When I saw all the negative attention that egg donation was getting in the media, I had to tell my story of heartbreak and hope to the readers of Parenting Magazine. My name is Michelle and I love every moment of parenthood. Perhaps I am more excited than the normal new mom because of the struggle my husband and I went through to conceive. A specialist checked me two years ago and learned that my ovaries were no longer producing eggs. Assisted reproduction techniques such as In Vitro fertilization and egg donors have increased in popularity, so my husband, David, and I decided to look into egg donation. We went to where all searches now begin: the Internet. After researching hundreds of donors, we began to realize that the large majority of women in the donor directories were out of work actresses who obviously just needed extra cash. After sifting through countless donors who all looked the same, we decided to raise the criteria and the payment to find a more professional donor. Our ad appeared in the Yale Daily News as follows: $25,000 payment! Egg donor needed, over five feet five, of Jewish heritage, athletic, and attractive with a minimum combined SAT score of 1500. We didn't use such strict criteria in hopes of making the perfect child; we just wanted the absolute best person we could find to help our dream of having a child come true.
Although not as important as the health of our child, it is not vain to want our child to resemble the rest of our family. Being Jewish, both in religion and in heritage, made it vital to have a donor who was Jewish. We also stated in the ad that we wanted the donor to be attractive. Many readers took this request too seriously. We were not concerned about the beauty of our child; it was more about finding a donor who took good care of herself. We wanted a young woman who ate properly, exercised regularly, and cared about things like dental and eye health. We thought if we suggested "attractive" as a quality, that the actual, less vain list of specifications could be discussed at a future meeting. Many people will team with a geneticist to pick the sex, hair color, and eye color of their children.