The “Emotional” Questions encountered with Egg Donation

Inset: Tami Sussman, is personally available to meet with local recipients, in the important decision of selecting the ideal egg donor.

At Gift ov life, we understand that the decision to pursue egg donation can be an emotional one, and we are committed to providing our clients with the support and resources they need to navigate these complex issues.

We recognize that questions around the emotional aspects of egg donation are often not discussed, but we believe that it’s important to address these concerns openly and honestly. Our team is here to listen, offer guidance, and provide resources that can help you make the best decision for yourself and your family.

We encourage you to visit our SUPPORT page for more information on the global world of egg donation and to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have. We are here to support you every step of the way and help you navigate the emotional journey of egg donation with confidence and compassion.



How do I come to terms with needing donor eggs in order to conceive?

It is true that you will struggle with this question and its possible see-sawing and very emotional answers many times before and during an egg donation process. There will be times when you will most likely look at the positive, that at least conception and pregnancy is a possibility for you via egg donation. It is not the end of the world. Then there will be times when your heart will ache at the thought of never seeing your DNA created in a child and that you have been robbed of that possibility. In the end only you can find a way to process the loss and to look forward to this possible “second chance” at having a baby. Those egg donor recipients that have had one baby via egg donation and return for a second or third child will tell you of the absolute love, devotion and bond that they have with their child and how much they appreciate motherhood after all the heartache. They will also tell you that they could not love their child more, even if he/she had been conceived of her own egg.

You can also visit our LINKS page or click here to consult a psychologist who is experienced in dealing with infertility and egg donation.

The hope and excitement comes once you decide to move forward and go ahead with creating your family.

Mothers who have given birth following egg donation often speak to the profound love and joy that they experience when they see their baby’s heart beat, carry them for nine months, and hold them in their arms for the first time. In that moment, the source of the eggs used for conception becomes unimportant, as the love and bond between mother and child are overwhelming and transcendent.

At Gift ov life, we understand the complexity of the egg donation process and the ambivalence that some mothers may feel following conception. We believe that every woman has the right to make informed decisions about their reproductive health, and we are committed to providing compassionate support and guidance throughout the journey to parenthood.

We understand that the decision to pursue egg donation can be a difficult and emotional one, particularly when you are grieving the loss of the possibility of having a biological child. It can be hard to imagine that motherhood could still be a reality for you.

However, hundreds of mothers who have conceived through egg donation, surrogacy, and adoption will tell you that motherhood is about a love so deep it hurts, a connection that is unparalleled to anything else. It’s about protecting your child at all costs and putting their needs before your own. Motherhood is about so much more than genetics and the size of an egg, which is just 100 micrometers, roughly the size of a full-stop.

At Gift ov life, we are committed to helping you navigate the emotional challenges that come with egg donation and to providing you with the support and guidance you need to make informed decisions and feel confident in your path to parenthood.

We understand that one of the most common questions for women considering egg donation is whether they will be the biological mother of the child. We want to reassure you that the answer is yes. While the egg used for conception may come from a donor, the pregnant mother’s body is responsible for the growth and development of the fetus. The baby will take its necessary nutrients and compounds from the mother’s blood via the placenta for the full duration of the pregnancy, resulting in a biological connection between mother and child. The child is considered to be the biological son or daughter of the mother who carries them, and the love and bond between mother and child are just as strong and meaningful as in any other family.

One of the concerns for women considering egg donation is whether the child will be considered legally theirs. We want to reassure you that, legally, a donor egg baby is considered to be the child of the birth mother. This means that you will have full legal rights and responsibilities for your child, just as you would if you had conceived naturally. We are committed to providing you with the support and guidance you need to navigate any legal questions or concerns that may arise during the egg donation process.

We understand that you may be wondering how common it is for babies to be born via egg donation. In the US, since 1984, approximately 100,000 babies have been born using donor eggs. In 2004, donor eggs were used in 12% of all fertility treatments, resulting in over 8,300 babies born from donor eggs that year alone. While verified statistics specific to South Africa are not available, we can assure you that egg donation is a well-established and increasingly common option for couples struggling with infertility. Our team at Gift ov life is dedicated to helping you navigate the process of egg donation and to providing you with the support and resources you need to achieve your dreams of parenthood

We understand that deciding whether or not to share the details of your child’s conception can be a difficult decision for intended parents. While some parents may have a preference already in mind, others may need more time to decide. One piece of advice that we often give to parents who are unsure is to wait until after their child is born to make a decision. Becoming a parent can bring new clarity and perspective, and you may find that your feelings on the matter become clearer once your child is in your arms. At Gift ov life, we respect your privacy and will work with you to ensure that your wishes are honored when it comes to sharing information about your child’s conception. Our team is here to support you every step of the way as you navigate this important decision.

The “Donor Choice” Questions encountered with Egg Donation

We know that choosing a donor can be a complex and important decision for intended parents. We encourage you to ask questions and review all the information available to you as you consider potential donors. Our team is here to support you in this process and provide you with the information and resources you need to make an informed decision. We believe that every intended parent has unique needs and preferences when it comes to selecting a donor, and we work closely with you to ensure that you have access to a diverse pool of candidates that meet your specific requirements. At Gift ov life, we are committed to helping you find the perfect donor match and making your dreams of parenthood a reality.

We have a rigorous screening and selection process for our donors to ensure that only the most qualified and suitable candidates are included in our program. First, we pre-screen donors to ensure that they meet the criteria set by our program and South African laws on gamete donation. Donors then complete a detailed profile that includes their personal and social history, as well as their medical and health history, along with verification of their physical attributes.

Once a donor is chosen and contracted, they undergo psychological and medical evaluations and blood tests at our partner clinics to ensure their suitability for egg donation. We take the screening process very seriously and follow strict protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of our donors and intended parents. Our goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive and reliable information possible to help you make an informed decision when selecting a donor.

When it comes to choosing an egg donor, age is an important factor to consider. The age of the donor is a good indication of the age of her eggs, which can affect the success rate of the egg donation process. In general, women in their mid-20s are considered to be ideal candidates for egg donation. In South Africa, the law allows for egg donors between the ages of 18 and 35. At Gift ov life, we accept donor candidates who are between the ages of 21 and 32 years old

It’s important to understand that there isn’t a donor who will perfectly match you, as everyone is unique. However, you can search for a donor with similar traits such as ethnicity, eye and hair color, height, body type, personality, and intelligence. At the end of the day, it’s essential to choose a donor that feels right for you and brings you a sense of peace, as one recipient mom shared that children can end up looking and acting different from their biological parents.

Please go to our SUPPORT page for a very helpful site in choosing the eye colour of your donor.

Choosing a “proven donor” means that the donor has previously donated and has been confirmed to be fertile. However, it’s important to remember that all donors, whether proven or not, undergo extensive medical evaluations, including pelvic exams and scans to ensure the presence of healthy ovaries and eggs, as well as track the maturation of eggs during hormone treatment. Ultimately, the decision of whether to choose a proven donor or not is up to the recipient’s personal preference and comfort level.

When it comes to the number of embryos in a donor egg cycle, the most important factor is the quality of the embryos. While having more embryos from one egg retrieval can increase the chances of extra embryos to freeze for future use, it is not necessary to have a large number of embryos to achieve a healthy pregnancy. Typically, most fertility clinics transfer only one or two embryos in an IVF cycle, especially if the egg donor is younger (e.g. under 32). Ideally, having 6-8 fertilised eggs is desirable, but the ultimate goal is to have at least one good quality embryo that fertilises and develops into a healthy pregnancy.

The debate of “genetic or learned” is often a question that arises when potential parents are considering egg donation as a route to conception. However, we do not have an indisputable answer to this question. In terms of factors that are often determined by genetics, we provide detailed donor profiles in order to try and match some of these traits, such as eye color and height. As for learned traits, you will teach your children what you know, how to do it, say it, play it, taste it, and everything else little ones learn from their parents!

Yes, in most cases you can choose a donor who is not based in the region where you prefer to have your treatment. At Gift ov life, most of our donors are willing to travel and most clinics work with traveling donors. However, you will be responsible for covering the costs of the donor’s travel, allowances, and accommodations.

South African fertility clinics report success rates of 55% to 65% per embryo transfer. After three cycles of egg donation, patients have a cumulative pregnancy rate of 92%, with a 15% miscarriage rate. This is in contrast to a miscarriage rate of over 50% for women over 42 years old who conceive with their own eggs. For recipients aged 37 to 40, the miscarriage rate is 33%, and for those aged 40 to 42, it is 20%.* Pregnancy success rates vary depending on individual circumstances and expected success rates should be discussed with your clinic specialist.

The field of epigenetics suggests that a child’s genes are expressed based on their environment and its effects, which includes the mother’s womb during pregnancy. Therefore, it is the genetic makeup of the birth mother, not the egg donor, that determines how the genes from the egg donor are expressed. The child would have been emotionally and physically different if carried to term by the egg donor.

Babies via egg donation & the importance of the birth mother

Epigenetics is an emerging field of study in the realm of egg donation for conception. It refers to factors outside of genes, such as a cell’s exposure to hormones or genetic variations, that can modify a gene’s expression. Such factors can change what is ultimately expressed, altering what an organism looks like as a consequence of the interaction of its gene and the environment. In the case of conception via egg donation, that environment begins with the womb of the birth mother.

Conventional science has historically linked cell behavior to the genes present. However, the latest research suggests that cells send out signals unique to an individual that then receive signals from the outside. This is particularly interesting for birth mothers, where it appears that our identities may be formed in the womb, linked to an exterior field of energy.

Worldwide epigenetic studies are now focusing on how DNA in babies conceived via egg donation may be expressed based on the woman who carries that baby. The study of epigenetics reveals that our lives are more than the sum of our inherited genes. During growth in the womb and after birth, differences begin to reveal themselves due to specific genes being active in some people and non-active in others. There are a number of reasons for certain genes to be active and others not, including the way the host’s body functions, lifestyle, and how we think and feel – our emotions and reactions.

In the world of babies conceived via egg donation, it’s the woman carrying the baby at the conception of life that starts the process of which genes are active and non-active. The birth mother helps shape the baby she carries from the moment that embryo is implanted in her uterus. Research determines that the female egg accounts for 25% of the final outcome of a child.

While there is still much to be learned about epigenetics and its implications for children conceived via egg donation, it is important to understand that the birth mother’s environment plays a role in how a child’s genes are expressed. This underscores the significance of carefully selecting a donor and birth mother who will provide the most optimal environment for the baby’s growth and development.

We wish you all the best and are here to support you and answer any additional questions you may have as you consider becoming a parent via egg donation.