Almost everyone who has considered using an egg donor has had the thought: “Sure, I know I’d be the child’s mother. I will raise them and love them. But what if they don’t think of me as their real mother?”
Even if we logically know that motherhood has much more to do with raising a child than it does with providing an egg, the fear of whether or not your child will see you as their mother can be very real.
Let’s have a quick look at the facts and help put your mind at ease.
Epigenetics: the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alternation of the genetic code itself.
If you’re concerned that your biology will have zero effect on your child, let’s look at epigenetics, which is the science of how biological traits are influenced in accordance with one’s DNA.
It works like this: Your child has many types of genes whose protein expressions may be able to be turned up or down, like a light dimmer. And the choices you make while your child is in-utero can affect how those genes are switched on or off.
Which means that while your biological DNA is not passed directly to your child, the environment of your body does affect your child in utero.
Mother: something or someone that gives rise to or exercises protecting care over something else.
We believe that any definition of being a mother that excludes the raising of a child is incomplete. Motherhood means protection, the teaching of values, self-care, and responsibility—so many things in which an egg donor does not take part. If the intended parent carries the baby, she would be the biological mother, since she is nurturing the embryo and giving birth.
And while we understand the fear of one day your child deciding that you aren’t their mother, we find that these fears are usually unfounded.
In fact, there is more reason to believe the opposite: that your child, after years of being raised by you, will always regard you as their mother. You will have raised them. You will have taught them their values. You will have helped them see their self-worth.
One last point: We love our egg donors, but we do not recognize them as the true mothers. And neither do they. Every one of our donors knows that they are providing a cell; they know they are not providing motherhood.
That’s your job now. ❤️