Last night on Offspring there were lots of chats about babies, as usual, but the big kahuna of baby chats came up when Billie asked her sister Nina why she never offered her an egg when she was struggling to conceive. It was a heartbreaking convo for both of them, Billie was hurt and Nina didn’t know what to say or do.
I’ve had this conversation a lot after last night’s episode and if I’m completely honest I don’t think I could donate an egg to anyone. It’s such a fraught question and we have heaps of differing opinions on the topic here at Show + Tell. There are so many variables, would you only donate to a sister or would you consider a friend? Would you need to already have your own kids? Would that child be in your life? What would your relationship be with that child?
I don’t have a sister but I have known my best friend Erin for more than 20 years and she is the closest thing I have to a sister (we even have matching tatts, don’t judge). If she couldn’t have babies and really wanted too I would be completely devastated, but in my heart of hearts I know I couldn’t give her an egg. I don’t think I would ever be able to watch her raise a child that I knew was biologically mine. I don’t think I would ever let go of the fact that it was ‘my’ child.
I do, however, think I would be able to act as a surrogate to Erin if it was biologically her child. To carry someone else’s child feels like a completely different ball game to me, like they are just borrowing your uterus for a while…whereas handing over an egg feels like a forever deal. Luckily, Erin already has two kids so both these questions are off the table. Phew.
In the US women can be paid for donating eggs, usually around $5-10k and many women have gone through the procedure to be able to fund college or travel. It’s a much more invasive procedure than sperm donation and carries the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), where the ovaries swell too much and fluid leaks into other internal organs. In Australia, it is illegal to be paid to donate eggs so the process usually involves someone donating to a woman close to them. Egg donation to strangers is quite rare.
It’s such a full on decision and I don’t think there are any right or wrong answers here, but I could never imagine handing over my eggs to another person to raise my biological child. I wonder what Nina is going to do?
Would you donate your eggs to a sister of friend?