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June 19, 2015

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C

I am so grateful to the couple who donated their embryos to us. (No pregnancy yet.) And the lovely thing is that I feel like they are grateful for us too. They used an egg donor too. (I hate saying "used" and "donor" is not even correct, but it's the messy world of assisted reproduction.) But I don't think this made them less tied to their embryos. Having their children from that IVF made them see the embryos as their potential children and their children's potential siblings, I believe, so possibly donating them was just as difficult as for the couple that uses their own gametes. When we went into IVF - like you Maya, I was so scared about the whole thing, especially after having gotten pregnant immediately and given birth without a doctor, consequently believing I was somehow almost above needing doctors - anyway, when we went into IVF I decided we would transfer all the embryos we made eventually. I didn't know about embryo donation. It may have been an option on the form but it wasn't highlighted for us and we didn't focus on it.
Anyway, I was worried we'd have several more children than we initially wanted by doing IVF and transferring all the embryos, which shows what a long road infertility and IVF treatment is…we've come so far… Turned out that certainly didn't happen; four IVFs and never an implantation after transfer. If we had gone through with egg donation I believe it would have assuaged my moral qualms a bit to decide to donate remaining embryos, but it's not easy to give your children's genetic siblings and your husband's genes to another family. But I don't claim to know for certain whether I would have been strong enough to donate our embryos. I believe it is the right decision, as the most difficult choices often are. While if we have a second child, she or he won't grow up with her genetic family, she will know that for five years we worked to have her and she was very much wanted and our child from the very start of our attempts for a second child, even more so in a way than those who are conceived with ease. It is amazing to form a bond with a donating family, even if it is just via emails through a third party. With open embryo adoption you welcome a new family into your life and they will be with you forever, enriching everyone's life experience. BRAVO to those who donate their embryos. Thank God for this option, a perfect melding of medicine and technology through assisted reproduction and love through adoption, giving and donating.

Maryann

We signed up during first ivf to donate to science. I knew that at my age (40) my eggs are not desirable; however looking back, when now we are in midst of embryo adoption I feel ashamed that I did not decided to have them donated; if they were good quality. Unfortunately I was right because the ivf ended up in miscarriage. I am forever greatful for those who donate. Still I heard that embryo donation is not that common. But for people like me and my hubby it is beside adoption the last chance to try to be parents. That's all what I have been thinking about for past 2 years.

Jen

A lot of places will not allow you to donate embryos to another person/couple if you were 35 or older at the time of retrieval. So you either have to discard them or donate them to science. All around, not an easy decision to make!

Grace

We used an egg donor, so I will leave the choice of donation to my husband who has a genetic tie. However, he is a strong believer that he is not the parent, when they're donated, but anonymous donations aren't allowed in our state. He feels the same about adoption, etc, the people who love and raise you are your parents. I'm not sure what he'll decide, but anonymity will probably influence his decision a lot. It makes me a little sad because the birth of my egg donor babies has made me so happy. I wish we could easily pass it on.

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