Why would you not donate your eggs? The profit is great--$10,000!--the risk seems at first blush small (if inconvenient), and you seem... magnanimous. So why not do it?
An awareness of what is lost when there is not shared blood led one young woman, Simi Lampert, to change her mind about selling her eggs. Calling her a donor is such BS the head spins. Yet what she became aware of as she considered marketing her eggs is exactly what is ignored in adoption: how being with genetic strangers marks one as different. The other. Not from the same stock. Together but separate. From "Why I Couldn’t Donate My Eggs" on Tablet, A New Read on Jewish Life:
"My siblings and I were raised by my mother, who was an only child, and my stepfather. One of the things about my childhood that’s always bothered me, something I wish could be different, is that my step-cousins never really felt like my cousins. (Emphasis added.)
"I’d go to family reunions and feel like the outsider. They shared something deeper than I did; they understood each other in some indescribable way. I came into the family when I was already 4 and I didn’t have the same nose, hair, or personality quirks that they did.
"The contrast with my father’s family is stark. My father died when I was 3, and his only brother lives in Israel. When I make my trips to see my cousins there, I finally understand what having an extended family felt like. My siblings and I were raised together; it makes sense that we share a sense of humor and a love for nerdy things. But six boys and girls halfway across the world, getting our jokes and having our orthodontist’s dream teeth? That was pure genetics. I felt at home in their house like nowhere else, except for my own home.
"Thinking about my family, I realized that I’d be taking away from that egg—that future child, even future adult—what I missed so much in my life. Suddenly, I felt protective over that person; I felt the need to keep it safe from harm and hurt. I felt the connection everyone else assumed I’d have all along. And once those emotions were involved, I couldn’t take them back."
However, elsewhere in the world saner minds prevail, and children are not so willy-nilly created with an ova here and a sperm there. The United Kingdom has outlawed anonymous donations, and a judge in British Columbia ruled anonymous donations unconstitutional. Unfortunately, the UK law has not had the intended result according to an April 16 article in Time, "Frozen Assets." Donations in the UK have fallen far below the demand, spurring the American sperm industry to plug the gap. We hope that the US will eventually outlaw anonymous donations as well and other countries will follow suit. We suspect, though, that India, where there are wombs for rent, won't be one of them.
Lambert came to her decision after a great deal of push back from friends and family who instinctively knew that egg donation is freaky, and would surely have unwanted consequences. Her concern about the child carrying her DNA goes beyond wanting the child to know his cousins or to be sure the kid is "all right." It's similar to emotion mothers who lose their children to adoption experience. It is allowing a human being to be created without exercising the right, and accepting the responsibility, to nurture him. It's knowing that she didn't just sell an interchangeable and expendable body part, but a slice of her soul and DNA into future generations. That knowledge would remain long after the money she received is long gone.--Lorraine and Jane
This morning (4/17/12) on the Today Show: The twin babies of an American woman, born in Israel through in-vitro fertilization, are being denied U.S. citizenship because there is no proof that either the egg donor or sperm donor is American. From Today.com:
Ellie Lavi, an American citizen living in Israel, wanted her children to be American as well, despite the fact that they were born in Israel. But her twin daughters, Maya and Shira, now 2 ½ years old, are unable to gain status as U.S. citizens. Lavi, a single mother in her 40s, used a donor sperm and egg from a clinic in Israel to conceive her children through in-vitro fertilization. Now, the U.S. State Department is refusing to grant citizenship to her children because she is unable to prove that any of the donors are American citizens.NBC’s Martin Fletcher reports....Born to American mom, in-vitro twins denied citizenship
Egg Donor or Egg Seller? Fulfilling Another Woman's Dream or Filling Your Pockets
Creating children, no matter how in the quest to have a family
Egg donations on the Rise in Tough Times
When Daddy's Name is Donor...
Anonymous baby making in British Columbia is outlawed
Source: Why I Couldn’t Donate My Eggs
Time: "Frozen Assets"