By Jennifer Lahl, CBC National Director
In 2006 approximately 17,000 artificial reproductive in vitro cycles were performed in the United States using donated eggs, and that number is on the rise. The majority of these cycles were performed using anonymous egg donors, who by contract sign away their right to know if their eggs went on to create a child, how many children were created from their eggs, or who the parents of their biological children are. Would be parents scour the internet and egg broker agencies like Our Fairy Godmother, looking for the best genetic material to create a child of their dreams. Certain desirable characteristics, such as being pretty, tall, or having high SAT scores, can fetch more money for the donor. If the donor’s eggs produce healthy children she has secured her position as the coveted proven egg donor who can donate again — often at even higher payments.
Sadly, egg donation puts an otherwise healthy young woman at risk for short and long-term harm. A new film, Eggsploitation, reveals the tragic real stories behind the egg donation side of the baby making business. Ill health, loss of fertility, stroke, and cancer and in some rare instances, death of the egg donor is the reality they face.
And what about the children created through anonymous egg donation? As these technologies are relatively new, the children are just now entering adulthood. It is clear that they long to know who their biological mother is, and to have access to important medical history information. Internet sites exist to help people created by egg and sperm donation to find their biological parents and half-siblings.
P.D. Eastman’s children’s book, Are You My Mother?, is about a baby bird hatched while his mother is away. The story is about the baby bird searching for his mother, all along meeting a dog, a cow and many more asking “Are you my mother?” Human beings long for a sense of belonging and family. Mothers and fathers matter. Children have a right to know who their mother is.
This article originally appeared in ToTheSource