Tuesday, July 5, 2011

You Lost me at "Biological Mom"

This appeared in my my email box last week:

Hey donor diva,
My name is ______ and I work for The __________ Show in NY. We start filming our first season this summer and we will begin to air this september. We are a daytime talk show with a very intelligent and compassionate host whose main goal is to help all those guests he brings on. Think Oprah, NOT Maury. (more like Jerry Springer, in my opinion)
Anyway, a potential episode we may be shooting is about reuniting donor egg children with their biological mothers. My producer ________ would like to talk to you in further detail on the best ways to go about this. Are their databases? Perusing online I found your blog and you seem to be a perfect candidate even to come onto the show as a potential expert because you seem to be very passionate about the subject. Please get back to me when you can, and if you would like to expedite the process you can email my producer ________ at _______________. Thank you very much.
Best, _____________ 

Initially I was very flattered to be asked to be an expert but after reading the email several times I became more and more offended.  DH advised me to wait a few days to respond, this way it would soak in and I could give a not so heated response.  When I did respond it was short and to the point.  I was curious if anyone else had gotten emails like this.  After I responded I asked Marna, founder of Parents via Egg Donation(PVED), if she had ever gotten emails like this.  She told me ALL the time!

What I have learned from this experience is always ask Marna.  Seriously, she has been so helpful to me as a Mother and in my blogging world.  Once I found PVED I started understand egg donation more and how my choice will affect Ant.  I know I want to be an advocate but I don't want to be "eggploited."


  1. That letter offends me too, it definitely sounds like a Jerry Springer show! Thanks for the link to Marna.

    MyTTCstory x

  2. Since the person used "their" instead of "there," I'd doubt that it's even a real TV show. THEIR public relations employees should know what goes HERE and THERE. Sheesh.

  3. Can you please elaborate on your feelings about this topic? I am considering DE and have been researching as much as possible. I have come across many stories of children conceived via donor sperm or egg, and many of them seem really upset about this and are seeking out information about the donors. I believe that my children should know about how they were conceived, but I do worry that they will be unhappy and possibly resent the whole process unless they can find the egg donor. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

  4. clearly they also don't know the right use of the word "there"... in the sentence "Are their databases?" should be "Are THERE databases?" DUH! Anyone who doesn't know how to use the right spelling of the word doesn't deserve a response.... Thanks for sharing the PVED site too. i am just beginning my first DE IVF cycle and we are thrilled, but scared of course.

  5. Eggploited...like that term! Ya...stay away from that one. There was a recent documentary show up here in Canada aired in January and they purposely recruited a looney toon alongside a very "normal" DE mamma and the show was a complete train wreck. The "normal" DE momma (who I know), her story was almost twisted to make the story look as looney toon as the other. I was HIGHLY offended. So just say no...

    And the whole "bio mother"...that angers me even more that these ppl are clueless.

  6. Ugh! I would love to hear how you responded to this one--you're right, there's so much wrong there!

    Since I'm pregnant via DE myself right now, I've been very much enjoying your blog. So here, have a blog award: http://writebaby.blogspot.com/2011/07/big-thank-you-to-kelly-versatile.html :)

  7. I have to agree with everyone here. I'm sure this is a Jerry Springer type show, unfortunately. This person, and I'm quite sure everyone, involved with this "program" is clueless. I believe that it will be like this for several years, until DE becomes more well known. It's still like science fiction to most people. With all the children being born from DE though, I think it will become more known and accepted as a good thing. Until then, I think that getting the word out about this wonderful option of DE is best left to the Mommy bloggers like you and legitimate news sources. Thank you for writing about your experiences - it goes a long way in seeing that a child conceived via DE is like any other child-- an unconditionally loved human being- just like a child conceived the traditional way, via IUI or IVF, via surrogate, or via adoption. Thanks again! We moms of DE conceived children need an intelligent, thoughtful and loving advocate on our side!

  8. I get letters like the one you got all the time myself because I actually help reunite separated families for free. I also worry about exploiting the people I help and actually turned down ABC's find my family a few years ago.

    I am curious about a comment above and why the term biological mother is offensive? Women don't become mothers until their children are born, before that they are expectant mothers. So the woman with the biological relationship to the born individual is the biological mother. She reproduced her cells in the body of her offspring. The woman that carries the pregnancy is super important of course she provides the venue a safe place for the fetus to develop but there is no biological connection to the child that is born. The ASRM refers to the woman who donates the egg as the biological mother same as the man whose sperm fertilizes her egg. The ASRM says the woman that carries the pregnancy is the birth mother of record.

    Anyway the reunions are hard to facilitate but very worthwhile. Imagine how relieved their whole family is to finally find kids they'd thought they'd lost forever.

    The road ahead is hard for people that raise donor offspring because even when your really open and honest and even when you are willing to help them search for their family there is a lot of internal pressure not to let the people raising them know. They are reminded that the people raising them don't thing that their family is real because they were not raised by them and its only genetics. When they do talk about searching with them it is in terms like "your genetic history" not the people the genes came from their mother their grandparents etc. Try to remember that they have a whole other family that they belong to in addition to the one they are raised in. They need to feel like you accept them for who they are and part of that is letting them know that its OK for them to want to be part of their own family in addition to yours. Nature and Nurture right? Medically they are every bit as important to their relatives as their relatives are to them.

    It is more than open and honest to make a good relationship with an egg donor's offspring it's language too. Check out Gen D-Mom she's got a good blog on raising an egg donor's offspring she's got a good attitude. She's well respected in the community of donor offspring rights advocates. That is super rare. The children of some of these organization for people raising egg or sperm donor offspring write me behind their backs its hard on them to have to put their own family so far on the back burner that they are not even allowed to think or speak of them in family terms mother father sister brother aunt uncle grandparents. Medically that is exactly what they are if not socially.