Arianna Berthiaume had never met another egg donor before, so she and her partner, professional photographer Mathew Bell, decided to document her experience through photographs. We invited Arianna to share her story.
A big thank you to We Are Egg Donors for educating me on the egg donation process and introducing me to some of the most incredible women. Without WAED, I likely would have given up on egg donation long ago and would not have found out about my condition until it was too late. After assessing the risks, I know egg donation is right choice for me, and WAED has played a huge role in helping me come to that conclusion.
“Females… Get paid for selling your healthy eggs!”
It got me thinking about all the egg donor ads I’ve seen over the years. You’ve probably seen them, too: They are flyers splashed about American college campuses; they’re peppered throughout the “Etc” jobs section of Craiglist; they’re all over the #EggDonation Instagram hashtag. These recruitment advertisements tend to promise the same thing: thousands and thousands of dollars.
But are egg donor ads accurate? This article investigates. We invited Hillary Alberta-Sherer, a PhD candidate at Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy, to take a close look at some egg donor ads from a feminist perspective.
Recently, we published this story about how things went south after a member donated her eggs to her aunt. Shortly after, this email popped into my inbox:
Hi, I just read the heartbreaking story posted on We Are Egg Donors about a woman donating eggs to her aunt and having it go so horribly! I really think that is awful.
I also donated to my aunt (my mother’s first cousin, to be technical). My experience was very different and has been very positive. If you have any interest in sharing another perspective on a similar situation, I’d be happy to share.
We are honored to share Carter’s story here.
Once she realized she couldn’t change my mind, her cheery, friendly demeanor quickly fell. She told me I would now be responsible for paying for all of the screenings, exams, etc. and would call me back with a number. Within minutes, she called me back requesting $3400 in ten days! Ok firstly, if I had an extra $3400 laying around I wouldn’t be trying to donate in the first place.
Recently, an Ivy League egg donor and We are Egg Donors member attended one of the much-buzzed-about egg freezing “parties” held by EggBanxx at the Harvard Club of New York City. (And by “parties,” I mean a loosely factual marketing event about commercial egg freezing — complete with free booze.) Here’s her trip report. This is the first installment of our Egg Freezing series.
When my body was pumped full of hormones to stimulate my ovarian follicles — matured for the purpose of giving another woman a chance to be a mother — part of me changed as well. For the first time in my life, I had a desire to be pregnant. I started to think about carrying a child and being a mother in a very different way. Dialogue began between my wife and I and our plans for future parenthood took a different path.
Recently, I made what some would call a “bold choice” by trying to find the families who received my donated eggs. I wrote an article titled “To the Parents Raising My Eggs,” which was meant to reach out to those families and hopefully encourage them to contact me.
When I stuck to my guns about my compensation, my agency said “We’re not in the business of trying to just take money from parents.” It was a subtle accusation, but I couldn’t shake the idea that that’s exactly the business they were in. My agency would be making a lot of money off my body from a couple who could afford to pay the fee.
JoLana Talbot donated eggs anonymously because she was not offered any other option. One thing we’ve learned since starting We Are Egg Donors is that this is a pretty common experience. What is uncommon about JoLana’s story is that she got the chance to connect with her ‘donor daughter,’ Brittan, 16 years after donating eggs. Even more unusual, JoLana and Brittan met in person for the very first time on Katie Couric’s daytime television show. The episode will air Wednesday, June 11 (find your local station here). JoLana filled us in on what it was like to meet a child produced from her donations. Check it out!
I spent years abusing cocaine and marijuana to deal with severe depression, anxiety, and anorexia. I spent a month in a psychiatric hospital ten years ago, and I still take prescription mood stabilizers twice a day. My family history includes ovarian cancer, schizophrenia, autism, substance use, and obesity. But last year I was struggling to make ends meet and support a household with a salary of $30,000 in New York City. So I lied my ass off to become an egg donor.
As a result of invisibility and stigma around egg donation, many egg donors struggle to find ways to talk about our experiences with people who are supportive and understanding. Sometimes even our loved ones are at a loss for words when we disclose that we are in the process of donating our eggs or that we have donated in the past. I asked a group of egg donors about some of the uncomfortable questions and comments they’ve received in conversations about donating. Based on their answers, here are some things to avoid saying when talking to an egg donor.
I decided to donate my eggs for the first time last year. Once I was matched with a set of parents, I told my employer, whose staff encouraged me to write about the experience. At first, I thought my experience would make for a lighthearted Sunday feature story, but as the donation process dragged on, the story changed into something very different.