But its not just about numbers, is it?
Does it feel right?
Will you feel ok about it in the future?
Or will you always wonder what might have been?
Will you always feel sad that your kiddo is not related to both you and your partner?
Will you, if you're the only one who isn't genetically related to your child, feel like the odd man out?
These are important questions to consider, very carefully, before proceeding.
And the truth is, using donors is not for everyone.
Some people feel a lot more comfortable adopting. It makes them feel like they are on a level playing field with their partners. They may also feel like adoption is much easier to explain to the child and everyone else than donor conception.
And others decide not to have kids (or any more kids)
The really important thing is to take your time and talk to people
who've adopted or used donor procedures before deciding.
If you feel very strongly that you would never want to tell anyone about using a donor (including your kid)then that's an indication that you don't really feel comfortable with it
and you are probably not ready to proceed.
On the other hand, if you're at least 80% certain that you will be all right with using a donor, then that's probably good enough. As one woman said they other day "I'm willing to take a leap of faith that this is going to be all right for everyone and that we'll all be happy that I did."
A Better Option
A better approach is to go for similar body type/hair and eye color; to read the profiles of lots of donors with an open mind; and choose someone you feel some rapport with. You want to feel good about your donor--your attitude towards her will be conveyed to your child.
And don't forget, most scientists agree that personality is formed equally by nature and nurture and you are going to have a profound influence on who your kid grows up to be from day one.
People Magazine and Good Morning America have recently run a heartwarming story about embryo adoption from the points of view of the donors and the recipients, who have an "open adoption" arrangement. It is really nice to see this story being told in such a public arena.
Not many people are aware of embryo donation/adoption (even though its been going for years, given the tens of thousands of frozen embryos from IVF currently in storage).
Some clinics are unwilling to be involved in anything other than strictly anonymous embryo donation--which, in my opinion, is definitely not in the best interest of the children, who are very likely to be extremely curious about their donors (and siblings as well), but who will never be able to locate them in the future.
Other clinics and agencies treat the arrangement like a regular adoption--requiring "homestudies" of the recipients and, in some cases, encouraging the donors and recipients to meet one another prior to the donation taking place.
In still other circumstances, the agencies/clinics facilitate a partially open relationship between the two parties and contact is generally limited to child's desire for contact, or changes in the donor's medical history.
Congratulations to Liz Krainman www.wishingonasnowflake.com, and Libby Kranz--not to mention People Magazine and Good Morning America! www.people.com/article/embryo-adoption-liz-krainman
How long can you safely wait to talk to your kids about IVF, Donors and/or Surrogates?
While there is no absolute answer to that question, there are a number of reasons why talking about it "early and often" is the easiest and most beneficial way to go.
The world is a wonderful, awesome place to young children and they
are open and non-judgmental.
The longer you wait to tell the longer you have to get anxious about it (or worry that a well intentioned friend or family member will mention something before you do).
The sooner you start telling your child about how much they were wanted and loved (and the extraordinary lengths you went to have them the better.
The longer you wait the more your child will wonder why the information wasn't mentioned sooner: is there something wrong with coming into the world this way?
For more click on this link: Psychotherapist’s Innovative New Picture Books Help Donor, IVF & Surrogate Kids Understand “Where They Came From”.
Hard to believe but over 5 million children have been born through Assisted Reproductive Technology in the past three decades, and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in particular.
I'm a former infertility patient, psychotherapist and author of Unspeakable Losses (WW Norton and HarperCollins).