Monday, January 22, 2007


I wanted to donate my embryos to Jenny and Erin but only if they knew all the reasons not to take them. One possible problem was their desire for three children, all genetic siblings, and our almost certain inability to provide that with only three embryos to donate.

It was also important that we were all on the same page about the ideal relationship between the donor and recipient families. We had also started to share more information about my wife's background and my own. Here was their response.

"That is insane that your wife grew up so close to Erin and is also Episcopalian...Anyhow, we are definitely interested in hearing your wife's perspectives.

Relationship with donor: Erin and I have talked about this quite a bit since finding out that there is actually the option of knowing our donor. This is exciting to us. Although we would raise the children as our own, as we have said, we would be honest with the children regarding where/how they were created.

We had actually talked about what interaction the children would have with the donor. We plan to be open with them from the beginning, explaining that the donor gave part of themselves so that they could be here with us. To be honest, like you said, this is all new to us, and we completely think that interactions should be a mutually agreed upon decision.

For us, an ideal relationship with our donor would be one that included updates on the children (both ours and theirs) and visits. For us, the advantage of having an open donor is that it will benefit the children by giving them the opportunity to have relationships with their biological family. What do you plan to tell your children about their biological siblings if there are any resulting from these embryos?

If one child was born from these embryos, we would consider other options to have a second child. If two or three children were born from these embryos, we would consider our family complete. Erin has always definitely wanted more than one child. She and I both feel that it is important that the child(ren) have a sibling (biologically related or not).

Hope you are having a great evening"

I had thought they might not want to go ahead unless they had a better chance of getting two or more children from the same embryo donor. They knew that they might get one, or no children from this donation and they were still interested in proceeding.

Their ideal embryo donor-recipient relationship was flexible and within the realm of our preferences. We were toppling obstacles to the donation. A major hurdle remained: would they respect my concerns about children from these embryos knowing their genetic heritage?

It was time for my wife to chime in. Like Jenny and Erin she was not Jewish. What was her perspective on raising children whose cultural heritage did not match her own? I was keeping her up to date but she preferred not to get involved with this couple unless a pregnancy resulted from our donation. On this topic my wife was willing to make an exception. She would join the dialogue.