Saturday, October 31, 2009

Learning From The Adoption Community

Today I listened to a podcast by Dawn Davenport. She does an amazing weekly radio show on infertility and adoption and has a great website. Back in September she did a show titled "What 3rd Party Reproduction Can Learn from Adoption." Now that I am pregnant I am a little back logged in my infertility listening. You would think now that I am pregnant I would listen to pregnancy podcast. I guess I am still living in my IF world.

During the radio show she had two guest Adam Pertman, Executive Director of The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and Marna Gatlin, founder and Director of the nonprofit, Parents Via Egg Donation. They were discussing the mistakes that donor egg parents are making and how they are the same mistakes the adoption community used to make.

I find most of the mistakes stem from our own insecurities as donor egg parents. After years of treatments and failure, we are just ready to move on with out lives and forget about how our miracle came to us. Another of our fears is the fear of rejection, we fear our child will tell us they love their "donor" better then us or that they will bond more with their father (the biological link). Many of us also feel their is a stigma with being the recipient of donor eggs and building our family in a non-traditional way. I have felt all of these and debated them in my head.

Like many people who go through many IF treatments I felt like a failure by the time I got to DE. I was depressed and ready to move onto the next chapter of live "Motherhood." When my DH and I finally settle on DE it was a relief and I knew we wouldn't fail. This was our way to become parents. From the very beginning I knew I wanted to tell our little angel that his origins and how he came to us but there was a moment when I was unsure about telling. I remember discussing our next course of action with a close friend and leaving out DE. I felt like such as liar and I knew I couldn't continue this. I had to be honest with myself, family, and friends about what we were doing.

One of the reasons I hesitate telling anyone about us using DE was the stigma I imagined attached to it. I was sure people would look down upon me because I couldn't create a child without 3rd party reproduction. I was a failure as a women. The one thing women were created for I could not do, that was create an egg that would turn into a baby. Surprisingly in my life I found a wealth of support. Many of my friends and family had no idea what I was talking about but they were just so happy that I was finally going to have the chance to be the mother I so desperately wanted to be. What I am saying is there are people who may look down upon you for your choice of DE but I haven't run into a single person yet.

My insecurities weren't just from the stigma but also from worrying that he would love his father more or reject me because I wasn't his "biological mother." They discussed this in the show and talked about how adoptive parents feel the same way. There may be a point in my son's life that he uses that line but all teenagers say hurtful things to their parents, I did. How I have been dealing with this issue is preparing to tell our son from birth his story. They suggest doing this in the podcast. The reason they suggest starting from birth is so when he gets old enough to understand and ask questions you already know what to say because you have been practicing for years. I want my little angel to be comfortable with his orgins and not feel as an outcast.

After listening to this podcast I am even more confident in my decision to disclose to our son how he was created. I am not ashamed of my choices and neither should anyone else who has created their family with the assistance of DE. We know we made the best decision for ourselves and for our families.


  1. Third time is a charm I hope:) I can't seem to post comments today.

    Thank you for the kind words --

    Your post was very inspiring! The whole disclosure piece is based on fear. Fear of the unknown, rejection, what others might think of how we create our families.

    My son put it to aptly -- "Mom it's just a strand of DNA, I am not sure what the big deal is."

    And really it is -- I am my son's mom, it's me he wants when he's sick or hurt, not anyone else:)

    There are over 950 women and their partners who are members of our forum who talk about this stuff all the time. You are so welcome to join:) We'd love to have you!

    Take care-

    Marna Gatlin

  2. Great post. And you should definitely join's a great forum (though can be overwhelming sometimes so I haven't been on much). I feel the same way that you do. Most days I am totally open about it with just about everyone, but some days (and with some people) I just don't feel like getting into it. But like you, I feel like a liar when I pretend we're doing IVF with my eggs. It's just not me, and I'm not ashamed about it, and we plan on telling our child from birth too, so why hide it from others?