We had a very interesting conversation about donor egg after dinner one night last month. I think this conversation touches on so many different aspects of DE (science, genetic traits, nature vs nurture, what's a "mother.") And it only took 5 minutes. Probably the last time we discussed it was six months before.
I asked him if he would help me read the elephant book to his little brother. I told him I'd like his help to try to explain to his brother who is age two and a half, how much I wanted a baby and how a doctor helped us. We talked a lot more about the "donor" than we ever had before. Before this night, I don't think I ever used the word "donor", just a special lady who gave the doctor an egg so that the doctor could help us get pregnant.
He was asking if he had any of my genes ("just maybe a few?" he asked, hopefully) and I said that he has some traits that are from me because he grew in my womb and because he lives with me, but they aren't technically from genes. Then he asked if the donor had green eyes, like him. (I couldn't remember! I said "I think so, but I'll have to check"). He asked how I'd check, since we didn't meet her.
I explained that even though we didn't meet her (I used the term anonymous, he knows what that means), the doctor met her and she also filled out a form with some information about her, which I kept (somewhere). He volunteered, "I bet I have some traits from daddy, some from the donor, some from you, mommy, and some from being created in a petrie dish!!" Yes, probably you do! He proposed that "sixty-percent of all children who are made in a petrie dish become very interested in science." He said he wants to become a chemist and an inventor when he grows up and that he's going to invent a lot of websites. One of the websites will be a community where donors and families can connect "and chat to eachother." (He's been spending time on Club Penguin and also has his own home page on shelfari.com, a reading community) So I asked, did he want to connect with his donor? "Sure!" he said. I told him that some donors don't want to meet the families they helped but they were very happy to help couples who wanted babies by donating "just a cell" from their bodies. They didn't consider it creating a child, just donating an egg and helping a couple who needed one.
I told him that the other evening, I went to dinner with other mothers who made their babies with an egg from a donor. He said, "Really? Wow!" I guess I should bring him to one of those DE family gatherings. At some point in the conversation, he called the donor an "ex-mother" GASP! Where does he come up with this?? (he did not call her HIS "ex-mother", mind you, just AN ex-mother). I said (extremely calmly, by the way) that the donor is not a mother, just a donor, and I asked him what he thinks a "mother" is. And he said a mother is " a mom you grow up with." He asked me if I wanted to meet the donor. I said that if I ever met her, I would like to say "Thank you for helping us make our son!" (neatly side stepping the question..., don't you think?)
That's about it!