Sunday, February 11, 2007


To finalize this embryo donation, we each had responsibilities. Jenny and Erin sent the attorney a retainer and I sent her a list of ideas for the contract. While waiting for the lawyer's office to prepare the contract I contacted MiraclesWaiting, the website I had used to find recipient candidates. I told the MW coordinator to change my listing from "active" to "Match Pending". This meant we were working on the contract and the embryos were spoken for, though the donation was not yet finalized.

Even with the "Match Pending" clearly featured in the listing headline, I continued to get requests for the embryos from eager recipients. One was from a Jewish woman who was clearly in touch with her heritage. I had a moment of wistfulness. If I had found a Jewish recipient I liked as much as Jenny and Erin, children from these embryos would grow up to know and embrace their genetic heritage. They would probably attend Hebrew school and learn to read the Bible in Hebrew. Once they had mastered that and been taught about my people's history their parents would probably encourage them to celebrate the Jewish coming-of-age ritual of the Bar Mitzvah (boys) or Bat Mitzvah (girls) which consists of the child reading from the Hebrew Bible in synagogue. A Jewish recipient's kids might even go to Jewish summer camp and learn the songs and games my own children were learning as they discovered their heritage. This new request reminded me that only embryos donated to a Jewish parent would enter the Covenant of Israel as had everyone before them who shared their genes.

As quickly as these images entered my mind, they passed. I knew it was almost impossible for children from this donation to have any of these experiences. They would be Jenny and Erin's children and raised Episcopalian or some other Protestant denomination. That was their parents' choice. And Jenny and Erin were their parents. I knew they would make the right choices for their children. Not in the least regretful or interested in other recipients, I was ready to let them begin.