You guys rock. Seriously. Thanks for all of the supportive comments after my last post. It really helped to be reminded that many of you have also had your share of dark, sobbing moments and to feel validated that it makes sense that I might have a big cry from time to time. Geesh, that night sucked (just ask Will). But all that sadness is in there and it has to come out sometime. Seems to be lying dormant again, so we'll just let sleeping sadnesses lie for a bit, if that's ok with you.
On another topic, yesterday, I came across this article on egg donation on Slate.com ("The Egg Market: What determines the price of a woman's eggs? SAT scores."), and gosh, it really stuck in my craw (hmmm...moving from sadness to anger much?). Now, I'm not one to think we should necessarily have multiple tiers of compensation for ovum donation, but my take on this article was that it villainized seeking any specific characteristics in an egg donor.
A select quote to give you a bit of flavor from the piece:
"A market in lucrative traits is developing. Wealthy people are buying smarter babies [by purchasing selected donor eggs]. Even if your kids get the same private schooling, their kids will do better."
My immediate reaction? Oh really? Really? That's what's driving the market in egg donation? Sounds like fertile people might just start knocking down their local RE's door to get these preferred ova on board and start multiplying - just so their kid can beat your kid in the upcoming kindergarten chess tournament.
You've got to be kidding me.
Seriously, folks. If Will and I have to go the route of egg donation and lose the ability to have our own genetic child, is it so wrong if we attempt to select an egg donor somewhat similar to myself and Will in terms of intellectual ability or physical traits?
I get it that it would be kind of creepy if we only wanted a "perfect" child with gorgeous good looks and a stratospheric SAT score. But really, does it smack of narcissistic self-absorption if Will and I would prefer to select a egg donor who shares my very fair skin and almost black hair, or who has the genetic possibility to be similar to the two of us with our ridiculous overeducated background? The fact that between the two of us Will and I have four graduate degrees is - in addition to kind of embarrassing (what, are we hoarding degrees or something?) - basically a liability in my book for any poor, potential offspring. Oh, but future offspring, we would try to be good parents despite this!
I hated that the article didn't even mention once the loss that surrounds the need for donor egg, and the then ensuing (and normal! natural!) psychological motivation to reduce that loss - even a modicum of that enormous loss - by having a donor who resembles one a little bit physically or emotionally or intellectually.
Instead, the entire area of egg donation felt reduced to a market strategy, a cold Huxley-esque Brave New World, where selecting a donor is be all about competition and perfection and not about trying to create a family to love.
And that to have any preferences at all in physical or intellectual characteristics immediately means that you're trying to build a "better" child, rather than an attempt to try to be somewhere in the ballpark of the child that you might have had you not suffered the loss of the ability to use your own genetic material.
But those are just my not so articulated thoughts. What do you think?