Future donator needing perspective


#1

My wife and I will probably end up donating embryos. Down the road it will probably be an anonymous donation, mostly because that’s all the clinic will do. Also, I figure if it becomes hard for me, at least it’s just me and not an adopting family and subsequent children that have a tough time. I’m having a tough time with it, even though it’s our only option. I really need stories that can make me feel better about this. The clinic says there is no way for them to guarantee that the children will not live in the area, which scares the heck out of me. My wife is adamant about going through the clinic because she says she doesn’t trust anyone else. Perspectives please!


#2

Is it possible for you to indicate with your clinic that you prefer for the recipients to be from out of state? Our clinic does let this be a factor. Of course, there is no way to guarantee where the recipients will live in the future, but at least you may be able to note your preference.

You could also consider moving out of the area, if you are particularly freaked out about living in the same area.

In my opinion, the risk of marriage between genetic siblings is not worth the headache. Even in the case of incest, the risk of birth defects only goes up by a fraction of a percentage. DH and I were matched with a baby who was conceived this way, and had the birth mother not backed out of the adoption plan, we would’ve proceeded without a second thought.

Other than that, I’m not sure what one’s concerns would be. You never know when you might run into these children in the future. No matter where you live, if you think you might always wonder, this will haunt you no matter where you go.

Have you and your DW considered Miracles Waiting? You would choose your own recipients, and while many opt for openness, there are families there who prefer not to remain in touch. The recipient couple may either ship the embryos to their clinic or travel to your clinic for transfer - depending on your clinic’s policy and your and the recipients’ preference.

Our first match was via MW, and we were in an open arrangement. We traveled to the clinic where the embryos were stored. Currently, we are pursuing an anonymous arrangement through a clinic out of our state. I ended up not being as comfortable with the openness as I originally thought I would be.

Whatever you decide, bless you for not destroying those little lives! :clap:


#3

Originally when we diecided to do IVF my wife and I agreed to annonymously donate the remaining embryos if there were any. Currently we have 12 remaining, but would like a couple more kids at least. Like most people who went through IVF, we were creeping up there in age as it was.

Recently, it’s become more difficult for me to get used to the idea of having my genetic children out there and having no clue how they are being cared for, if they’re safe, ect. I think it’s understandable that my wife is against any open relationship. She explains to me that since she didn’t carry the baby, it isn’t her’s. I guess us guys think that if it’s made with our sperm, it’s ours. Most of all, it’s painful to imagine my children having genetic siblings they will never meet. I’d pretty much have to lie to my kids.
I would be much more comfortable, if there was a pathway for the sibling to meet, which my clinic says there is not.

The only bit of calm I can get, is by thinking that this was God’s plan, and if we had not planned to donate remaining embryos to infertile couples, we wouldn’t have potentially so many left over. This has been tough on me for a few weeks now.

When the time comes, I hope the couple that has a chance to build their family with our embryos understands that they were not donated without a lot of thought and tears. They’ll probably always be on my mind to some degree.

Chris


#4

[quote=rangerdaddy]
When the time comes, I hope the couple that has a chance to build their family with our embryos understands that they were not donated without a lot of thought and tears. They’ll probably always be on my mind to some degree.

Chris[/quote]

And any child from an embryo that you donate would be happy to know that fact. I’m very early in the thinking process, but that is one thing that draws me to a more open arrangement. My child needs to know that s/he was always loved and wanted, by both his/her biological parents and myself, but that once his biological parents completed their family, they wanted to share that love with someone else (me!).

Perhaps you could say that you would be willing to meet once the child is 18? It is still considered an anonymous donation, I believe, but allows any children the option of contacting you later in life.

(The very practical side of me says that it may seem that you will have embryos left over once you complete your family, but wait to see what happens before you let it bother you as it has the last few weeks.)

I will say thank you to both you and your wife for considering donation. Some parent/s is going to be very fortunate! One thing that is for sure, when we have gone to such lengths to have a child, that child is cherished!


#5

My wife is very adamant about not having an open relationship. I’m trying to respect that. I asked my clinic if there was any openness options at all, and they were quite adamant that there was none. They said there’s a two year wait, and that they only put couples without children on the list. That makes me feel a little better, but I do think every child has the right to know their genetic history.


#6

Rangerdaddy, I agree with you that every child has a right to know their genetic history, and thanks so much for sharing your male perspective on this! Why do you have to donate through your current clinic? I understand your wife’s desire for anonymity, but there are options that would allow anonymity but with additional information, even maybe third-party contact (where the contact wouldn’t be directly to you, but via an agency or attorney, so you could be open to contact while your wife could remain out of the picture).

Have you looked into Nightlight’s snowflake embryo adoption? I believe they could arrange for an anonymous arrangement with the possibility of future contact (but no obligation).

I also agree that since you’re not done growing your family yet, take it one step at a time. Wait until you are certain that you are done. And honestly, I think an option you and your wife may want to consider is simply welcoming any and all of the children you have created into your own family, even if that means more children than you had originally hoped for.

As grateful as I am to our donors for this chance at parenthood, from the perspective of the child, it would’ve been better for their genetic parents to not have created more embryos than they were willing to welcome into their own families. I know it’s a strong thing to say, but I don’t believe they’re there for us to use as we see fit. Embryos are not gametes. :grouphug:


#7

Time will tell. I’m not overtly religious, although I was raised around the church. I’ve done what I felt was right for me. I was not about to tell the doctor to do his job good, but not too good. I realize the argument that can be made. Our clinic will only implant one embryo since the quality is very good. Obviously this is not a “problem” we were thinking about 2 years ago.

I’m trying my best to look at it from this perspective… “Since my wife and I agreed that we were willing to donate embryos because it was the most amazing gift you could give, God made it possible that we may have plenty”.

I know there are stories about women who are “barren” in the bible. I wouldn’t for one second try to tell a women that she should simply pray harder if she wanted to get pregnant. Maybe that’s where other donors and us will come in down the road.

Most of my desire to make contact at some point is generally from looking at it from my son’s (and future childrens) perspective.

If it’s not already obvious, it should be now…
“Doing the right thing is not always easy”.
A lesson that I’m sure my son will roll his eyes at when daddy starts preaching to him.


#8

Rangerdaddy - I think an organization like Nightlight where you would know that the parents went through a home study and could keep the information available for your children to meet later might meet both you and your wife’s needs. My understanding is that they would do all the screening based on the criteria you asked them for including not living in your area.

The disadvantage I find with Nightlight’s Snowflake program is that is so much more expensive than either getting donated embryos from a clinic or going through Miracles Waiting. The good thing is that you would know that your embryos are going to a family of means but it could also mean that they don’t go to anyone. I don’t know the matching rate of Nightlight’s program.

I hope you and and your wife keep talking about both your feelings because this is such a wonderful gift that you are giving someone that you should be able to feel that joy.


#9

Rangerdaddy, I would think of it as adoption. You can have any level of openness to it as you would like. When you decide, choose an agency that meets your needs.

Maybe a semi-open option would be best. For our adopted son, we set-up a facebook page with only the birth family so they can see pictures and videos when they choose to look.


#10

Would your clinic be willing to require that the recipients sign up on the donor sibling registry? And then you could sign up? That way at least you’d have a way of anonymously finding out where each other lived, maybe some basic info about the kids so both families know e.g., a kid with birthday X might be a sibling.

I wonder why your wife is so adamant about zero contact. And does no contact mean no information at all, for her?


#11

My wife says she is adamant about no contact. Of course we’re probably 5 years from donating embryos, so time will tell. Truthfully, if I wasn’t thinking about this yet, she wouldn’t be either. I think it’s just very hard for her to wrap her mind around. She has told me on more than one occasion, that if a women carried a baby for 9 months, it’s hers and only hers. I just don’t think she wants to add such a strange dynamic to either family. It’s understandable.

I think I may be more comfortable with the clinic, just because I don’t get the feeling that they’re profitting off anything other than the transfer. When the time comes, hopefully we can add some degree of contact for the siblings sake.

I also hope that donor embryos will continue to be in demand down the road.


#12

Hello all,

I wanted to offer my perspective as a mother to twins through embryo donation.

Firstly, I never thought it would be an option for me because I was unwilling to consider anonymous donation and most donations are anonymous, but by some miracle not only did I find my donor family but we had tons in common. The biological mother and I even share the same birthday.

We maintain an open identity donation. We share photos over facebook and they have come out to visit. We are planning to go visit them this year too. I went on to donate the remaining embryos to another family too and we decided that three of us with bio-sibs was enough.

As far as the children being mine, well there is no doubt there!!! I carried them and birthed them and raise them. There still is not full understanding of how the mother and fetus interact but they’re now discovering that they share dna across the placenta. My dna is in my babies and their dna is in me. Not only that, but through pregnancy, my body helps decide which genes get expressed and to what degree. I will attach a photo of me and a photo of my daughter. The resemblance is UNCANNY between myself and my twins.

The relationship between the donor family and my family is that of family but as this is all unchartered territory, it is challenging to know what to think and feel, but we keep communication open and talk about our feelings and we do what is best for the sake of the children. I did not feel right bringing kids into the world that would have no connection to their biological roots.

I also had to decide whether to donate the embryos I had remaining or destroy them and for me it was an easy decision because of this gift I was given. How could I not ensure that each embryo had a chance to bring such joy to someone’s life?

It is a very difficult choice and not one to be taken lightly but I am here to share how much of a blessing embryo donation is and express that open identity donation is truly the best thing for the children and families even though it is not the easiest thing. I also want those who are considering having a child through donation to know how amazing it is. Those children will be yours heart and soul!


#13

Also, I wanted to add that ours was a private donation, through my clinic. We did legal paperwork on our own in addition to that which the clinic does. There are opens for open identity donation (designated donation) through many reputable clinics and you do not have to settle for anonymous donation if you are not comfortable with it. You can even choose your recipient yourself, as my donors did with me.


#14

rangerdaddy, I don’t often get on here these days but I’m glad I did and saw your post. I realize how hard it must be in your position and what a stressful decision that is. But I really just want you to know that there is a very good chance your embryos will go to an absolutely loving home. I had twin boys last July through the gift of embryo donation and I cannot even express how much they are loved by my husband, myself, and my older son. Our extended family, who we told how they were conceived, also have open, loving arms. I just want you to know that this, in my opinion, is absolutely the greatest gift you could ever give somebody and I admire you and your wife for being open to doing this.


#15

My hubby and I have a 2 year old daughter via an anonymous donation at our local clinic. We are now trying for baby number two, this time through a different clinic (last clinic closed). Something that may put your mind at ease is that couples that have gotten to the place of considering EA are those that are going to provide a wonderful, loving home. Most of us have gone through a lot to get here. Recipients will have drug and infectious disease testing so you will know that they are not users and are healthy. And while most couples are not wealthy they will have to have the means to pay for the cycle, therefor they will be able to provide for any child(ren) they have.

As someone mentioned before there is the donor sibling registry. I know that my daughter has twin sisters that are about 18 months older than her. They do not know about my daughter and I have no idea whether they will tell their girls that there is a chance of them having a sibling, but we will register her in case they want to find her one day.

I hope that you two have peace about the right decision for your family and your embryos.


#16

Have you looked at Miracles Waiting yet? My DH and I found a wonderful couple to donate our embryos to through the site. I too did not want to donate anonymously through our clinic for fears of any children living in our area…it would be a little weird to bump into them! We were able to look through the profiles and find a couple in another state who seem like the perfect match for us. I really encourage you and your wife to take a look at it!


#17

As someone who may potentially be looking at donating embryos, i wanted to give you another perspective that came up when hubby and I discussed it… You said you want a couple more children so that means AT LEAST two more FETs for you and your wife… You have no idea how many embryos you will have to thaw in order to get to your FET, while it’s possible and probable that you only thaw 1 at a time, most clinics thaw pairs or THREE to get a great ONE to transfer. Also you have to factor in what if you lose some in the thaw… So you may be looking at donating 2-6 embryos, ya know? Just wanted to give you some food for thought… I have donated my eggs to 3 different women and I refused to do an anonymous donation for the same reasons you named. I wanted to make sure any children born from my eggs were well taken care of and also I wanted to make sure I knew the sex of said children and their names… You have to do what’s comfortable for you in the end. I hope you and your wife can come to a compromise since it’s 50% of both of you making up these embryos, I think you should both feel like your interest were heard in the end. Best of luck!