So, after this long hiatus, I come back to the blog to post about a discovery I made on the Web today.
I was surfing for something else entirely and happened across Lillian Fishman's short story Glass on the site Necessary Fiction.
I'm not sure what made me click the link and start reading; when I realized the story was about egg donation, from the point of view of a donor, a chill went up my spine.
And having read it, I'm unsure what I feel about the story, which is about a young woman named June who is about to earn $30,000 by donating eggs to some alumni from her (apparently expensive) college.
“Think of the money,” she tells her sister over the phone. “I don’t even know what I’m doing for the summer. Let alone with my life. It’s not a bad gig.”
“You can’t just give yourself up like this,” her sister says. “It’s too weird.” A long pause, and then: “What if you run into your kid on Bleecker in fifteen years?”
“I’ll never know,” June says.
I guess, in some ways, the story made me sad. I have always worried about what, to me, is the darker side of egg donation: The fear that a young woman could be emotionally harmed, either in the present or in the unknown future, by her decision to donate. And that by offering her money for this precious gift at a time when she is young, fertile, and relatively poor, we (who are old, infertile, and if not rich, then credit-worthy) are luring her into self-harm.
And yet. There is nothing wrong with paying a donor for her time and trouble (ours received nowhere near $30,000, bless her.) I just don't like to think of another woman being hurt by my need; my deficiency. It's why I asked to be matched with a donor who had already had her child and didn't want any more.
It's the elephant in the room, I guess--this terrible imbalance of power, affluence, and need between women who have viable eggs, and women who don't.
Anyway. Read the story, which is excellent. And give it some thought.