“Don’t you understand? Every time I stare into her eyes I see a part of you.”
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.
I have compiled a list of things that you may want to consider when reviewing your egg donor agreement. This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list. Depending on the specific terms of your agreement there may be other things you may want to consider. There is no substitute for having your own legal representation!
This interview is about stigma, being queer, and navigating a heteronormative medical landscape. While egg donation is presented as a simple clinical procedure, there is a lot of room for reducing stigma and acknowledging a fuller scope of, you know, how people actually feel about it. To some of us, our narratives are more complex than “wham, bam, thank you for your huevos, good job, here’s a check, you’ll be fine, good bye.”
Tax law will soon be clearer on how compensation from our egg donations will be treated for tax purposes in the United States. Throughout these last few months, We Are Egg Donors has fielded dozens of emails from U.S. donors regarding the appeal process. Our Forum has been a-buzz with donors discussing how they were advised by their individual accountants. Soon, the mystery surrounding unwelcome 1099s will be clarified, if not disappear.