Egg donation: Will my child look like me?

Published: 6 January 2018|Last updated: 12 June 2019|About Assisted Reproduction.|

For the majority of couples finding out about egg donation can be difficult to take on board and accept

In the event that you cannot use your own eggs to achieve pregnancy, the physician will guide you towards in vitro fertilisation using oocytes from a donor. This is an assisted reproduction technique that gives very good results even though it is true that for the majority of couples it will be a difficult diagnosis to take on board and accept. A long list of questions starts to take shape in your head, which is completely normal. The matter of the similarity to the donor makes you anxious. What is this donor like? How has she been chosen? What are her hobbies? Does she have a passion for anything or a sense of humour? Is she reserved or, on the contrary, an extrovert? Does she have a good character? Is she well-educated? Is she sporty? Or tall? What does she look like? And, above all, the thing that torments you night and day: knowing whether your baby will look like her. You have the sensation that you’re going to live the rest of your life with a ghost by your side.

However, many children whose fertilisation proceeded from both parents’ gametes don’t resemble them, either physically or in character. They may look like the uncles or aunts, the cousins, the grandparents…but not necessarily the mother. So you shouldn’t give much more importance to the physical likeness, since your son or daughter will be like you in dozens of other ways. They will be like you in their gestures, expressions, habits, through the upbringing, values and openness to the world that you pass on to them and by the models you teach them to follow. These are neither innate, nor inherited, and for this very reason, genetics is not the key to parental and family harmony. Also, we should remember that the donor has been selected based on her phenotypic features. The phenotype of any living being is the combination of their traits such as height, build, hair colour and even blood group. Therefore, and however incredible it may seem, your son or daughter will have the same chance of resembling you just as if conception had taken place with your own cell.

The oocyte you will receive is just a “technical” aid, a mere cell donated by an altruistic and generous fairy. Without any shadow of doubt you will be the biological mother, since you’ll have carried this baby and nourished him with your own blood, thoughts and emotions throughout the entire pregnancy. The very first thing your baby will have heard are your heartbeats! What makes the mother is the birth, not the tiny little cell you’ve been helped with. And what’s more, it wouldn’t occur to anybody to say that the pregnancy is just a simple matter of incubation! Oocyte donation is the missing piece in the puzzle of your life. Your baby will melt into your whole being, in the fullness of joy, happiness and love! And when you have your baby in your arms, you won’t want him to be different or distinct from the one you are holding, not for anything in the world…

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