As more and more women opt to delay childbirth and motherhood, the demand for healthy eggs has increased. While the process of harvesting and freezing the eggs is a medically legitimate practice, there are some concerns that extend beyond the actual process. If you are in the midst of considering the procedure, there are some things that you should clear about before going forward.
1. Get a trusty egg donor
As monumental as this experience can be, understanding and accepting the fact that getting an egg donor will result in the embryo lacking your genetic traits is important. Besides getting that mental barrier out of the way, you also need to be certain that your partner is comfortable with the idea.
Do extensive research about the organisation and the egg donor. Expensive eggs do not equate to mean quality donors. Request for a breakdown of the cost if possible so that you know how much of your money is going to the agency for administrative matters.
2. Get a legally binding contract
For the sake of legal clarity, you will need a complete legal contract to protect yourself as well as your egg donor. Clinic agreements and informed consent are insufficient when it comes to guarding against the risk of legal complications, so do your due diligence and get a proper contract in order. A typical agreement is about 25 pages and should contain clear clauses. For instance, despite the egg donor’s genetic connection to your future child, she must have no legal status or standing in your family. The payment amount, timeline, contact details, as well as non-compliance actions are just some of the items to be stated in the contract.
3. Choose what makes you comfortable
The child is ultimately yours – you are entitled to make requests and ask as many questions as you deem necessary. This is one of the few things that you should never feel that you have to settle for, make concessions or compromise on. If you choose to back out (legally) at the last second, it is your every right to do so. The choice is yours.
4. Consider the leftover embryos
You are likely to be left with leftover embryos on ice after the process. In this case, you can choose to donate your embryos to other couples who may be facing infertility, donate them to science, or have them destroyed. While this may not be a concern for the immediate future, it is definitely something that warrants careful consideration.
5. Decide how to tell your kids
Do not have the assumption that your child will reject you due to the lack of a “normal” biological link. This unjustified assumption may trigger stress, depression and harm your relationship with the child. In this regard, being open with him/her from an early age may be the healthiest way to deal with this. Getting help from a mental health or family therapist may also be extremely beneficial in this regard.
While the prospect of getting an egg donation is an attractive option for many busy women in the later stages of their life, one should remember that the odds of conception are affected by biological age. Non-native eggs may also not necessarily attach as well to the lining of the uterus, so don’t be discouraged if the process ends up taking longer than expected. Be patient and keep your fingers crossed!