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An Unfair Stigma: Why Is Using an Egg Donor Still Stigmatized?

Even in 2015, women and couples who use an egg donor to build their family face a certain stigma about the decision. Even well-meaning family and friends can impart hurtful comments without noticing that what they are saying is judgmental or unkind. Attitudes toward egg donation have evolved, as they should, but this doesn’t mean that everyone is on board about the process of using a donor.

Telling family and friends
Whether you choose to discuss your decision to use a donor openly is entirely up to you and your partner. For those couples who have shared this process among family and friends, you may find that you received a mixed reaction. Some couples worry that they’ll be looked down on for using a donor or that the idea that the child won’t really be their child exists among family and friends. These opinions are both hurtful and untrue. Modern family building has proven that family is what you make it – whether you use an egg donor, sperm donor, gestational surrogate or adoption.

Education and awareness
As modern medicine continues to advance and third-party reproduction becomes better known, the fertility community will continue to grow with members who feel comfortable sharing their experiences publicly. One in eight couples struggle to conceive in the U.S., meaning there is a chance you are not the only person in your family/friend group who has consulted a fertility specialist and received a diagnosis. As awareness spreads, more and more people will become educated about the egg donation process and why the decision to use an egg donor is deeply personal and should be respected.

For couples and individuals who feel comfortable doing so, educating your family and friends about egg donation can be very helpful. There are a lot of long-time myths and misconceptions about donor eggs that still circulate, particularly among those who have never spoken to a member of the fertility community. Helping to clear up these myths is an important step toward understanding why mixed reactions toward egg donation occur in the first place, and what can be done to ease the experience of talking to family and friends about using a donor.

Related Topics: Egg Donation Myths, Egg Donation Stigma