Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation
By Ellen Sarasohn Glazer and Evelina Weidman Sterling
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers
ISBN-10: 1849059071, ISBN-13: 978-1849059077
I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that 'Having your baby through egg donation' could happily serve as an egg donation bible. It successfully brings together all the practical, physiological, psychological, social and ethical aspects of this particular form of family building.
It is also clear how much the authors care about not only the subject, but also the wellbeing of both those who are creating their family in this way and their potential offspring. They are experts in the field, with Ellen Sarasohn Glazer being a clinical social worker and Evelina Weidman Sterling a public health specialist in the field of reproductive and women's health.
The book begins with a 'walk through' of the decision-making process involved in egg donation. It introduces the topic, explaining who might consider it as an option, then addresses specific questions to do with donor selection and continues with a description of the medical process.
Among the many topics discussed are: egg donor programs, where contractual donors are available; the ethical and religious issues raised by egg donation; and the special considerations for gay and lesbian couples exploring egg donation. The book concludes with chapters on pregnancy and parenting after egg donation, along with a section providing additional resources for readers.
Anecdotes and real-life stories illustrate each of the concepts being tackled, giving people a better understanding of what they might experience. Furthermore, the book is easy to dip in and out of thanks to clear and specific section headings.
Although it should be noted that the authors are based in the USA, meaning some issues are not relevant for the UK reader, all of the emotional and ethical issues are familiar. Indeed, some of the assumptions and current practices challenge how we think in the UK, providing a fresh perspective.
As a counsellor I particularly liked the fact that such emphasis was given to the feeling of loss that comes when you have to resort to assisted reproduction, for any reason. The reader is repeatedly asked to go through the emotional process required for them to reach the right decision for them.
It's probably true to that say nobody starts out wanting to have a child through egg donation, but this book is optimistic and reassuring about the choice. I think it will go a long way in dispelling the sense that egg donation is second best, and will instil a sense of pride and achievement for all members of donor families -which can only be good news.
The book's aim is to help you feel clearer and more secure in making your decision regarding egg donation, and I think it succeeds. It's like having a deeply understanding, knowledgeable and compassionate companion to turn to who will accompany you along the way. I recommend it to anyone with any interest in this subject, be that personal or as a third party.