Writing for Tablet, Simi Lampert recounts her experience first deciding for–and then against–donating her eggs through an agency. She’s charmingly candid about her reasoning in favor: “It seemed like a relatively simple thing to do for the amount I’d be paid. Plus, there was something cool about being able to give someone else the chance to have a child.” Despite the significant resistance she encountered in her friends and family, and the many moral and philosophical considerations they raised in objection, she persisted in her straight-laced intuition of the positive utility and ethical harmlessness of the procedure; “I was just being logical I thought, and everyone else was being excessively emotional.”
What ultimately caused her conversion, she says, was a reflection on the inarticulable yet powerfully compelling significance of natural family life. Her father having died when she was three, her mother remarried, and she enjoyed healthy relationships with her step-father’s family. But there was always something missing, something she felt she could only truly share with her genetic family. Her conclusion:
Thinking about my family, I realized that I’d be taking away from that egg—that future child, even future adult—what I missed so much in my life. Suddenly, I felt protective over that person; I felt the need to keep it safe from harm and hurt. I felt the connection everyone else assumed I’d have all along. And once those emotions were involved, I couldn’t take them back.
Logically, I suppose, my initial instinct was still right. My egg is, biologically, just an egg. It’s not a child. But if I did donate it, one day it might be a child. And that child would grow up never knowing the feeling of loving someone with the same snub nose it might have. That child would wonder why it—not it, he or she—felt the need to insert sarcasm into every conversation. He would never know the bond of a genetic relative. No matter what logic told me, my feelings had changed, and I couldn’t go through with it.