' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Egg Donations on the Rise in Tough Times

Monday, October 27, 2008

Egg Donations on the Rise in Tough Times

In 2005, the latest year for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has data on egg donation, some 134,260 women had assisted reproductive procedures. Of those, 16,161 women, or 12 percent, received donated eggs. In 1995, there were 4,783 eggs used in 59,142 procedures, or 8 percent of the total.
-from the Good Morning America website.

And this morning on GMA comes more news: since the downturn in the economy, there has been an uptick in eggs and sperm donations--a 30 to 40 percent increase at fertility clinics. (If I could figure out how to have the video play from this site...I would.)

What this all means, of course, is that in 15 and 15 and 20 years, there will be more individuals looking for their biological roots. The reporter notes that the clinics are only keeping medical records for 10 years...and so that won't include diseases that show up later. But my question is: does that mean that after 10 years, the children born of these eggs won't be able to trace their roots?

All this is wrong, prima facea, but I also know that the tide is against this old-fashioned opinion. And while maybe there will be fewer families able to afford someone else's eggs, someone else's sperm, and the services of a fertility clinic, there will be ever more ova and spermatozoa for sale during this recession. At the GMA website, there are a couple of other related videos, all the people say they probably wouldn't sell their ova (such a bother, weeks of hormone pills, and then shots) and sperm (well, that doesn't take too long) if it weren't for the money. But then someone adds, that they probably shouldn't do it if they are in it only for the money.

Hypocrisy at work. It's worth nothing that in England where the sale of sperm has been outlawed, donations...are way down. Way down.

Why is the belief that this kind of baby-making unethical so against the times? Because today's child-bearing generation believe that pregnancy at 39 and up is no problem. Because they believe science will take care of anything. Because they are in denial. Because they are somehow convinced--until too late--that the dictums of biology do not apply to them.

In yesterday's New York Times was a piece in Modern Love column of the Style Section in which the man writing says that his live-in girlfriend gave him an ultimatum for a proposal by a certain date. She's 35, her best reproductive years are already over, and she's giving this slacker an ultimatum several months away, while her biological clock is ticking ticking ticking....and he's having trouble doing the deed because of a 2.5 carat diamond ring in the family. Stay tuned. In a couple of years the writer will be asking for our pity as he extols the trials of trying to have a child when the mother is on the other side of 35, and then deciding to adopt.

Because it's all part of god's plan.


  1. Egg donation is sick! These women are being exploited. I suspect that in a few years they will be staring at faces in shopping malls wondering if that girl or boy could be their biological child. They will probably not have any opportunity to meet their child unless they child searches for them. I suspect that as they get older, it will gnaw on them more and more frequently.

  2. You hit the nail on the head - this eternal WAITING for the PERFECT time to have a baby, then OOPS, mother nature has an age-out policy, who knew?!

    We are opening pandora's box with sperm/egg donation....Jane is right, the donors might not think much about it in the early years, but as they age, this will begin to haunt them.

    And the identity issues for those conceived - yikes! I have to wonder where the mental health community is at on this issue - are they considering the psychological implications of anonymous conception? Are there any studies in the works?

  3. The fact that they destroy the records after 10 years instead of waiting until the children become adults is yet more proof of how our society has made children into buyable, sellable, marketable commodities. How is a 10-year-old supposed to know, hey, I was conceived by donor, I better hurry up and ask for my medical records? Obviously there is never any intention to give these eventual adults access to their origins.

    I have heard some people who donate say it's just a bunch of cells and they could care less what happens afterward. I find that such a sad sentiment, and as an adoptee it definitely reinforces that "less-than" feeling. I can only imagine how donor-conceived adults will feel 20 years from now when they find out what happened to them.

  4. Lorraine, I am trying to find your email address so I can send you article. A class action lawsuit has been filed in British Columbia by DIs. There's a bit about DIs feeling discriminated against because adopted persons have access to their bio parents information. It's too long to post in the comments section here.

    My email: theadoptionshow@gmail.com

  5. My son works with a guy who's wife gave birth to twins through donor eggs. (his sperm)

    He was interested in my son's story of our reunion. He also said that they looked for a donor who looked like his wife. They do not know if they will tell the twins the story of their conception.

    I have a feeling this is the way it is done. Perhaps they are pleased to know a pesky birthmother won't show up later in life to mess up the lie.

  6. Please see the link >


    Many thanks.



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