One of the hardest aspects of egg donation for some intended parents to come to grips with what it means to replace one’s own genetics in some instances. While often the sperm source is that of the intended father, if a couple is using a donor, then usually the intended mother’s eggs are being replaced.
While that’s true, we’re here to ease some of the heartaches. If you find yourself asking, can my baby look like me if I use donor eggs, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone in your anxieties.
Every parent wants their child to resemble them or their partner. That’s part of the fun of having a baby — deciding who they look like. But it’s certainly not the most important part of having a baby.
Let’s take a look at exactly how egg donation works, whose genes are used, and why in the end it’s not the biological make-up of the baby that matters.
Tell Us More About The Basics of Egg Donation
To fully understand egg donation, let’s start with the basics. To make a baby, both sperm and an egg need to be present.
WIth male same-sex couples, the egg is absent. This makes it imperative for them to find an egg donor. In most same-sex couples, the eggs from the donor will be fertilized with sperm from each partner. This allows the possibility of each partner having a biological child.
For a male and female couple facing infertility, there are many different reasons why they may end up choosing egg donation. The woman will either be too old or have some condition that makes it impossible to use her eggs. In this case, the husband’s sperm will be used to fertilize a donor egg.
The intended mother can then have the embryo implanted into her uterus, and she can carry the baby to full term.
How Can You Find the Right Egg Donor
After a couple has decided to use an egg donor, there are a few options for finding the right donor.
Going through an agency
The first option is going through an agency. Egg donor agencies have databases that will show what egg donors are available. The egg donors have initial interviews and tests and have proven to be healthy and ready for egg donation.
Intended parents are allowed access to the database and can read the profiles of all the egg donors. From here, they can choose the woman they would like to use as their egg donor.
Some things that intended parents look for in an egg donor include:
Similar physical traits
If a mother can’t use her eggs, a couple may decide to use a donor who looks similar to the mother. If the mother was hoping to pass on her gorgeous red hair or beautiful wide smile, they could find a donor who shares those traits.
If a couple has interests or talents that are important to their family unit, they may want to find a donor who shares those interests. One of the best pieces of advice we give our intended parents is to find a donor who they feel a connection with and would maybe even want to spend time with.
Finding the right donor can take some time. Please don’t rush into it and wait until you feel right about your decision.
Many people want to find donors with a specific educational background. That’s okay! We understand why. There are many studies and a lot of research being done about intelligence being passed on to a child or not. It’s important to remember that a large part of who these children become and which schools they go to will lie in how you raise them.
Using a Family Member
Another option for egg donors is to use a family member. While this is a possibility, we don’t recommend our clients going this route. It’s true that by using a family member, such as a sister or aunt, the child would be genetically connected. But here are a few reasons why we don’t suggest using a family member:
Donors through agencies have extensive medical and psychological testing
We establish tight legal contracts that protect the rights of everyone involved
Parents can decide how involved the donor is in the child’s life
Agencies offer genetic testing for all of their clients
What Are Ways for Bonding with Your Baby
Many parents worry about bonding with their babies after they’re born. If an egg donor and surrogate is used, some parents think that a bond can’t be formed. We’re here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth.
Here are some ways that any parent can bond with their baby:
Communications through soothing tones and eye contact
Carrying your baby in a sling
Smiling and singing to your baby
Reading to your baby
Remember to Consider Love Over Looks
We understand that intended parents who choose egg donation face an array of emotions. You may feel sad or disappointed that your baby won’t look like you, but a more important question is, will you love your baby? And the answer is a resounding yes.
At the end of the day, you will love and care for your baby, and your baby will love you back. And that’s all that matters.