I can only imagine how it must feel to look at a donor profile and wonder about a donor’s character. Is she genuine? What are her motives for donating? Is she careless? And is she only motivated by money?
Working at an egg donation agency, I sometimes hear stories from recipients about their reproductive past. The information that I typically receive, if any, is the number of years that the couple has been married, the number of years trying to conceive, the number of IVF cycles they have completed and possibly the number of miscarriages that they’ve had before they made the decision to look for an egg donor. And while the numbers are always shocking, it’s the personal stories and emotional experiences that strike me the most. It’s when a recipient tells me that they’ve depleted their funds trying to have a child and this is their last chance. When a recipient gets on the phone with you and just needs someone to talk to because they haven’t shared this process with anyone else in their life. Hearing the sadness and despair breaks my heart every day but it’s when a recipient is speechless, it moves me the most. When they want to thank their donor but there just isn’t a way to express their gratitude of FINALLY being pregnant, this job is more rewarding than ever. It’s when I hear a sad story that I wished that I could do more to help. This is why I decided to donate again last year. Since then, I’ve completed four more donor cycles and I’m so grateful for being given this opportunity to make a difference in my recipients lives.
Sure, the financial incentive for donating your eggs is great, but donors have other incentives as well. And the emotional incentive, knowing that you’re helping someone in such a big way, is more rewarding than any money that you’ll ever receive.
One of our donors recently received an anonymous letter from her recipients, just prior to her retrieval. She was so touched by the letter that she was compelled to respond. This is that donor’s response:
Sitting in an airport one year ago I listened to the long story of a woman who had went through everything possible to have a child. The more I listened the more the tears ran down my face. Her story was incredible, challenging and unsuccessful. Then while listening to this I asked her, “have you ever thought about getting eggs from someone else or surrogacy?” Immediately her eyes dried up, she went straight to her laptop and I helped her look for places such as Family Creations. As she sat there reading, article after article and review after review my heart just ached. I was blessed 5 years ago today with the news of becoming a mother and I couldn’t bear the thought of someone never getting to share that moment.
That day I went home and began praying and asking for guidance. Do I go through with this? Is this even an option for me? Clearly my answer was given when I put in for the donor evaluation and began the process of helping someone. The time is almost here for you to begin your future as a family. I cannot begin to tell you how honored I am to work with such awesome people and to know that you will get to experience what I get to daily. Everything happens for a reason and it is certainly expensive to go through this process, me moving to Wisconsin just gave me more clear of an answer that what I am doing is right. I pray every night that this process is successful and that you both get to hold a precious baby in your arms that looks up with you and gives you a feeling of completeness.
Thank you for the compliments about my daughter and for giving me the opportunity of feeling like I have really helped a family. I will always pray that no one has to give up ever with their dreams and yours is no different. You both will be great parents. I can just tell by your letter. Love them and they will love you no matter what-that’s my parental advice. No parent can do it right every time but any parent can love and learn to do better J
While each donor donates for different reasons, they certainly do have incentives that constantly remind them of why they’re here. Here are a few more examples from our donor’s profiles…
My best friend was informed at the age of twenty that she would be unable to have children in the future. When she told me about this it made me think about how many unfortunate women there are in this world with similar circumstances and made me want to help some of the great people in the world who really want children. After doing some research I found out about egg donating and have been committed to help out a family that wants and needs it. –Tiffany 7, Los Angeles
My mother-in-law used a donor to have 6 of her 9 children. I see the happiness it has created in her life and what a joy my brothers and sisters are for our family. I love seeing the happy, healthy kids she was able to carry and give birth to, even though she could not use her own eggs. I feel a special connection to the amazing miracle of sharing eggs.
-Bridget 4, Phoenix
Working as an IVF nurse, I see a lot of happiness that patients get from the help of donors and I would love to be a part of that experience. –Jennie 6, Los Angeles
My entire life I have taken pride in myself on making sure that family comes first. It’s unfortunate that some people are not given the ability to build that type of foundation on their own. I recently was involved in a custody battle for my son and have accumulated over $18K in attorney’s fees. I feel that by becoming a donor I can not only help to move my own family forward financially but also help a needy couple start new family.
–Tara 6, Los Angeles
Honestly, I am excited at the opportunity to help people out. I have so much and it is easy to take for granted. The only reason I am doing this for compensation is so that I can pay off my student loans. –Noel 3, Dallas
This is an easy question however difficult for me to answer without tearing up. I want to give you what was given to me, I want you to be as happy as my baby has made me. The thought of her makes me swell with pride and I would be honored to have a hand in making someone this complete. After I have a few more of my own I hope to be a surrogate mother for someone special. –Mary 2, Jacksonville
Whether its family, the drive to fund their dreams of an education or just a heart filled with so much love to give, each donor has their reasons for committing to this process. While the financial reward of being a donor is great, the donor’s motivation to make this commitment helps them through all of the appointments, injections, ultrasounds and the retrieval. It’s the constant reminder that this process is so much larger than themselves.
Yes, donors are motivated by money, love, family, compassion, education and much more. Yes I paid off some bills, started a retirement fund and saved a great portion for either a down payment on a house or to repay my student loans. But when my student loans are paid off and the money is gone, I’m still left with the memory of doing something great in my lifetime; I helped complete strangers with a dream of their own and I couldn’t be more proud.Written By: Emily Penn Case Manager