What’s the etiquette?
Well you know things have become mighty sophisticated in the 'city ‘hood!
At one time in our lives we went out with our friends and drank and talked about music, nowadays we sit around and talk about donor eggs.
Specifically – what are the implications of our friend being our donor!
Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is pretty much unchartered waters … is there a right and wrong way to have this conversation?
A few months back, we started telling all our friends ‘our sad IF tale'. Pretty much at the time we had decided that we’d kick off the process for adoption.
We were out having yum cha with a couple we are friends with(‘The Butterflies’) and their three children and told them about the adoption course we’d just been on etc. They were very supportive of it all, but as we told them what was involved Mrs B asked (quite innocently), ‘wouldn’t it just be easier to have your own’?
Whoops, we’d forgotten to mention that we’d been trying for the past 3 years, and after a miscarriage and 5 IVF cycles, had decided to move on.
Immediately she offered to be a donor. A couple of times. And then she told Mr. S she would be a donor.
We let it go, but not before I’d talked in a little more detail with her about it.
Later on when Mr. S and I were having our post-mortem, I asked him why he had such a casual response when she told him ‘I thought she was joking’ he said.
We talked a little more about it over the next week, and went over the implications of such a thing. We decided that when we caught up with them again, if the topic came up we’d test the waters a little more.
Well that time was Saturday night … some months after the initial conversation.
During the week we’d talked about how to tackle some of the questions, when they came up. I have to say we were both feeling kind of weird.
Well the subject of our adoption did come up, and we talked about the fact that we hadn’t put our application in yet, but were working through it. We talked about the fact that two of the couples we’d met on our course had since gone off and gotten pregnant! (1 with IVF, the other DE).
Again, donor eggs came up. Mrs B asked me what my thoughts were on it – and I told her that truthfully we were looking overseas. She asked me if having a child was really important to me. I told her that while I would love to adopt, and do my absolute best to raise a child with the culture etc. of their country that I would always feel like I had missed out by not giving birth to a child.
She said that because she was a clucky kind of person, she would do donor eggs for someone that felt the same way, but for someone that was more casual ‘didn’t care one way or the other’ she probably wouldn’t.
She’s finished her family and perfectly content to have three children.
So there it was, the topic out there in the open.
For the rest of the night we talked back and forward about the whole thing.
Mr. S played devils advocate and threw lots of scenarios out in the open:
‘One day this child would come to you knowing that they have your genetic code and want to talk to you about it’
‘What do you tell people in our circle of friends’
‘What do you tell your three children’
‘We would be creating an extended family – what does that mean’?
So the conversation went on for the rest of the night.
Mr. B is very supportive of the idea – if Mrs. B wants to go ahead. He loves his family and would love to help us have one.
I don’t think either Mrs. B or I slept well that night – our minds were racing at a million miles an hour.
Well I thought, here’s another place IF has taken me – navigating through the most extraordinary social situation I could ever have imagined.
Right now things are being thought about. Mr. S was going to ring up and let them know that we have no expectations of anything. There is no pressure. We have other options. The last thing I want is for anyone to feel pressured into giving me their eggs.
Right now it all feels pretty surreal – I could never have imagined being in this quite unbelievably sophisticated situation.
When I think about it, it’s actually pretty cutting edge isn’t it? Once we thought we were ahead of the pack with our alterna-rock music tastes, we’ve been elevated to a whole new level now!