, 2017

I’ll keep my story short and not-sweet, mostly because it’s painful to tell and I want to leave out some specifics for now. I signed on with a new egg donor agency, and repeatedly told them verbally and in writing that I am highly opposed to anonymous donation. I felt it was immoral to hide the truth from children. I was clear from the beginning that I was only interested in open donation, and was matched with a couple whom I was told felt the same way. We were all of an ethnic minority, so they were eager to have my eggs. They called me on the phone and emailed me some photos, and we planned to meet on the day of the donation. The clinic where I donated was in another state.

Immediately post-donation, I was called by the agency and told that the couple “decided they wanted anonymity.” This news came just a few hours after I donated and I was resting in my hotel room. I’ve since determined that the couple’s names and other details I’d been given were probably bogus. And there’s nothing I can do legally about it. I checked with multiple attorneys.

I learned from the clinic that my donation produced a lot of extra embryos, but I’m not allowed to know what happened to those, either. There could be additional children out there I don’t know.

I have since been on donor support groups and found that I’m far from alone in this type of open-turned-anonymous scam. The recipient couple wants to see all of the donor’s details to ensure he or she meets their specifications, but doesn’t want to give up their own. Lying to the potential donor happens far too often.

Like a lot of egg donors, I experienced a long list of health problems shortly after my donation. Years later, they continue. Potential egg donors, watch the documentary movie Eggsploitation. The fertility industry is keeping a lot of information from you.

To donor-conceived children: you may have a donor out there who had something like the above happen. Please don’t assume we were part of conning you. Your parents, unfortunately, might be lying to you if they tell you that they know nothing about your donor. Also, there are MANY ex-donors who actually wanted to be anonymous at the time of donation, but now greatly regret that decision. Reach out to try to find us.

The only comfort I have in all this is that 23AndMe and services like it might expose some of the liars, and help to connect some innocent people who should have known each other all along. To everyone reading, PLEASE get your own DNA tested, even if you weren’t a donor or donor-conceived child. Your listing on these services could serve as the bridge between people desperately trying to connect.