Grooooooooow babies!!

How 2 men + 2 women - sex + science = 2 babies!!

This is the funny, heart-warming, tearful, inspiring, and shocking truth about my journey to have a child.

How a man, another man, a woman, another woman, a couple lawyers, a few doctors, a psychologist, a couple social workers and some agencies make a baby.

Monday, May 31, 2010


Paperwork sent to set up escrow account: check

Contract signed with egg donation agency: check

Learned the definition of consanguinity: check

Spit into a...

Wait. Consang-what???

Yep. There's a term for you linguists out there. Consanguinity has to do with the mixing of DNA (blood) from people who are biologically related. There must be a way to prevent my future child from possibly marrying my egg donor's future child. And, since we don't know each others' names, how many children I might have, how many children she might have, etc. we have to figure out a way to know about each other without knowing about each other.

Lawyers are pretty smart. When we sign our contract we can't sign our names. I am "Intended Father Y" and she is "Egg Donor Z" and we literally sign our contracts that way. My lawyer then keeps a paper saying that "Intended Father Y" really stands for my name and her lawyer keeps a signed paper from the egg donor stating she is "Egg Donor Z." Pretty tricky! That keeps thinks anonymous. The one piece of information we learn about each other is I get her birthday and she gets mine. It didn't make sense to me at first. Why doesn't she get my child's birth date? Well, apparently some egg donors go to, for example, Northwestern Hospital to donate their eggs so it is assumed (not always correctly) that the baby will then be born at Northwestern. If the egg donor did a little research she may find that only 5 babies were born at Northwestern Hospital on a particular day and it would be tempting and relatively easy to breach confidentiality. So we only know each others' birthdays. So when my little Mikey grows up and meets little Michelle and they want to fall in love, I can find out if my son's future mother-in-law was born on July 14th, 1982 or whatever particular date I get from the agency. If she has that birthday we may want to make sure Mikey and Michelle aren't half-siblings. But is that's not her birthday Mikey and Michelle can get married and live happily ever after and not have babies with three heads and one arm.

The egg donor contract is pretty standard. There are only three points to discuss right now. I have the option to do three things with the embryos I make: keep them, throw them away/donate to science, or give them to another person/couple. The egg donor has the right to veto my third option. I highly doubt I'll give them away to someone else. If she vetoes that option I will understand. We also have to work out a little bit of compensation since she will be traveling in from out of town so I have to put her up in a hotel and give her per diem. No biggie. The last issue might get sticky.

There is something called the Donor Sibling Registry. It's a website that basically allows anonymous donors to contact their children. It also allows half siblings (if my egg donor donates again my child will have a half-sibling) to contact each other. It's a long and complicated explanation as to how this all happens and there's no guarantee it will happen. But I like the idea that years from now there is the teeny, tiny, possibility that my child might have some contact with the egg donor.

Over the last week or two I've thought about this a lot. If the donor says she's not interested in doing this, I'm ok with it. At first I didn't like the idea of having absolutely no chance of any sort of contact. But I've also slowly but surely come to realize that an egg donor is not a mother. An egg donor is not a part of my child's life. An egg donor is simply an more no less. And I also get that this woman might be 45 years old with her own family and job and life and having someone new pop up after 18 years is a potentially tumultuous situation.

I do hope the egg donor is open to being on the registry. But if she's not, my child and I will be fine without that option. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Interesting that she can veto a decision to donate the embryos to another couple, but not to science. I would think people would be more likely to have strong feelings about the donating to science, but then, if you are strongly against that, you probably aren't going to donate your eggs.

    Oh, and as soon as I read the word consanguinity, I was afraid you were going to say that you lost the egg donor because she turns out to be your cousin or something. Never occurred to me to worry about the kid's future in-laws.

  2. The reason I can't give the eggs to someone else is because then the egg donor might have another child out in the world that she never agreed to have. And she might not know about this child and then there are consanguinity issues. (I think my goal will be to use that word once a week. And it'll have to be in the movie several times too!)

  3. One of my favorite words. Best of luck.
    Sara Axel