Q&A With An Egg Donor
In September of 2018, we had the pleasure of *virtually* meeting a young woman named Tyler, a 4x egg donor from Pennsylvania, USA. Tyler shared her egg donation story with us and also kindly agreed to do a Q&A with us answering your questions!
"My mother initially suggested for me to look into becoming an egg donor because I did not have the intention of having children of my own. I applied to become a donor through Fertility Bridges (a fertility consulting company) and was accepted!
I did my first donation in 2015 at the age of 20. My first donation was to a couple in France and I believe they had a successful birth from it. My second donation was extremely unique for 3 reasons: it was an international couple, it was a known donation, and they were a male same-sex couple. As I went through this donation, the parents were in direct communication with me the entire way and I grew quite close with them. I have since watched them look for surrogates and I believe that their surrogate is currently pregnant! They even flew from the Netherlands to visit me in Pennsylvania.
After that I fully realized how much of an impact this had on families. I experienced the nervous hopefulness and bonding that they felt as time got closer to retrieval. They are a beautiful couple to watch turn into a family. I had two more donations to couples in the states that went smoothly. My current donation is also unique. Though anonymous, I am giving my eggs to a single gay man in China who has wanted to have his own children for 10 years. I was initially retired, but when he told me about the unsuccessful donor candidates he had worked with, I decided that I wouldn't let him be heartbroken any longer. So I am currently waiting for the legal work to process and my injections should begin in a couple months.
I hope that by this time next year, he has a beautiful child to bring him joy. It's a unique gift that I give to people and every day I am grateful that I contribute to peoples happiness in this manner. All of the couples I have worked with have been absolutely amazing and I wish them only love and happiness."
Q&A With Tyler
What are the qualifications for becoming an egg donor?
"You must be between the ages of 18 and 25 typically. They usually try to wait until you are 21 to donate. You also must have a clean family history, no genetic conditions in your family, be of clear psychological mind, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Other things they look for are height, high IQ, certain ethnicities, and eye color."
Pros and cons of being an egg donor?
"Pros: extremely fulfilling emotionally, takes you on adventures to wherever the procedure will be done (I have traveled to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Manhattan for free), and it's a unique experience.
Cons: not enough research has been conducted to reveal long term consequences of the injections, you have to give yourself the injections, the healing process after the procedure hurts.
I have also found that my periods have been heavier since I started doing egg donations."
How did your family react when you told them you were going to become a donor?
"Initially, my mother was thrilled and my father was uncomfortable. When I first started, fertility was still a hush-hush subject. In the past three years people have become incredibly educated on the subject and much more accepting of it. I have had a number of people come up to me and thank me because they had children or family members thanks to an egg donor. Overall, it brings everyone together."
Do you get to see photographs of the babies born from your eggs? If yes, how do you feel when you see them? If no, would you want to?
"I have not seen any yet, but if I were to see any I would not have any feeling beyond happiness for them. When you are being psychologically screened, they are very firm about making sure the donor understands that there is no bond between the child and donor. I can be happy for the couple, but I do not have any connection to the child."
I want to donate my eggs after I have finished having my own children, do you have any advice for me?
"As long as you are the right age and pass medically, they will love you! Donors with proven successful births are always preferable. I would also suggest looking into surrogacy because you can help even more there. Most of the couples I work with are same-sex and their biggest obstacle is finding a viable surrogate. They are in very high demand."
What was the process leading up to becoming a donor like?
"Lots of paperwork! You have to interview your family for health histories, you have to get genetic testing done every year, and you have to go through the entire process every time you receive a potential match. It takes a long time to complete a cycle in addition to getting accepted."
Did you ever have any doubts about your decision?
"I only ever have doubts when there are traveling hiccups. I had a flight cancelled three times and I had to drive 8 hours to make my appointment in time. So it's not the donation itself so much as frustrating extraneous factors."
Have you experienced any negative reactions from people?
"Yes. My boyfriend doesn't like it because he is fearful of me getting cancer one day from the injections. My father worries about the same thing. On occasion some people will say I do it for the money, but as soon as I talk about my families they realize I do it because I love to do it."
Is there anything you would want to say to the children born from your eggs or anything you would want them to know?
"You're going to be a feral child of the woods. Don't fight it and go exploring barefoot. I have a feeling that any child of mine will be as adventurous as me and I hope they never suppress that feeling."
Are they able to contact you when they hit 18?
"Yes. There are also laws in the works that allow any child to pursue genetic parents whether or not the parents consent. I am fine with them pursuing me at any point in their lives."
Are you able to completely detach yourself from any emotional attachments?
"To the child, yes. To the couples, no. You have to remember that every month you lose 19 or so eggs during your period, it's a byproduct. Additionally, I am but one ingredient of a complicated recipe. It is incredibly important to remember that I am not contributing to the development, birth, or raising of this child. I am just giving it some genetic makeup. I have no attachment to that at all. Watching the parents excitement growing when they do their transfers however, is extremely wonderful and I have lovely bonds with them."
Not a question, I just wanted to say to Tyler and all of the other egg donors out there, thank you. Thank you for helping families like mine become a reality.
"Thank you for your kind words! That's so sweet."
A big thank you to Tyler for taking the time to answer these questions and for sharing her amazing story.
Tyler's Instagram: @la_nepheliad.
Thanks for reading!
Same Sex Parents x
February 23, 2019