Posted on: 9 January 2017
If you're a woman of childbearing age who has watched your sibling struggle with the pain of infertility, you may feel helpless and find yourself wondering whether there's any way you can assist -- from donating your own healthy eggs to serving as a surrogate. Fortunately, advances in medical and reproductive technology have provided more paths to conception than ever before, and you may finally be able to help your sibling by providing the ultimate gift: a healthy egg that's as close a genetic match as your sister is ever likely to find outside her own body. However, this situation has the potential to go downhill if expectations aren't clearly communicated at the outset of the process. Read on to learn more about the factors you'll want to consider when deciding whether to donate eggs to aid your sibling in conception.
Can you physically donate eggs to a sibling?
While some women whose own eggs aren't viable may opt for an egg donation from a stranger, others may feel more comfortable with an egg from a relative -- providing them with a biological connection to the child growing inside of them as well as the physical connection. In most cases, as long as neither the egg donor nor the recipient have any problems with their immune systems (which could potentially prevent the fertilized egg from implanting into the uterine wall), there should be no physical restrictions on donating an egg (or multiple eggs) to your sibling.
On the other hand, injecting the potential for sibling rivalry into a situation already fraught with a roller coaster of emotions can bring up some conflicts. Even if you feel you're already willing to make this sacrifice for your sibling with no questions asked, you'll want to ponder a few points before you proceed.
What should you consider when deciding whether this is the right choice for you?
There are several questions you'll want to ask yourself (and answer honestly) before approaching your sibling with the offer to donate an egg.
The first question to consider is whether you'll be able to consider a child conceived with your own genetic material your niece or nephew rather than your child. While many may feel they'll have no problem with this step, often, the realization they do have a problem with the arrangement comes too late, potentially leading to a messy intra-sibling custody battle. You should only offer your services if you're truly willing to "gift" this egg with no strings attached.
Next, you'll want to consider whether you'll be willing to repeat this process if your sibling decides she wants more than one child. In many cases, it can be safer and more efficient to harvest and fertilize several eggs at once, creating viable embryos that can be frozen and then implanted for later conception. This can give your sister and her partner the ability to determine their own childbearing process without returning to you for another favor or being forced to choose a non-related egg donor.
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