Answer from: Becky Kearns
This is one of the biggest fears that people have, will the baby feel like mine, and one of the important things to be aware of when having a baby through donor conception, actually having a baby through any form of conception, is that bonding and attachment is a process and it takes time. Although some people will feel that instant bond when they have their baby, some people will maybe take some time. But I know when people have used donor eggs there can be those additional worries about whether they will feel like your child. I actually used to worry about whether my child would have a sixth sense that they were not genetically related to me. I think it’s going through that experience that you realize everything that you’re doing so as you’re growing that child, as you’re feeding that child as you’re nurturing that child, you’re looking after them constantly. You realize that you are all they’ve ever known. You’ve known them since day five embryo, since they’ve been put back. Once you’ve started to process those feelings and you’ve spoken to other people about it and you’ve experienced motherhood with that child, you do feel like they’re yours, there is no other way of thinking about it. But there is that level of acceptance, where you’ve got to still realize that you are not genetically their parent in that sense. So it is realizing what it makes you a real mom and knowing that it’s an act, an intention, everything that you do for them. But that’s not forgetting that there is an important part of the puzzle in the fact that you need to use genetics from another person and that is a process of grief and acceptance. One of the things i always say is that acceptance does not necessarily mean that you won’t ever feel sad about not having that genetic link, you’ve accepted it and grief is something that you grow around so the grief lessens but there will still occasionally be triggers and things which pop up that might sting a little bit. But it’s a complex process but it is trying to think about it more broadly around what you’re actually doing for that child. I take my daughter to school now and I don’t feel any different to any of the other moms in the playground. I know her inside out just like they know their children inside out and were just as strongly connected and in some ways if not more so. I believe that going through such a process and through such an experience to have your children, I think it makes you a more conscious, grateful parent in everything that you do.
Will I feel that the baby is not my genetics?
Egg donation can be very challenging to accept for women in terms of giving up their own genetics. In terms of pregnancy itself, it is like any other pregnancy. What actually makes it all that difficult?