Eight years ago, when I was a twenty-one year
old university student, I was on a study break at Robarts library when I saw a
curious notice; Egg Donor Wanted. Caucasian, University Educated, and
Bilingual- I had never really considered becoming an egg donor prior to that
moment in time.
I donated about twenty eggs, twenty were
harvested, and a number were implanted into the anonymous recipient. I found
out that they conceived a baby. During the eight months of negotiations,
doctors’ appointments, social worker meetings, and self-injecting hormones the
Federal government passed a legislation that made it illegal for a woman or man
to sell their eggs or sperm. This legal decision had great ramifications on my
experience as a donor since I went from being able to openly discuss
compensation with professionals to not being able to discuss it at all. A
certain, secret shame was then attached to my decision to donate. In exchange
for donating I was being paid large sums of money in secret. I felt silenced
Whenever I see little boys his age I wonder if
they might be him. He haunts me a
little bit. I have no regrets about becoming an egg donor but I have lots of
questions. Hatched came out of one
particularly curious notion: What if I try to have children but can’t? What if
I snap and try to kidnap the one child that I know is biologically linked to
me? What if?
Hatched is a fictional story but one inspired by a deeply personal connection.
It is an investigative piece that delves into complicated ethical and social
Broader Social Impact of Dialogue
you imagine that the fertility community has different sub groups; LGBT
parents, health workers, surrogates, infertile couples, sperm donors, children
born of sperm or egg donation or through IVF, and that as the technology
improves and the reach of IVF expands to serve more of the population (One in
every Six couples struggles with infertility) the more pull there is from
within the community to network between the sub-groups and to have all voices
count towards the general discussion and growth of the industry. However, due
to the illegal nature of selling one’s eggs the majority of egg donors remain
suspiciously quiet and the community as a result makes policy choices based on a
dearth of information.
hope that Hatched will serve as a
jumping off point to opening dialogue between egg donors and the rest of the
infertility community. I recently
attended a Law and Ethics conference hosted by the University of Toronto where
I spoke as an egg donor during a panel discussion on the Fertility Trade; I was
approached by many re-known legal professionals and academics after the event
who lauded me for coming forward and telling my story. If only there were more
donors that felt that they could come forward and discuss their experiences,
then perhaps the veil of secrecy could be lifted and these policy makers would
be able to make increasingly educated decisions about donations, ethical
ramifications and IVF.
have had an incredible response from the infertility community about the
necessity of Hatched as a jumping off
point for conversation. I am also an outspoken, de-facto representative of egg
donors in the eyes of the media and the infertility network. I believe that,
because of the nature of my blog and the media attention that Hatched has received, we should be able
to open some doors with networking and conversing through talkbacks and interviews.
Hatched will also
serve as a way to introduce the concept of egg donation and IVF to a younger
generation who might be warned and made aware of some of the possible social
and personal ramifications of infertility technology.