Family members as donors
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9/24/2011 1:18 PM
Hi Kitty,

I am not in your shoes, we're in the middle of our 2nd IVF cycle and am in the midst of a 2ww. However, I couldn't help but want to respond to your message. I think what your sister is offering is an amazing gift. I understand the logistical worries, but I think if you just lay it all out there, give her all the info she needs to be able to make an informed decision. Best of luck with your decision.

3/24/2011 1:52 AM
Hi All!

I am new to this forum, and its comforting to know I'm not alone. Back before we tried IVF, my first doctor had given us an 8% chance of a successful pregnancy, mentioned PGD (out of the blue), egg donor & adoption. After giving my family the low-down, my baby sister (9 1/2 years younger and newly engaged, second marriage, no children) offered up an egg. I said thank you and let it drop hoping we would be successful with IVF. I switched doctors, started the process and after stim only had one egg. We chose to do IUI instead of "wasting" it. It did not take (I was surprised since "getting" pregnant wasn't really my problem). They said we could try again the next month. I went in and my FSH was through the roof. So, you know the story. "Tired" eggs, probably for awhile now. I'm 41 and was only married 2 1/2 years ago (first marriage for us both).

Faced with this horrible news (only last week), I broke the news to the family and my sister offered again.

Now that I know what is involved with the "donor" side, I'm terrified to talk to her. I'm afraid that she'll change her mind when she finds out what is involved (plus taking time off work to commute here to the doctor, who is out of town for me too). Am I being silly? This past week has been such an emotional roller coaster for me-I can't even think. Does anyone know anyone who has had a sister donate? Did it get weird? It seems encouraging on the "pro" side that we share the same genes and we look a lot alike despite the age difference. We know what we're getting.

Anyway, thanks for "listening."

4/8/2009 1:57 PM
Since I'm in an "unexplained infertility" category, we're still trying w/no results. I have a cousin who is about 26. We're not really close, but see each other about 1-2x/year.

Anyone have any ideas of how I might "approach" her to see if she'd be willing to be an egg donor?

2/23/2009 2:31 PM
Hi Ims,

Glad that you are thinking about all possible pros and cons. What should normally be considered fantastic news (the offer of donated embryos), can also be viewed as worrisome. I still feel good about it for you, though.

I'm glad that everyone is considering all possible ramifications. That's really the only way to make sure everyone is on board and no one gets hurt.

One good thing about them being out-of-state is that you wouldn't have to interact with them on a regular basis. I hope that doesn't sound weird or selfish, but the distance could be beneficial.

And, let's not forget your current cycle. Good luck and I hope you get lots of eggs!

As for me, I just went and did my Beta this morning. My husband and I will listen to my clinic voicemail when he gets home tonight.

2/21/2009 12:54 PM
Thanks for the input. My first inclination is same as yours...YES! The pros and cons you raised are exactly what we have been discussing with the donors. Hubby's sister-in-law is actually the one who made the offer to us and came up with the idea on their end. Both say they are totally on board with the idea as we have had many discussions about it with them. We have done group and individual calls with each so everyone can be open and honest about their feelings. The big issue right now is telling the children (assuming we do get children out of this) when and how much. Hubby's brother is on board with this and his wife is still thinking about the topic.
I agree with what you said about extended family and grandparents. We all want to eventually tell the grandparents but are still deciding on the right time.
Counseling is the next option for all of us which will be somewhat difficult since they live out of state but all parties are willing to do it so we can make a decision that no one will regret later.

Thanks for the insight...I appreciate your thoughts.

Best of luck to you with your 2ww. I am currently doing the 2x daily injections and go in on Monday to see how many follicles are forming this time. Past history for me has been not enough to proceed. I will keep thinking happy thoughts for both of us this weekend!

2/18/2009 1:41 PM

Although I've not had an offer like that, my first inclination would be to take it! I feel so desperate. I'm actually in the middle of my 2ww and still feel desperate. If the "Octu-Mom" (Nadya Suleman) gave me one of her's I'd take it! I'd take two!

Okay, desperation and humor aside, I guess let's look at the pros and cons:

- You get another chance at a baby fairly immediately
- Cost savings vs. doing another cycle from scratch
- You get a baby related to the family through half its genes
- You have health history for half your baby's genes
- Proven track record with those embryos (sort of) in that last time, they produced live babies

- There could be weirdness with family members (i.e. in-laws get freaked out, specifically their mother)
- You and/or your husband get weird about it
- Brother-in-Law suffers from guilt
- Child has problems adjusting after learning this

If I try to put myself in your shoes, I would personally do it. I also don't think I would be weird about it, but I would worry more about the other side. Say, for instance, if my younger sister-in-law gave me some eggs, I would have no trouble calling that baby MY baby. But I would wonder about her. How would she deal with it? Would she suffer from regret later? Would she interfere with it's upbringing, or make inappropriate comments? I know these are worst-case scenarios, but it could happen.

One good thing for you is that it's a man that is doing the "donating." My personal opinion is that it's a bigger deal to be an egg donor than a sperm donor. Men give out sperm all the time (sex, sperm donation, etc)! It's sort of no big thing to them...I think. So my bet, your brother-in-law could deal with it just fine. What about his wife? Who made the initial offer? Is one just going along to please the other or because they feel guilty about your situation?

Still, I would go for it.

I would probably have all parties, including all grandparents, do some type of counseling with someone who specializes in this. Things could surface.

We did counseling for egg donation and I received some valuable articles such as whether to tell your child, how to tell your child, whether to tell other family members, etc.

The only other thing that strikes me is that I probably wouldn't want to tell the entire extended family. If it were me, I think just the immediate parties, plus the grandparents. Forget aunts, cousins, etc. I wouldn't want someone's (negative) opinion. It is a hard enough thing being childless.

Hope this gives you some things to think about.

2/17/2009 2:31 PM
Hubby and I have received a very generous offer from family members on hubby's side and I am looking for thoughts, opinions and things to consider. They are offering to donate leftover frozen embryos to us for transfer. Embryos were created from anonymous egg donor and hubby's brother's sperm. Embryos resulted in twin pregnancy for them 4 years ago which means our children would be biologically brother/sister to their children. As you can imagine, this option opens an entirely new can of worms that requires considerable thought and balance.

I welcome any thoughts as we have exhausted all other attempts at getting pregnant. Our issue is with hubby's sperm (which can be used for IVF with ICSI only) and attempts at IVF have failed due to poor response to medications. I am 38, he is 34.
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