Choosing a program of egg/sperm donation infertile couples often face with rather difficult emotional situations. For both men and women it can be difficult to accept the fact that their child will have a set of foreign genes. Nevertheless using donated eggs or sperm can be a wonderful choice for couples who have been down the difficult road of unsuccessful infertility treatment. Each situation often leaves couples with unfulfilled dreams, intense disappointment and feelings of grief, sadness, anger and exhaustion. Making the choice to use third party reproduction offers the possibility of being pregnant and having a child who has a genetic connection to one of its parents. As in any major life decision, there are issues and feelings to consider.
Choosing a donor is a very emotional process for many couples. Couples will want to discuss what characteristics and traits are most important to them in a donor and to understand their feelings about using a donor. Some couples are very focused on finding the perfect donor who looks most like the recipient. However, it is impossible to know how the combination of genes will express themselves in the child. Worries about being able to bond with the child usually occur at the beginning of this process. As a pregnancy progresses, worries about bonding usually diminish. However, feelings related to the loss of and longing for the genetic connection may recur at times. These are normal feelings and do not mean that you are not bonded with your child.
One of the most important and sometimes most difficult issues that couples confront is that of sharing their family building information with others and with their child. At first the information shared is about the pregnancy, but ultimately it is information about your child and your family. Obstetricians, pediatricians and close family members and friends are usually those with whom couples feel comfortable sharing this private information.
Whether to share this information with your child can be a source of anxiety for some couples. Some couples are fearful that if the child knew that donor gametes were used that it would harm and diminish the parent-child bond. Others want to protect the child from the pain this knowledge might cause them. It is important to weigh these fears against the burdens of keeping such an important secret. Sharing this information gives a loving and affirming message about your desire to have this child and your openness and resilience as a family.
There are many issues and feelings to explore in making the decision to use third party reproduction. Working through these issues and feelings will allow you to make an informed choice and pursue a new vision of building your family with greater ease. On the clinical end, psychologists are helping ART clients prepare for and handle parenthood when it comes. Encouraging clients to engage early on in stress reduction, support groups and couples counseling helps not only during treatment, but once a baby comes, note specialists.
Fears can be especially strong if a baby is the product of donor sperm, eggs or both, doctors add. In fact, it often takes time for couples unsuccessful with IVF to decide to use donor gametes.
For those who decide to take this route, experts help them to grieve the biologically, genetically shared child they had hoped for and to imagine and work through how they’ll feel once their child is born.
“People need to figure out how they’ll react when people say things like, ‘Whose eyes does this child have?'” doctor says.
In any case parents who decided to use ART, egg or sperm donation in particular, must gird up their loins and love child as he will be their own one. Parents-to-be can visit pre-entry courses and have consultations by professional psychologist. Starting the medical program couple should clearly understand their baby will see the world in 9 months and he has already chosen a lovely family. So parents have no right to throw doubt upon child’s genes. Couples who use ART must know and remember that child born with the help of assisted reproductive medicine is their own beyond a shadow of doubt.