So we’ve been doing a bit of research into donor egg IVF and it seems the difference in process between countries is immense. From what I can tell the USA is the only country that pays people to donate eggs, many other countries allow the use of donor eggs in an IVF cycle but without payment (you ask a friend or advertise for a donor), and a few (such as Italy) don’t allow donor eggs at all…how horrific that must be for many Italian women!
While we haven’t been for our compulsory counseling session or follow up appointment yet, and therefore have only a small idea of how long donor egg IVF (DEIVF) will take in NZ, we’ve already started looking at the USA as a possibility for a donor egg cycle. While this is likely to cost us approximately 3 times what a domestic cycle would cost us we would most probably be able to commence a cycle much sooner than if we were to wait for a donor in NZ. And all this waiting is really getting to me, you need the patience of a saint to be an infertile! It’s amazing the number of donors you have to choose from in the States! It’s pretty much like logging on to an online shopping network and browsing the aisles. You can find anything on there and the amount of detail you’re provided with just blows my mind. I think ideally, we’d like a domestic donor but it’s nice to know there’s another option out there.
The donor issue is just so difficult to deal with. We’ve largely tackled the grief of losing our genetic child and, other than the odd pang, are ok with this. Now we worry about who the donor will be and whether we’ll find one at all. We’d love for the donor to be someone we know – we’d then know we like the donor’s personality traits, there’d be less ambiguity and risk, and most importantly our child could have some kind of relationship with the donor. We plan to be very upfront and honest, with both with our child and with those around us, about how our child came to be. The hard part about wanting someone we know is that they’re either too old (you have to be mid-30’s or younger to be a donor) or we’d feel weird about asking them, worried that it would change our relationship for the worse, worried that they’d feel uncomfortable or obligated to say yes.
The other difficult thing about the whole DEIVF (and adoption) piece is just how challenging it is to proceed with and how judgmental people can be about it. Any old drug addict can have (and often keep and/or abuse) a baby yet a couple like us who would do anything for a child, and love it unconditionally, have to jump through a hundred and one hoops just to get a foot in the door. It seems so simple in the States, you decide to go down the DEIVF route, you select your donor from the list and away you go. In New Zealand it’s quite different. I found this article, written by my specialist, quite an interesting read:
At the time the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology (HART) Act was passed here, a decision was made by our Parliament to use only non-commercial donors. The effect is to both limit the available pool of potential donors, and to lower the chance of success, given the relatively older age of most New Zealand donors.
has the dual effect of getting me riled up and making me want to cry. The idea that our government can think that this is a great outcome fills me with horror at the collective mindset of the people leading our country. NOBODY goes through this by choice. This process is so emotionally challenging and financially crippling that only those who truly want to love and nurture a child would go through it. It’s not the kind of thing you do for fun. So why do you want to punish those who would do good things for the future of the country? I can understand the reasoning behind not wanting to commercialise the donor egg industry but I also understand the hurt at just how hard it is being on the other side and so desperately wanting an egg just to have a chance at what comes so easily for the majority of the population.
So what does this mean for us. Well, I think we’ll probably give domestic DEIVF a go, hope we find a suitable donor, and if it doesn’t work out (yet another IVF fail) we’ll look to raise the funds needed to get us to the States and try again that way. Keep on truckin’.