For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to have a child. When I grew up (became an adult), after careful planning: I finally gave birth to my baby. I was able to have a child because of the generous assistance, of an Identity Release Sperm Donor. I will be forever grateful for his gift: The chance for me to have a baby. Now I have the wonderful child, that I wanted so much.
After much consideration, I decided:
• To give my left over embryos, to someone else (via the Embryo Connect Service). So that person (the Recipient), can have a chance, of having a much wanted child.
• I would feel most comfortable, in donating my embryos: To a Recipient, that I’d first gotten to know personally (for it to be a Known Donation). Therefore Embryo Connect’s “matching service” (Donors with Recipients), was ideal. I appreciate service’s the discretion, professionalism & friendliness.
Some of my concerns and challenges, regarding becoming a Known Embryo Donor have been (in the brackets, I’ve written how I’m managing those concerns):
1. Wondering what the chances are, of me finding an appropriate person to donate to. (After I didn’t find anyone amongst my own friends, family and contacts. I joined Embryo Connect. I’d written a list of the essential things, that I was looking for in a Recipient. After reading through, all of the Profiles in Embryo Connect, I saw that many of them met those requirements.)
2. How difficult it may be, getting through the legal requirements (such as the Compulsory Counseling) to proceed with the donation. (The Recipient and I have been upfront (open & honest) with each other about our respective backgrounds, intentions & expectations. To reduce the chances of legal or other issues, stalling the donation process.)
3. Coming to terms with the fact, that (for various reasons), I won’t be using the embryos myself. I won’t be having any more children. (I’ve given myself plenty of time to prioritise what’s important in my life, to weigh up my situation & plans for the future. I’ve also sought guidance from friends, family and health care professionals.)
4. I’ve felt worried, for the Recipient - what if they don’t get a baby from my embryos? I could feel, that I’ve let them down. (I’d hope that the Recipient can proceed, to have a child via another route. I’d encourage the Recipient, to also be pursing other avenues, to fulfilling their dream of having a child. I’d be glad that I’d given someone else a chance of having a baby, even if they don’t get a baby, via my embryos. I’d know that the Recipient would appreciate, trying to conceive with donor embryos, even if a baby doesn’t result.)
5. What if the child(ren) that may result from my embryo donation, has special needs/disabilities? (I’m confident that the Recipient, would engage a range of supports, for themselves & the child. I know the Recipient is aware, that having a child with special needs/disabilities is always a possibility, for anyone who’s planning to have a baby.)
6. If a child (or children) does result from my Embryo Donation – what my (and my family’s) relationship with them could be like. (I’ve informed my family of my decision to donate my embryos. I will keep them informed, of the outcome of the donation. I will facilitate open, honest & respectful communication between all parties.)
7. The importance of maintaining a positive & constructive relationship, with the person that I donate embryos to. (I intent to do everything possible, to facilitate open, honest & respectful communication between myself and the Recipient. So that any offspring resulting from my donation, will grow up feeling happy & confident about who they are, and their origins. Also so that the Recipient, can have time & space they need, to become the fabulous parent, that they’ve always wanted to be, and to have a happy healthy relationship with their child(ren).
8. Wondering how I can best be supportive, towards the person that I choose to donate embryos to. (By assisting in making arrangements for the donation process to go ahead. By forwarding helpful information, about trying to conceive, pregnancy & parenting. By continuing with that open, honest & respectful communication. Plus giving the Recipient, privacy; time and space that they need.)
9. Thinking about how I can best explain, Embryo Donation to my own child. (I’ll seek professional guidance if needed. I’ll explain simply to my child; that I was unable to have more children myself, so I decided to help someone else, by giving them a chance at having a baby too.)
Where I’m currently up to, in the donation process:
- Waiting for the IVF Clinic (that my embryos are in storage at), to formally look into my request to donate my embryos. (It’s not a routine request, because my embryos were conceived via an Identity Release Sperm Donor).
- Preparing to make the initial (legally required) counseling appointments for myself and the Recipient.
- Preparing for the Recipient to attend an initial appointment, with a Specialist (who works at the IVF Clinic, that my embryos are in storage at).
- Both the initial counseling & specialist appointments will need to be carefully considered, as the Recipient may be attending from Interstate.
What’s been involved so far:
1. I read through all of the Profiles on Embryo Connect, of people looking for an Embryo Donor.
2. I chose a Potential Recipient (someone I felt comfortable with the possibility of donating embryos to).
3. Embryo Connect staff forwarded my Profile to the Potential Recipient: In order for the Potential Recipient, to consider if they’d be interested in trying to conceive via my embryos.
4. The Recipient provided feedback to Embryo Connect staff, that they were interested (in trying to conceive via my embryos). Embryo Connect received permission from myself and the Recipient, to facilitate contact (between myself and the Recipient).
5. My Recipient and I began exchanging emails, to get to know each other: To further explore the possibility of going ahead with the Embryo Donation.
6. We both decided that we would like for the Embryo Donation to go ahead. I contacted the IVF Clinic (that my embryos are in storage at) to begin the donation process.
I feel happy and excited; that I may be able to help someone else (to have the child that they want so much).
Afterword: In October 2016 the Reproductive Technology Council of WA the (regulatory body for IVF clinics) issued a general notice to IVF clinics in WA: "Regarding the National Health Medical Research Council's guidelines (7.2.1) that on donation of embryos created with the use of donor sperm should not be facilitated." As a result WA IVF clinics are not able to facilitate the donation of embryos (created with the use of donor sperm).
Our Embryo Connect service is currently not available. Our Classifieds provide a place to meet potential recipients. Please contact us if you have further questions about donation.