Surrogacy can be a scary enough concept for hopeful intended parents — but, if you are in need of a sperm or egg donation to complete your surrogacy, you may be even more nervous about the path ahead. Raising a child born from surrogacy comes with its own unique challenges, and raising a child born from a gamete donation is no different.
Fortunately, there are many resources available to you if you are considering surrogacy with a donated gamete. Many intended parents have been in your situation, and they are successfully raising children born from a donated gamete in a healthy and positive way. You can, too.
Know that the surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy can always discuss this situation in more detail with you. We can answer all your questions about surrogacy and donated gametes, as well as help you move forward with the process whenever you are ready. To learn more today, please contact our agency at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).
In the meantime, we’ve gathered a few things that every intended parent should know if they are considering surrogacy with a donated gamete.
1. Identified gamete donors promote positive self-identity in children.
One of the first decisions that intended parents considering surrogacy with a donated gamete have to make is whether to use an anonymous or identified donor. Many fertility specialists and surrogacy professionals encourage the use of an identified donor — for many reasons.
Choosing an anonymous sperm or egg donor may seem like the easiest way to go about this process, but intended parents need to consider their child’s future well-being. What will happen when their child has questions as they grow up? How will they answer them? What happens if a medical emergency occurs, and a child does not have their full updated medical history?
If you choose an identified donor, you will have access to medical history and more. An identified donor is always available for contact and information if necessary, as well as to provide answers to your child that you may not have as they develop their identity.
2. You should not keep the gamete donation a secret.
Even if you choose a sperm or egg donor who looks similar to your family, gamete donation should not be a secret. Your child deserves the right to know their full history. Imagine a day where your child might develop a dangerous genetic disease; if they are operating under false assumptions about their genetic heritage, their life could be in danger.
This isn’t even to mention the situations in which children find out about their gamete donor later in life. It can severely impact a child’s self-identity to feel betrayed or lied to by their parents. They will have created a self-identity that may be based on completely false information. Being honest about a sperm or egg donation from the beginning is much more preferable than this circumstance, which can destroy relationships between children and parents.
3. Your child will have questions — and this is completely normal.
Even if you make your child’s surrogacy and gamete donation story an open topic of conversation as they grow up, your child will always have questions. You may not be able to answer all of them. A child goes through normal phases of interest and disinterest about their history as they grow up; it’s all a part of developing their self-identity. Therefore, intended parents need to be ready for the day that these questions about a sperm or egg donor come.
If a child starts asking about their genetic history, it is not a sign that they are looking for their “real parents.” In fact, that’s not it at all. If you have been open and respectful with your child about their genetic history, they will continue to respect and love you. Questions about background are normal for anyone to have; in the case of donor-conceived children, they just have to go to someone else to find the answers. Don’t ever take it as a sign that you aren’t “enough” of a parent for your child.
4. The Donor Sibling Registry can be an invaluable tool.
As your child learns more about their genetic history, they may have questions about extended biological family members. Remember: Your child finding their biological family is not a bad thing. If anything, it’s a positive to gain more family members!
To aid your child in your future search, you could choose to sign your child up in the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) as soon as they are born. That way, your child and your child’s half-siblings and genetic relatives can contact each other to share personal relationships and provide up-to-date family medical information. Signing your child up for this registry in advance will show them your commitment and respect for their personal surrogacy and donor-conceived story.
5. Gamete donation is a lifelong journey for parents and their children.
Finally, keep this in mind if you are considering surrogacy with a donor gamete: Many forms of assisted reproductive technology are a lifelong journey, and surrogacy and gamete donation are no different. While you may think your journey in these processes will be over once your child is born, you will need to make these topics an open conversation and a source of pride as long as your child lives. Respect any decisions they make to seek out biological relatives and support them in that journey. Answer any questions they have and help them find any you can’t answer. You will always be your child’s parent; it will be up to you what kind of parent you choose to be for them.
To learn more about surrogacy with a donated gamete, please contact American Surrogacy today.