Op-ed: Unscrambling the Myths Behind Egg Donation
BY Lara Sarkissian
October 26 2012 4:05 AM ET
I wish could say that as a young woman, I took things for granted, led my life freely, fully expecting that when the time came to have a child, it would be on my terms and my time line. But this wouldn’t be true. I always had a hunch that getting pregnant will not come easily to me. Some may say I must have manifested it, whatever the reasons, without any real cause, as I knew in my heart that this would be a difficult but not an impossible journey and even shared it with my fiancé when the time was right. A couple of years into our marriage and following many unsuccessful attempts at becoming pregnant “naturally,” my husband and I decided to take things to the next level by seeking in-vitro fertilization treatments. After nine time-consuming, costly, and stressful IVF cycles (not to mention years of riding the emotional roller coaster) we were finally blessed with the birth of our son and daughter.
However, it was also during these numerous visits and appointments, I noticed something that felt out of place — the apparently healthy, intelligent, and well-educated young women who always seemed to be present in the waiting room. Surely they didn’t have reproductive concerns, or did they? With my curiosity piqued, I asked the nursing staff who these college-age women were and why so many young girls were having fertility issues. To my surprise, I was told these women were all egg donors. They were daughters, and mothers already in some cases, who wanted to share their eggs with loving and dedicated couples who were unable to have children of their own for whatever reason. At that moment I realized there was a story to be told, one that would delve into the heartbreak, expectations, frustrations, and euphoria arising from the steps couples were willing to take so they too could be loving and caring parents.
With that, my husband and I developed Egg Factor, a docuseries being produced to shed some much needed light on the world of infertility, egg donation, and surrogacy. A world that exists below the radar of most yet contains the hopes and dreams of many. The hopes of becoming a parent and dreams of forming a family are what most people feel automatically entitled to. Like myself, the majority of our participants have already been through rigorous IVF cycles, numerous failed pregnancies, and years of living in a constant state of emotional and physical agony. Yet, beyond all the pain, they seem to see the light once again. With the incredible generosity of egg donors and sometimes surrogates, these hopes and dreams can become a reality. Often, eggs are being donated to gay couples who have chosen, through surrogacy, to become parents and create families they rarely thought they could have.