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An Egg Donor’s thoughts on disclosure, Part 1 from an TDS egg donor.

Posted on: 17 December, 2020

As an egg donor and a donor baby myself, I find myself uniquely equipped to provide insight into both sides of the coin for prospective parents. Specifically, in terms of advice for what to tell the child or children and how. My experience with egg donation and discovering my history is quite unorthodox. I didn’t learn that I was a donor baby until about a year ago when I attempted to do my first cycle – this didn’t pan out for a few reasons, but I’ve persevered through it.

Imagine my shock at age 18 hearing my mother tell me that we didn’t, in fact, share any genetic material at all. I was shell-shocked. This revelation rocked me in a way I hadn’t expected it to. I felt any and every emotion from gratitude to guilt to frustration to confusion. I was incredibly thankful for the donor who gave me the life I have, as was my mother. I felt guilt for the years that my mother had to bear that burden hearing people say that I looked so much like her, despite no genetic connection. This sentiment wasn’t shared by her because she had always felt that I was hers. There was no question about it, no doubt, no confusion for her. I was frustrated that it took so many years for her to tell me. At age 18, you think you have your identity and life pretty figured out, or at least you know who you are. This completely threw that into question. Instead of feeling a strong sense of identity and self. I had this entirely new part of my identity to reckon with – a feeling that would only grow as I learned more about who I was. And I was confused, of course. There was no inkling that this could have ever been the case. I didn’t bear much resemblance to her side of the family, but even as a child, I looked strikingly similar to her.

I had so many questions. What was the donor like? Who was she? Am I anything like her? What does this mean for me and my family? Am I who I thought I was? None of these questions had easy answers, since the agency that my mother used had since been disbanded and no records were available. All that my parents knew was that she and my mom looked like they could have been twins and that there was a chance that she was Latina. It wasn’t until a year later getting an AncestryDNA test that I confirmed this. Living my whole life thinking that I was just of European heritage made this a shocking revelation. I’m still having trouble negotiating with whether or not I’m at liberty to identify with this part of myself since it was never a part of my life growing up. Is it right or wrong? Is it insensitive somehow? Learning that the story of how I was born brought color into my life in a way I had never expected. I have this whole other side of heritage and culture to explore. Yet, there are some things that it has taught me.   TO BE CONTINUED

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