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The Parents Via Egg Donation Organization: December 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why Elton is Cool When Older Moms Are Not


Angel has a whole to say about Elton and David and their new baby!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meet The Twiblings

This is probably one of the longest articles I have ever read, and I devoured every single delicious word. I hands down loved this article.  I have heard of Melanie Thernstrom she authored a book that I am sad to say I haven't read yet about chronic pain titled "The Pain Chronicles" which I do need to read because I too suffer from chronic pain.

Anyhow back to the subject at hand -- This article called Meet the Twiblings (published in the New York Times)  was just simply beautiful, articulate, to the heart.  Melanie just expressed my feelings in such a lovely lovely way.  I think she spoke for many of us how we feel about third party reproduction -- that my eyes and heart were just over flowing with love and gratitude as I read and nodded and read.

My only regret is that I will never know my son's donor.  It's not in the cards for us and that makes me sad.  However, it is what it is, we have an amazing child -- and it doesn't get much better than that.

The other part about this article that I loved so much was her quote about embracing transparency.  It's why it's so important to be open about egg donation.  It's why I myself have embraced transparency.

Check out this article -- it's totally worth the read.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Pandora’s Box?

Reprinted with permission: By Gail Sexton Anderson, Ed.M.

Some fear that allowing intended parents and egg donors to have direct contact could be opening Pandora’s box.  My experience, of over 13 years, working with couples and egg donors is that knowledge soothes the fear of the unknown rather than creating problems. I have conducted many meetings between couples and egg donors and I can say they have been wonderful meetings were all parties walked away feeling better for having met.

When the donor gets the opportunity to meet the couple she is helping she has a stronger sense of commitment to the process. I’ve found that many donors would say to me after having met the couple that they were surprised how nice the intended parents are.  They had been expecting some wealthy and superficial individuals rather than a normal everyday caring couple longing to be parents. The donor often finds it more rewarding to when they get the opportunity to meet the couple.  Donors who done completely anonymous cycles as well as cycles were they have meet the intended parents wish they had been able to meet the all of their couples.

When intended parents meet their egg donor it acts to reinforce their choice and to take away many of the fears they may have.  I have found that most intended parents have the desire to feel like they know the egg donor.  It can be a very scary thing to put so much trust into an individual who will in essence be taking the mothers place in the gene pool. The meeting can help the couple to experience the egg donor as a multifaceted individual whom they can feel comfortable moving forward with in an IVF cycle.  I have found that intended parents also feel a strongly sense of closure when they have been able to meet their donor.

I’m not suggesting that all couples and donor should meet but I am suggesting that we are not complicating issues but actually simplifying issues by not creating such a taboo around meeting and future contact. The bottom line is that the more the parties know about each other more the comfortable they usually are.  Not knowing may cause the parties involved to make assumptions about each other that may not be founded in reality and may also cause anxiety in many cases.

I am finding that many intended parents are becoming more and more open to having some sort of contact with their egg donor and even more so wanting to have the option for future contact for the benefit of their future child.  Trying to keep these parties apart creates more fear than is really merited.  Most couples and egg donors have good boundaries and are not likely to become burdens to the each other.

Let’s also remember, at the bottom of Pandora’s box was hope.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Who's Embryos Are They Really

I am bothered.  Over the past year I have spoken to patient after patient who has sought out my advice regarding their left over embryos.  The scenario is almost always the same:
The couple or single mom has sought out an egg donor.  They have created their family.  They have completed their family.  They have anywhere from two to 20 embryos left over.  Now that their children are here they cannot fathom discarding their embryos, destroying their embryos or donating them to science.  Ninety-nine percent of the patients would like to donate their embryos to another couple like them who have been trying to have a child via egg donation.
But often they cannot and their hands are tied.  Why?  Because when they originally selected their egg donor in their legal contract they agreed not to donate embryos to anyone else.  They agreed to use all of the embryos, keep them frozen, or donate them to science or destroy them – or in some cases get permission from the egg donor to donate those embryos, but again only with her permission.
This causes much angst and frustration for the recipient parents – and frankly it’s puzzling and concerning to me.  Which brings me to my question:
Who’s embryos are they – really?
 Is it really egg donation if the intended parents don’t have a say in what happens to their left over embryos?  Some in the industry feel that intended parents are buying eggs.  If that’s true and intended parents are buying “property” then is the property they are buying really theirs if they don’t have complete autonomy in regards to what happens to those eggs once they become embryos?
While I can appreciate an egg donors concern over where her genetics are going to be used this reinforces my feelings even more that all egg donors aside from taking an MMPI really need to have a meaningful and real conversation with a psychologist to talk about these very things.  And if an egg donor has issues with what happens to left over embryos than maybe egg donation isn’t the right fit for her.  And that is fine too – not everyone in the world is cut out to be an egg donor – you don’t find out until you begin the preliminary process.
Where am I going with all of this?  For starters be very clear and decided about what you want.  Regardless of how amazing your egg donor is the bottom line is-- if the legal contract comes back and states that the egg donor wants control over left over embryos (i.e. you are only allowed to dispense of them a specific way) and you are not okay with that then you need to really rethink some things, namely if this is the right egg donor for you.
Really at the end of the day regardless of how warm and fuzzy you all might be feeling about each other this is business transaction.  Money is going to be exchanged between two parties.  The compensation you pay your egg donor is for her time, her trouble, inconvenience, and regardless of how much we want to sugar coat things you are receiving eggs in exchange.  The moment those eggs are fertilized with sperm they become yours and no longer hers.  And I feel you should have the right to do whatever you want with those embryos and not have your hands tied and options limited because you agreed to allow your egg donor to have final say in what happens to your embryos.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Parents Via Egg Donation New Forum

No matter if you are  in the "tell camp" or the "no tell" camp regarding egg donation you deserve a safe, secure, and friendly place hang your hat and talk about your path to egg donation with other women like yourself who have done the very same thing -- come be among friends and garner strength and support.

That place is here now!  It's called the PVED Forum  - your membership is just a click away!

Parents Via Egg Donation, or PVED,was created to provide an informational and supportive environment where parents and parents-to-be can learn and share information about all facets of the egg donation process.

This support forum is open to parents and parents to be who have been, or are attempting to become, parents through egg donation. Because this is a private support group, members can feel safe because what we say here stays here as this is not a public group.
This online support group has been established to foster support, information sharing, and discussion among those who have or are attempting to become parents with the help of donated eggs.
This is forum is not for agencies, psychologists or social workers ,nurses, physicians, or any other kind of health care professional who are not attempting to become parents through egg donation.
Our mission is to educate, support, and empower families and individuals at any stage of the process who choose to use egg donation to build a family. We share information about agencies, legal and medical professionals, treatment centers, mental health therapists, pharmaceutical companies, and other resources.
For more information about PVED you may find us at:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Families through Gamete Donation Language Survey

*** When you take the survey please remember to click NEXT at the bottom of the screen and continue on to the second page.  There is another page with another set of questions.  I think there are 30 some questions in all.

One of the challenges and frustrations many parents have with Third Party Reproduction is the language and definitions associated with egg donation.

The Language Committee of Parents Via Egg Donation a nonprofit organization, is creating a document to reflect the language of families created through gamete donation. Just as Positive Adoption Language (PAL) finally legitimized and clarified the role of birth and adoptive families, so too, do we intend to educate as to how and what to call the various participants of families created through assisted reproductive options.

The intent is to distribute this document to the media and to others so that journalists will have appropriate language to use in describing our families. To do this, we would like to know what language you as parents, siblings, and professionals in the field of family building prefer to use.

Answers to these questions are completely anonymous. Please help us know what language is appropriate to use when describing families of gamete donation. The entire survey should take approximately 15 minutes.

The survey can be found here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/gametedonationlanguage

Thank You.

Carole Lieber Wilkins, MFT and Britta Dinsmore, Ph.D., Co-Chairs
Parents Via Egg Donation