My Grown-Up Egg Donor Offspring by Shelley Smith

My egg donor offspring are grown now.  They are 22 years old and when I look back to the moment of their births, it is so fresh in my mind that it seems like it was just a little while ago, not the span of twenty plus years.

So many years ago, when I was going through the egg donation process it was very new.  People did not have the choices and details and information about egg donors which is so readily available today.  I did not consider my donor’s height or body type or intelligence.  I did not have access to genetic testing or psychological evaluation or gender selection.   All I knew was that when I sat in the room with her, I fell in love.  I looked at my egg donor’s face and the universe was whispering to me “She is the one”.  I knew I could carry her spirit with me and feel blessed.  After all my struggles to conceive she was the answer to my prayers.  She was the fireman who was going to save me from a burning building.

I have never let go of the comfort of the connection I felt.  From the moment, I became favored with boy/girl twins I have thanked Ann in my heart so many times.

Before giving birth, I had concerns about egg donation:  Would I feel like their real mom?  I think getting up at 2:00 in the morning solved that.  Would I be sharing this special role with another, somehow lessening my influence and value? This was a moment in my life I was so ready for, (after the loss of my son and six subsequent years of fertility treatments) and yet I was totally unprepared.

A perfect night occurred the evening after their births.  I placed their sweet newborn bodies on my belly in the same configuration they had shared in the womb just hours earlier.  There was an important moment of peace and rejoicing the three of us shared, only to be interrupted by piercing cries from hungry babies, a harbinger of things to come.

I have never felt compromised as an egg recipient mother.  All the thrills and heartaches were genuinely mine to experience.  The moment I found my donor started the healing from the loss of my son.

Being pregnant, giving birth, every precious moment of raising your child is authentic.  Egg donation is a non-issue.  Go ahead and make the same triumphs and mistakes any parent experiences. I always complained that my twins were too much for me and not enough like their donor.   Some say IVF offspring tend to be even more spoiled because their parents are so grateful to have them.

I know that those little embryos were just a vehicle for the souls I was meant to have in my life.  How thrilling that technology and the human heart of a stranger can come together to create life and love.


Shelley Smith, an actress, model, and licensed Marriage Family and Child Counselor, is herself the mother of twins through egg donation.