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Can our friend be our surrogate or egg donor?

A surrogate generally needs to be a citizen, or at least a resident, of the country where the process takes place, and she has to meet all sorts of legal and other requirements. Moreover, the birth will obviously have to take place somewhere that enables a separation between the baby and the surrogate via a legal parentage procedure that is conducted by a lawyer.

With regards to an egg donor who is also an acquaintance: We all have a talented and beautiful friend who we’d love to be our donor. Sometimes she’s even willing and offers it herself.

So although it may be a good idea in theory and may appear to save money, it actually means that you will have to pay for her flights, accommodations, lost work days, ask her to leave her family abroad, and all this may not even succeed for health or other reasons, including preliminary genetic tests that you’ll need to do that may disqualify your compatibility.

Remember that most egg donors are between 21-29 years old who have undergone a lot of preliminary tests and have been approved to donate their eggs. You friend might not necessarily withstand these tests and may not be suitable for egg retrieval according to the standards determined by the good fertility clinics.

Moreover, egg donation entails taking medication and injections, which your friend will have to take, and the process of retrieving the eggs involves general anesthesia and a difficult recovery. A good friend’s generous offer may end in you feeling indebted to her, which will jeopardize your friendship.

When I first thought to ask my sister or my spouse’s sister, I imagined our holiday dinners with everyone and with the child, and the sister suddenly says “wow, he looks so much like me”, or if she doesn’t agree with aspects of how we’re raising the child, and can’t necessarily disconnect emotionally. That for me was enough to decide that even though I didn’t want a completely anonymous donation, I preferred not to get one from a friend or relative.


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