A friend of mine recently showed me a Craigslist ad for a Jewish family dealing with long-term infertility looking for a Jewish woman to donate eggs for implantation. What a wonderful idea, I thought. Such a simple way to give two people their greatest joy in life. The compensation for such a donation isn't bad, either.
If you had asked me two years ago, I would have thought this was a great idea and would probably have willingly given away a few eggs to help another couple. Now, though, I'm not so sure. Of course the infertile couples are looking for eggs from a healthy woman, and for the most part I fit that bill. After having HG, though - research indicates that there is a strong genetic component to it; a component that can be passed even through the men.
I know that however many daughters I myself bear are unfortunately at high risk for following in my footsteps. I don't feel that I could inflict such a thing on someone else's daughter, however. When my daughters reach their childbearing years, I will know what to look out for and how to help them. For a family that has never dealt with the horrors of HG, though, this would seem even more terrible and very daunting.
Egg donation is a great idea and a great option for couples who can physically carry the baby to term but who can't, for whatever reason, use the woman's eggs to begin with. I would be so happy to donate my eggs. Heck, so long as they covered my medical expenses I would even do it without compensation because I think that it is so important and wonderful. To them the HG might not even seem like a big deal. First they have a 50/50 chance of having a girl. Then, it's still not guaranteed that she will inherit the HG. Either way, it's something that she wouldn't have to deal with until she is an adult. But still, it wouldn't feel right to me. I can inflict my own children with it (kind of unavoidable, if you want kids) but inflicting someone else's kid just isn't fair.