This Page

has moved to a new address:


Sorry for the inconvenience…

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
The Parents Via Egg Donation Organization: January 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What more is there to say about Eggsploitation?

Editorial by Amy Demma, Esquire  

For several months now, I have been paying close attention to blogs, commentaries, articles and media buzz around an earlier-released documentary: Eggsploitation: The Fertility Industry Has a Dirty Little Secret. I have seen the film; have attended several screenings, the most recent at Harvard Law School.

Earlier this year, I wrote two blogs in response to the documentary. I commented on the organization that produced the film and most importantly on its producer and spokesperson. I am grateful to share that my writings on Eggsploitation were recently recognized by a well-know infertility blogger and listed in The Stirrup Queens’ Crème de la Crème of 2010 Blog Posts.  My blog is listed at #67. I thought I was done writing about Eggsploitation and even discussed with my colleagues my concern about drawing too much attention to the documentary. On Monday, however, I read an article in the Washington Times announcing that the touring of the film continues and that the agenda of the group pushes on.

Every time I have discussed the film, I have done so in the context of a message to those considering egg donation. I wanted prospective recipient parents and even previously successful parents via donor egg conception to understand that the documentary, flawed in many ways, is not a realistic or accurate depiction of the egg donation process in the United States but rather a channel by which a conservative, religious based, anti-choice, anti-ART group is currently utilizing to dissuade young women from considering being donors. The film is not only biased, it is, in fact misleading and, therefore, irresponsible.

I encourage you to read: Eggsploitation: So Very Far From the Truth   and then discuss with your clinic, your agency, your attorney and others you have engaged in your family building plan how your donor was recruited, how information about the egg donation process was made available to her, about the steps taken to ensure that the donor is not only informed but well taken care of. I suspect, if you are working with a good team of professionals, that you will be satisfied in the responses you receive and you will be able to continue on, knowing that you have made the right decision for you and your family….and hopefully, any further efforts of the folks behind this unfortunate film will not impact your joy and anticipation as you work towards your family building goal.

I wish you the very best of luck!

Amy Demma, Esq
Email Amy Here

Amy Demma is a New York licensed attorney currently practicing reproductive law. Amy was the founder of Prospective Families which is now affiliated with The Fertility Source Companies


My phone has been busy this week and my email box is receiving a steady stream of email asking me if I had read “An Egg Donors Tale” featured in the New York Times.  “What did I think?  Should I be worried?  Do most a lot of egg donors feel this way years later?  My child doesn’t know, she I sit him or her down tonight and tell them? Have I done a bad thing by not telling them? I don’t know what to do – what should I do Marna?”
First of all – Mom’s and Dad’s let’s take a breath and breathe.  I have news for you – Egg donors are not coming for your children – Really!
The article in the New York Times by Melanie Thernstrom titled “Meet The Twiblings” has caused quite a stir in both the 3rd party arena as well as the general population.  It seems that the choices made by Melanie and her husband Michael are viewed as weird, odd, freaky, and self-serving. 
Personally, I don’t find them any of the above.  I just find them different.  This was how this couple chose to create their family.  And they shouldn’t be judged by that at all.
The article that caused even more of a stir was the follow up article titled an “Egg Donors Tale” written by an egg donor who was brave enough to share what she was feeling inside years later about her experience and vocalizing that while the egg donor cycle was a known cycle she didn’t agree with the recipient couple not to tell their children that this egg donor was indeed their egg donor.  The egg donor also shared in her article:
“Fast-forward a decade. I have two children myself now, and while I think about the twins often, I have lost touch with the family. Partly this is because of the demands and exhaustion of parenting my own kids, but it is also because of my increasing ambivalence about the nature of my relationship to two people — one of whom looks remarkably like me — who came from my body and are making their way in this world. I have no doubt that their mother has been a loving, kind parent, and I obviously would never want to disrupt that relationship. However, I increasingly feel that the twins, who are now teenagers, have a right to know about their creation story — if not now, then when they are adults.

Why, you may rightfully ask? The obvious and easy answer is knowledge of certain medical conditions and their management that have occurred in recent years. More difficult to justify, but deeply felt, it seems that we should have the opportunity to develop a kind of mother-child relationship. On a side note, I believe this is precisely the situation Thernstrom fears, even if on a subconscious level (see her generous AND self-serving offer to pay for her donor to store fertilized eggs so she can be sure to have her own children someday). In technical terms, we are talking about new forms of kinship here (biological parent who does not give birth to or participate in daily parenting of child), but in other respects, many forms of parenting happen in our village every day, and without threat to the primary parent. The strong cultural valuation of the biological relationship is an understandable threat here, but this is not insurmountable, particularly for those of us who have already transgressed so many other barriers in an effort to bring these children into the world.”
That sentence jumped out and caused many DE mom’s to suck in their breath and say “Oh No She Didn’t! That’s MY kid she’s talking about!  The egg donor donated eggs – she’s isn’t supposed to feel that way – right!?
Well maybe.  Maybe not.
What we do know is that individuals have the ability to change their minds about how they feel during various times in their lives.  One such issue I have found myself reminding recipient parents about is having expectations about their egg donor. 
What does this mean? 
It means that known donation cycles are fantastic. They really are – however, both parties need to be realistic in these expectations.  I hear more often than not – “It’s all in the contract black and white our egg donor will agree to meet our kids when they turn 18, see it says so right here Marna.”  I typically nod my head and say “Yes, yes it does, you are right it’s in the contract” However, recipients aren’t hearing and don’t want to hear that is egg donors can change their minds about the conditions under which they donated eggs.
I am specifically speaking about egg donors who agree to open donation and then perhaps change their minds later.  Or an egg donor and a recipient couple agreeing to an anonymous donation and years later an egg donor wanting contact.
What would cause them to change their minds and decide they don’t want contact?   Oh goodness, lots of things – a change in faith, a marriage, and of course time.  18 years is a long time for a person to make an agreement to something – and maybe the egg donor has gone off and had her own children, and not told her husband she donated eggs.  She may have changed her faith, or just decided she really doesn’t want to have contact.  It happens.
So if the above can happen why can’t a donor change her mind and become curious about those kids she helped create.  I mean it could happen.  To be perfectly honest we don’t really know as the oldest kids via egg donation are now 30 something and there haven’t been a lot of studies done on donor egg kids.  However, studies have shown egg donors do sometimes wonder and get curious. Where does this leave you and me?  Same place we were before folks.   We are our children’s parents’ period.  We are their Mom’s and their Dad’s.  Egg donors don’t become egg donors so they can come take our kids.  That’s crazy and ridiculous.  Egg donors don’t become egg donors to become instant parents. Egg donors become egg donors for two reasons -- #1 to help another woman become a mother because she can’t on her own or #2 to make money.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with either of those reasons.  It is what it is.
I don’t feel the egg donor in the NY Times article was nuts or crazy.  I think after many years of her donation she began to have questions and thoughts about the two children she helped bring into the world. The article an Egg Donors Tale shows we can question reproductive decisions without regretting them.  I think that she had different ideas about information those kids should have.  I will even go as far as saying I think that maybe this egg donor has some boundary issues – let’s hope not, after all it’s up to those children’s parents to share with them their origins not an egg donor, even if it was an open donation. 
However, I think you are all safe, – Egg donors are not coming for your children – I mean really.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


As I hung up with yet another woman who had just celebrated her 42nd birthday and was trying valiantly to have a baby I sighed.  My heart was heavy for her – she had just returned from her Reproductive Endocrinologist who had delivered the news that her FSH levels were too high and her best chance at becoming a mother through a pregnancy would be through donor eggs.
In the end, I knew her outcome would probably be positive.  She would find an RE that she trusted, she’d find an egg donor, she’d cycle, get pregnant, and hopefully in a years’ time, take home a bundle of joy and go on with her life as a parent.
In the meantime, I listened as she cried, and yelled and vented.  “Why didn’t my OBGYN tell me this when I was 35?  I would have begun treatment then!?  No one said a word to me other than your pap smear is fine and you are healthy!”
In today’s society more and more women are putting off child bearing because they think they can. No one has told them differently.  They see celebrities all around them having babies well into their 40’s and they think they have time.
“Where were you and what were you doing in your early 30’s?”  I have often asked and I have heard the following:
·        Still single. Mr. Right didn’t come along until I was 38, we dated two years and I married him at 40.  We began to try right away and it never happened for us.  So here we are today.
·        I was in law school (or medical school, pick the graduate school of your choice) preparing to graduate at age 32 and jumping right into my career.  No one ever told me that I needed to try and conceive then – I thought for sure I had years. After all women like Susan Sarandon had a baby at 46, Cheryl Tiegs was 52, and Beverly D'Angelo was 49 so what gives?
·        In my late 20’s and early 30’s I was in a crappy marriage.  I’d had two kids and was a single mom.  When I met the love of my life at 38, we decided to try and have a baby a few years after we were married.  Since I had two kids already my doctor didn’t tell me this would be so difficult.  I am now 41, been pregnant twice and miscarried twice.  They now tell me my eggs are old and bad.  Why didn’t they tell me this sooner?
The message is clear:  WHY DIDN’T SOMEONE TELL ME SOONER!?
There always seems to be the need to blame someone – the doctor, themselves, the celebrities who are having babies in their 40’s with what looks to us like ease.  But at the end of the day it’s our choice when and where we are going to begin our family building – however, it would be nice to be armed with the correct information so we can make an educated decision.
The reality is women who are in the midst of their childbearing years, who are reproductively healthy have a one in four (25%) chance of conceiving each month.  So having a baby is not as easy as it looks.  And those women who do get pregnant, 25% of them will miscarry for a variety of reasons.
Fertility peaks in most women in the 20s, and then slowly begins to decline in the late 20s. At around age 32-35, fertility starts to really decline. For example, in any given month, your chances of getting pregnant at age 30 are about 20%. At age 40, your chance of getting pregnant in any given month is just 5%.
So why aren’t celebs speaking up and saying they had help having a baby, either through donor eggs or surrogacy.  Because there is still this crazy stigma shrouding egg donation.  For whatever reason some still view egg donation as something out of an episode of Star Trek.  Or that egg donation and surrogacy are just for the rich and famous.  Or better yet, that egg donation is somehow a way to make the next generation of designer and perfect children.
The truth is having a baby regardless of how exciting and joyful the experience can be – it’s also intimate and private.  How our babies are created is not something we take an ad out in our local newspaper or place on TV during primetime.  And the reality is celebrities don’t owe us an explanation in regards to how they created their family. Would it be nice if a celebrity who had a baby in her 40’s would step up to the platform and say “HEY I HAD A BABY IN MY 40’s AND IT WASN’T EASY IN FACT I USED DONOR EGGS”  But we can’t count on that.  It’s not their responsibility to make a PSA for those of us over 40. What we can do however, is become an advocate for ourselves and ask questions about our own bodies and fertility rates.