Thursday, July 27, 2006

In the past few months, I have read a lot of blogs and articles about the donation process. The one question that seems to be on most people's minds is, "Who would do something like this and why?" It is unconventional and controversial, the jury is still out on this one. But here is my take on it: "Why not?" The mix of reactions that I have seen and experience with just the mere mentioning of this topic was pretty shocking. I always thought that we, Americans, were pretty open to things. But it seems just the reverse. Everything, no matter what good may result, is often seen as taboo.

It doesn't hurt anyone and both parties benefit from it. Those that use donor eggs are turning to it as a last resort, not as a way to genetically engineer a super baby. Those that donate (like myself) see how it can help someone as well as themselves. Two birds with one stone kind of thing. The money that the donor receives can be used for anything--I would hope that most people would use it for something good, instead of blowing it all on designer clothes or a fancy car. In my case, I would like to use the money to pay off my student loans send some overseas to support my family.

So who am I? Well, I would like to think of myself as just another woman, trying to make it in the world. I am in my mid-twenties, Asian, college and graduate school educated, average person. I do work full-time, doing my "real" job, donation money is actually an after thought. I don't live to do it, nor do I plan on doing it forever. It is not a means to an end for me. It strikes me as very funny when I read some of the mispreceptions of egg donors. One that was pretty consistent was that you had to be 5'10, blonde, super model, with Einstein IQ. I am far from blonde and far from super model. I am tall for an Asian female and I believe I am easy on the eyes, so those are pluses for me. But most couples, from what I understand, are not looking for the next great engineer, they are looking for someone that looks like them--or at least, has the best chance to look like them. Yes, intelligence does matter to some, I have taken an IQ test for one couple, and yes, I did score really high...But that is probably true for most people that continue on beyond the four years of college.

Being taller, prettier, smarter doesn't guarantee that your eggs are any better or worse than someone else's. But one thing I did notice is that there is a shortage of "ethnic" donors. Meaning those that are not Caucasians. I hear it is because other cultures, like those in Asian cultures, donation is not viewed in a positive light. This is probably true. I donated blood in high school. I never saw anything wrong in it and always hoped that one day someone would do the same for me. If years down the road, when we are ready for a family and we can't, I would hope that there is some young woman out there that is willing to help us.

I view egg donations in the same way. The possible child that may result will never be "my child". It's parents will be those that raised and loved them. The people who were there the first time they took their first steps. They will be the people unable to sleep because the child has a cold. And their parents are the ones that will be there, taking their pictures the day they go off to their Senior prom, to college. It will never be me. In the same since, I would never ask that the person that received my blood to give it back later in life when I have leukemia.

Enough about me for now.

The papers have been drawn. An agreement has been signed. The journey is beginning.