I’ve been kicking this topic around in my head for awhile but it recently came to a head when my sister told me of a conversation that took place between her and a receptionist at the general OB /GYN clinic where she saw my RE for her consult:
“The IVF consult fee will be 165 dollars up front”
“My sister is covering the cost, I am donating eggs to her”
“Wow that is so amazing of you, you must be some kind of saint to do that for her”
“Actually all of my sisters offered to donate eggs to her but I’m just the one who is closest so it makes the most sense to use me”
“I think it would be easier if you lived in a different state, I mean you are going to have to watch your sister raise YOUR baby.”
My sister had a snappy response about how eggs aren’t babies, they are genetic material and that she doesn’t get emotionally attached to her eggs. That she doesn’t cry every month when she gets her period and another egg goes unfertilized (I do but for totally different reasons). But snappy response aside many people hold the belief that if you aren’t the genetic mother to the child then you aren’t the real mother.
It’s not the first time I’ve come across this attitude. I was watching a special on adopting in china and every single person, except the adopting patents, referred to the bio parents as the “real parents”. Personally I think the real parent is the one who raises the child but plenty of people don’t agree. I am also hurt by the idea that just because my egg didn’t create the child that Im not the real mother. I know I shouldn’t let it get to me,but it does.
With using egg donation we have the option of hiding the origin of our child since I will be pregnant with him/her. We could avoid a lot of annoyances, stupid questions and insensitivity if we did that. I also dread the day when my angry teenager hurls the phrase “you’re not my mother” at me when told to do something they don’t like. On the other hand I dislike hiding anything from anyone, I am an incredibly open person (some, like my husband, might say too open). Im struggling with what to do here. I might be putting the cart before the horse as I am not pregnant yet but I think about these things every day. Why couldn’t it have been simple?