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May 17, 2017


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Neha agarwal

I think the donor should be given a choice whether they want to be anonymous or open it's their choice. I agree that knowing the donor will be great but it should be up to them.

Sue Johnston

I am the an anthologist and a co-author of my newly released infertility book titled, "Detours: Unexpected Journeys of Hope Conceived from Infertility." In the book we have three children which were conceived via 3rd party. All three of the women told their children of the gift it took to bring them into their lives. One of the women has a relationship with the donor's family. Another woman donated her remaining embryos to a family and they had a child years later (actually a biological twin.) They have an open relationship between the two families. The third woman has no connection with the donor. She feels it is up to her daughters to share the circumstances of their births. From what I have gathered knowing these women for many years and working closely with them to write the book, these decisions are very personal and there is no right or wrong answer.

There are so many challenges that the infertility community has to face. In Detours, the 11 co-authors have over 100 years of infertility treatment. We each reached resolution after long, hard years of trying to conceive. We cover donor egg, surrogacy, adoption, childfree living, multiple miscarriages, IVF, IUI, ICSI and much more. A portion of the proceeds from Detours will be donated to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. If you or someone you know if struggling with infertility, you will surely find yourself on the pages of Detours, which is not only #1 infertility book on Amazon, but is also a part of the Art of IF exhibit.

If you would like a complimentary copy of Detours to review for on your blog, please contact me at: detours.saj@icloud.com or visit the book website: detoursofhope.com

I wish each and every one of you a happy resolution to your infertility.


You ask great questions, Our 6 week old is a gift given through the blessing of egg donation. Our donor is open to contact once our daughter is 18, but I believe that organizations should take steps to give donors at least the option of having open contact from birth. Our little girl will always know that she is with us as the result of this wonderful gift, but like you all we have are stats and baby pics for the next 18 years Doesn't quite seem enough...


Oh I think Lauren put it better than I did - it's actually because it's easiest for the infertility professionals to have anonymous donation, that's why it's standard, not because it's what the parents (intended or hopeful parents) would prefer. However I think these clinics are in for a legal hassle in the future when these children come of age and some want to know more.


I am glad to hear open donation may be more frequently an option. I think this woman's work you mentioned is important. It seems anonymous donation is standard because it's best for the clients of the infertility clinics - the parents - but it may not always be the choice the donors or the children would make, if they were given the option. We have a child from open embryo donation which was first from anonymous egg donation, except since the donor profile included first name, age and name of high school, I found our egg donor very easily online. I don't think I should contact her and don't plan to but if one day my son wants to know her last name for some reason I will share it with him. But I wonder what is best. (And I check online every once in a great while for a sign she has had a child of her own - I hope she does one day!) I definitely feel our open donation relationship with our embryo donor couple is more of a very special friendship than a familial relationship. I think that's because it's a correspondence from a distance.


I have a split mind on this. There's a big part of me that simply thinks of it as tissue donation and genetics as a lottery that can turn up plenty of surprises even in a bio-kid. It's really just not that important except as, ya know, the starting bluprint of life. The person who contributed that blueprint is essentially no different from a random stranger, and genes get scrambled up in a few generations anyway.

But the overriding factor for me is -- What is good for the child? Some children may feel differently than I do and want to know more about the people who contributed to their starting blueprint. They may find resonance when a donor says something about a genetic grandparent who did this or that (even if it may have been just a coincidence). Or they may just like to say "thanks" to the people who helped them get started.

I have no fear or ego about the thing because I know (and any rational donor will know) that we are the only parents, the real parents. And any child, unless they're in some kind of adolescent "F*** you" phase, is going to understand that as well. (Hopefully that phase just won't come -- we IFers tend to be better than average parents!)

I actually donated eggs when I was younger, and every now and then I think of the kid(s) I'm pretty sure were produced from that donation (I got a wink and a nod) and hope they're doing well. Not in a possessive way whatsoever, but just a little wistful. I wish I could see a pic once a year or something and maybe send them a little gift every five years. Seems like it'd be nice. And if they ever had any questions I could answer, I'd be available. And if I happened to end up actual friends with the parents, even better.

I'd love that with our donors as well (if our next donor embryo transfer works). I'd love the option.

It's a big part of the reason I was hoping for donors who seemed, from their profiles, to be at least somewhat simpatico. They may well end up being some part of our lives despite all the efforts to keep us separate.


I prefer anonymous egg donor simply because I view it as a precious gift of a piece of the fertility puzzle. It is still my husband and I who then created a life via his sperm and my womb. The egg would never have been anything close to a life if we hadn't 'rescued' it from the fate of yet another monthly cycle.I don't know if I am oversimplifying it and I imagine time will tell. We don't really desire the egg donor to be considered extended relatives at all but I am mindful not to let my ego be involved if our child wants that one day. I can't really tell if my approach and feelings is simply to protect and simplify this process or if it is the right one for our family. I do have the awareness to realize that. For now- I choose to approach it like a gift we recieved that made us creating this life possible- not a genetic link that we need to foster in the future.


I'm all for open donation. When my husband and I picked a donor, that was one of our requirements—that she be willing to have future contact with our child/ren, if our kid/s so desired. I soon learned we were in the minority of intended parents who felt that way; I later learned that a lot of infertility professionals don't encourage openness because it's easier for them if everyone is anonymous.

I don't view our donor as extended family--although I feel great affection towards her--but who knows how my kid will feel? Maybe it's not up to us parents to decide. All we can do is answer our children's questions as best we can, we the limited information we have.

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