Click here for Conceiving Through Egg Donation (Part 1 of 10): Introduction.
If it’s Not My Baby, Why Not Just Adopt?
Yes, using donor eggs means that your child or children will have a maternal genetic relationship to another woman, typically a complete stranger. This random aspect makes it somewhat analogous to adoption. But the similarity ends there. First and foremost, egg donation allows the intended father to be the biological father, establishing a true genetic relation. Most couples consider this a tremendous advantage.
Knowing the precise source of both egg and sperm provides health assurances that adoption cannot. The sources of donor eggs and sperm (from intended father or anonymous donor) have been screened for infectious and hereditary diseases. In adoption, the health and medical care of the mother and baby may be unknown and are not guaranteed.
In adoption, the birth mother typically cannot make a legally binding commitment to prospective adoptive parents until after a postpartum waiting period. But a child created through egg donation, when carried by the intended mother, is her child, starting from conception. The intended mother becomes pregnant, nurtures the child in the womb, receives prenatal medical care, and gives birth. Although it was not her egg that formed the embryo, the uterine environment has a connection to fetal health and development in ways that scientists are still investigating and discovering. So you are giving a part of yourself to your child in a real physical way.
Adoption remains a wonderful option for many other reasons. However, egg donation takes advantage of the latest technologies to create a child partially related to the intended parents under the strictest medical supervision from conception to birth. For some, this greater amount of control makes egg donation worth the investment.