Thursday, December 7, 2006


In my last job, my supervisor was going through the adoption process. Everything about my embryo donation perspective is informed by my observations of her experience, both the problems she had and the mistakes she made.

In her defense, she had an awful time. She and her partner spent years on a waiting list for a domestic adoption. When they started, they were in their early 40's but they turned 50 without having been selected by a single birthmother.

The adoption agencies had warned them about this. Several agencies refused to even consider them as clients unless they agreed to be listed individually, as single women, not as a lesbian couple. They finally found an agency that allowed them to be listed as a couple. And, as predicted, their application was rejected by every birthmother who saw the photo of the two women togeter.

These women had a lovely home in a good school district. They had been together a long time. One woman was white, the other was bi-racial, and they wanted a child with African American ancestry. The adoption agency assured them that birthmothers would appreciate this. They had good incomes and a lot of love to offer a child. Yet prejudice blocked their hopes for adoption.

Eventually, the stresses around infertility, the failed adoption and different levels of desire to raise children were too much for their relationship and it ended after many years.

Two weeks later my boss, as a single woman, had been picked by a birthmother to receive a newborn. No one had considered a long-term lesbian couple in their 40's, but a single woman in her 50's was picked immediately.

This prejudice cemented our resolve to donate our embryos only to a lesbian couple who would face the same bigotry as potential adopters. But it was what happened after the adoption was finalized that really informed our search for recipients...I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.