Like more and more women these days, I’m not interested in having biological kids. Because of my childfree lifestyle, I applied to an agency that matches couples who are struggling to conceive and are seeking eggs from women just like me. Here’s what the experience has looked like so far.
I made a choice based on three hours of research. A few months ago, I did a quick Google search for “how to sell my eggs.” I read some articles about the process at the time, though I probably should have gone deeper and found some information from women who have actually done this before. I decided on an agency that’s based in Chicago and services families around the US. I figured that if they worked with people all over, they might have a larger backlog of families looking for eggs like mine.
This wasn’t my first application. I started this process once before—I was in grad school and was having a small meltdown after looking at my student loan debt—but I didn’t follow through the first time because I was scared. I was worried that it would take up too much of my time, that the process might be more pain than it was worth. It’s easy to find articles and opinions online to talk you out of a decision. In the end, I listened to my sister, who seems to find doomsday opinions on most topics.
My case manager knows a lot about me. This time around, I’m not chickening out. The application was thorough, to say the very least. I gave information about my health, my hobbies and education, my appearance, my family’s health/hobbies/appearance… They wanted to know things about my family history that my parents didn’t even know. It’s pretty obvious that they ask these questions for the families’ sakes. Could you imagine having a child with a stranger’s DNA and not realizing until years later that they had a life-threatening genetic disease? If you’re interested in starting this process, be prepared to get intimate and to be totally honest about your history.
I learned a lot during the phone interview. After the agency approved my application, we set up a phone call to discuss my responsibilities as an egg donor. No recreational drugs or smoking. Don’t get pregnant. Limited exercise and no drinking during the donating process. We also discussed the risks involved with egg retrieval and while they’re not numerous, they can be serious. Egg retrieval is a highly invasive procedure. While most operations go well, there’s always a risk.
My number one concern was my own past. My mom and paternal grandmother were both adopted and never knew their biological ancestry. With all that digging into an unknown history, I was worried that they would come up with something terrifying. What if a life-threatening disease haunts my DNA? What if my ancestors were Nazis? Personally, I don’t want to know the answers to those questions unless I have to.
Why don’t people believe me when I say I don’t want to have kids? I haven’t told many people about this because I know a lot of them will push back. Whenever I’m home for the holidays, my extended family is always telling me that I’ll change my mind about having kids. Believe me when I say that I don’t want to grow a human in my womb. I’m literally 100% sure about that. For now, to assuage their concerns, I just tell them that I’ve got plenty of eggs to go around. There’s no reason I shouldn’t share what I’ve got with those who really want and need it.
I would still consider foster care or adoption. Children are born every day into abusive or unhealthy situations. Many are unwanted and many are just more than their parents can handle. With all the kiddos who need a healthy, happy home, I wouldn’t think twice about opening mine up when I’m settled.
I strongly support any woman’s decision. All this being said, I am happy for my friends when they announce new babies and I take my role as pseudo-aunt very seriously. I would be a hypocrite if I expected to have a choice in my baby-making status without respecting the choices of others, even if they differ from my own. We have enough people in politics trying to take bodily autonomy away from women; we have to stand up for each other now more than ever.
So far, it’s been a waiting game. I’ve completed the application, had a phone interview, learned about the medical process of egg retrieval, and signed a contract with the egg-matching agency. It has been a few months now and the lines are still silent. Maybe no one wants my eggs right now, but when someone eventually does, they’ll finally serve their purpose and achieve their life-long dreams—just not inside of me.