There’s a certain beauty that comes with trying to start a family—no matter what method you use to do so. Unfortunately, there can be significant misinformation or miseducation surrounding fertility treatments. This lack of understanding can cause harsh opinions and heartbreaking knee-jerk reactions.
When hopeful parents choose to use egg donation to help them have a baby, they often feel concerned about how their family and friends will react to the news.
This fear can confuse individuals about whether they should be open about their decision to use donor eggs or keep the truth to themselves.
While keeping your choice secret can seem like the easiest option, it’s not always the most emotionally healthy one.
At Donor Egg Bank USA, we take pride in assisting our families in every step of their infertility journey. This includes offering suggestions on how to handle deciding between disclosing and not disclosing that you’ve used donor eggs to conceive.
Before you make a concrete choice, it’s important to examine your options and decide how you’ll confront potential situations and questions.
When you choose to use donor eggs to conceive, there’s no rule stating you must share the news. If you’re worried you could be facing unwelcome criticism for your choice, it could be more beneficial to stay quiet about how you became pregnant.
However, it’s important to consider that particular situations might come up when the truth will come out. Medical conditions, for example, will require transparency.
You and your partner should discuss whether honesty from the get-go will avoid issues later. If you decide to be open about your choice to use egg donation, you’ll need to determine how to broach the subject and deal with any criticism you receive along the way.
When an individual or couple decides to open up about their decision to use an egg donor, questions are nearly unavoidable. The next decision involves determining which aspects of your experience you feel comfortable broaching with friends and family.
While you may or may not feel good talking about all the minor details of your donor egg journey, you may not mind offering a small glimpse into the process.
Regardless of how much or how little you decide to share, it’s crucial to go into any conversation about your conception journey with a clear vision of what you’d like to say and what you’re willing to explain.
When a friend or family member finds out you’re using donor eggs, they’re bound to be curious about what led you to the decision.
It’s also not unusual for these loved ones to try and help you with “alternative solutions.”
You might hear comments and questions like:
While questions like these are typically well-intended, they can feel critical, invasive, and even heartbreaking.
Rather than risk being caught off guard, why not consider these statements ahead of time? Think about whether your friends and family might ask questions like these and decide how you feel comfortable responding.
For example, in answering the adoption question, you may want to relay to them how expensive and emotional that process can be. You can also express the devastation you would feel if you bond with a baby and things end up not working out.
If loved ones are concerned about the role an egg donor will play in your lives, perhaps you could talk about the contracts egg donors have to sign before donating.
There are a million different ways you can approach topics like these. The most important part is to choose responses that feel right to you and your partner.
Whether you’ve opted not to discuss your choice to use donor eggs or you’re staying mum until you get further into the process, there are bound to be curious individuals who press you for more information.
If someone in your life is riddling your conversations with questions and remarks about your infertility journey, you’ll need to quickly learn how to change the subject or stop the discussion in its tracks.
However, sometimes the right words just won’t come. If you’re stumped for ideas about what to say, why not consider one of these options?
If you flat out don’t want to discuss the topic at all, don’t be afraid to advocate for your decision. There’s nothing wrong with simply stating it’s a very personal decision that you’re choosing not to share with anyone else.
Whether you choose to be open about your donor egg journey or not, it’s always helpful to have additional support.
For instance, you might be struggling with a family member who won’t accept your decision, or you could be anxious to speak with someone who hasn’t been in your shoes. In situations like these, it can be helpful to have a community of individuals who understand.
While it can be simpler to keep the truth of your child’s conception from outside family and friends, it becomes more challenging when you’re talking about keeping it from your child.
These sorts of situations almost always come out, so why not get ahead of the discussion? Your child may be upset with you later in life if the truth is revealed by an ancestry DNA test or other innocuous event and they discover you’ve been withholding facts all of his or her life.
There’s also the matter of explaining things to them for health reasons. Later in life, your child will need to know the truth about their medical history and any potential risk factors they need to be concerned about.
Suffice it to say - revealing your choice to use an egg donor to your child is a conversation that should occur at the “right” time.
Unfortunately, there’s no rule for knowing when that time is. Just be sure to consider your little one's age and think about whether they’re emotionally and mentally prepared to receive the information.
Kids are unique, so for every family, this decision can come at different times. Simply ponder your particular circumstances and go from there.
Infertility is a challenging journey for so many different reasons. If you choose to use donor eggs to have a child, deciding whether to share this truth is just one more tough call you’ll have to make along the way.
Just remember there’s no right or wrong answer.
Do what feels right for you and your family, and no matter what path you decide to take, have faith in your own choices. All that matters at the end of the day is that you were strong enough to take the risks needed to make it happen.
At Donor Egg Bank USA, we believe any individual who dreams of becoming a parent has the right to do so. Our team will work diligently to see you through the process and help you through all the hard times—including the choice about whether to be open about the experience or not.