If you are facing fertility issues and want to become a parent, you are likely considering various options, including adoption and egg donation. Both options offer the pleasures of being a parent as well as some unique responsibilities. Hopeful parents tend to focus on the short-term aspects of this decision, such as cost and timing. However, there are longer-term options to consider, including how the decision will affect your family over time. In both adoption and egg donation, it’s not just about achieving parenthood; it’s also about building a family, and understanding how each option will affect your family will help you make the best decision for your individual situation.
Infertility can be traumatic, and it can at times affect your ability to think and make clear-headed decisions. It’s important to deal with these feelings as both adoption and egg donation – although they potentially relieve childlessness – are not a cure for infertility. Grieving helps to face the pain of being unable to have a child on your own and move on to accepting the potential of becoming a parent through different means.
One way in which adoption and egg donation differ is in the aspect of the biologic relationship. With adoption, neither parent has a genetic correlation with the child, where with egg donation, one parent does. This asymmetry can create various feelings such as one parent feeling “left out,” or the genetic parent feeling more “entitled”. If you choose to adopt, there is the potential of slightly different issues, such as the child having no genetic ties to the family, or the fertile parent having feelings of loss over “losing” their chance to conceive a biological child. The infertile parent may also experience guilt over depriving the fertile parent of having a genetic child.
With both adoption and egg donation, there are also a variety of ethical issues to consider. For some parents, the innovation and anonymity of egg donation will be appealing. For others, the more established and structured system of adoption may be more attractive. With either choice, you’ll have to decide when, and how, to explain to your child the process that allowed them to become a loved member of your family. Remember that the choice you make now will be the subject of many discussions with your child as he or she grows up.
There are no right or wrong answers; just various factors to consider, and the highly personal choice to make of which option you and your partner believe to be the right one for your family.
For more information on the egg donation process and our success stories, click here.