April 04, 2007

Well-Known Writer Ends Quest for an Egg Donor

Dani Shapiro, an articulate and well-known writer and journalist, wrote an excellent article in Elle magazine in February about her experiences with searching for an egg donor. Her account is brilliantly insightful and honest.

Dani's article sheds a lot of insight into the consumerist mentality of those who search for egg donors. She writes shamelessly: "I became aware that I never would have chosen myself as a donor." She also reveals how egg donors are marketed like prized horses.

Dani also writes about her feelings of jealousy and being cheated on as her husband's sperm fertilized the eggs of another woman:
"At the very moment we sipped our drinks, Carly's eggs were in a petri dish being fertilized by my husband's sperm. I felt jealous, as if she were the other woman in our marriage. Michael's genetic material - his DNA - was cheating on me with the DNA of this blond, blue-eyed UCLA Law student. I imagined his millions of sperm swimming, tails wagging madly, toward her lovely, ripe eggs."
When the resulting embryos were being implanted into a surrogate mother, Dani felt similarly uncomfortable:
"Embryos that were half my beloved husband's. I felt nauseated as I accomapnied Sahakian into the room where Sandra was lying, her lower body covered by a white sheet, her feet in stirrups. All I wanted to do was shout, "No!" But I couldn't say a thing....I was acutely aware that I was watching something happen that I could never take back...."
As she pursued the goal of having a child through egg donation and surrogate gestation, it seems that Dani realized that the egg donor would indeed be the real mother of the resulting child. She also realized that to use donor eggs is, in a sense, to introduce infidelity (a third person) into the marriage forever - another person who will forever be the mother of her husband's child.

Dani ended her quest after the implantation of the embryos into a surrogate failed. She had realized too much about "the brave new world of assisted reproduction - a world, it must be said, that is many things, but normal is not one of them...The best - or perhaps the only - way to go through the process is to keep blinders on and run mainacally toward the finish line. Stop, and you may stop forever."

Highly reccommended! Read it here.


Possum said...

Hi Veronica,
Just got directed to your blog from MSP - a first mum.
Can't wait to read more - so far - I really like your work.
Possum. (Aussie adoptee)

Ungrateful Little Bastard said...

Hi, I'm Theresa an adoptee. I believe I read this blog a while back but lost the link. I'm glad I've found you again through MSP like Possum did.

Umbilicly Challenged said...

I wanted to thiank you. Thank you for being the voice of reason in this insane assisted repro world. Me, I just get told to be grateful that my parents wanted me so much that they paid good money to buy me. Maybe they will listen to you. I hope so.

But the real battle is that there is SO much money in playing God and SO much babylust out there, that all the harm done to the child will get covered up.