This is a question that a lot of egg donor (and sperm donor) recipients ask themselves. Will people know that I used a donor? Will they comment that the baby doesn’t look like me? How will I handle those questions if I don’t plan to disclose that a donor was used?
One thing to realize is that children pick up on many mannerisms from their parents. So maybe your little girl won’t have your eyes, but you will hear, “she makes the same faces as you” or “she does that just like you”. Children pick up on everything that their parents to and will replicate many of them as you are the first people they choose to imitate.
Try this experiment: attend an event that involves both parents and children and see how many of them you can match without knowing which children belong to which parents. It’s not as easy as you may think! Most children have a blend of both of their parent’s physical characteristics, but sometimes something from the grandparents (or previous generations) will show up as well. For example, if you have not yet met me, I have red hair and a ton of freckles. Do you want to know how many relatives (counting grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, and my own children) have red hair? Zero. Zilch. Nada. None. Sure I grew up with the “did the mailman have red hair?” jokes. On top of that, I am asked why my children don’t have red hair. “Are you sure they’re yours?” I know for a fact that my children are mine despite the fact that neither of them have this red hair or nearly as many freckles as I have, but they both have my sensitivity and lack of grace (to put it nicely).
The most important thing to realize above anything else is that once you see your beautiful baby in your arms, you will have no doubt that this is YOUR baby. You will never love anything more than this perfect being that you are holding in your arms. You might get the questions, but I believe that most parents get those questions anyway.
Vicki Meagher has worked with InVia Fertility Specialists since 2006. She is our Third Party Coordinator, so she works with our patients that need an egg donor, sperm donor, gestational surrogate, or any combination of the above. She recruits and screens the egg donors for our in-house donor program as well. She loves working with intended parents and is passionate about third party reproduction and the important role it plays in helping patients achieve their dream of starting or extending their family. She is a member of SEEDS - the Society for Ethics for Egg Donation and Surrogacy.