Posted by: DD | December 22, 2008


A poll to get you thinking is below. The motivation for said poll to follow in separate post. For now?

Please indulge me.

Does a sperm or egg donor become a father or mother if a recipient delivers a baby, even if s/he (the donor) never knows that there was a child?
( surveys)



  1. I honestly don’t believe so. When you donate, you sever the ties if there ever were any. Being a mother or father is so much more than biology.

    Just my opinion.

  2. aw, come on. I can’t even see the results.

    well, you know my answer to the question. Is this going to turn into a “stupid things people say” post? lol

  3. I’ll reveal the results in my follow up. I didn’t want anyone to be unduly influenced by the numbers.

  4. OK, I’m an idiot. Didn’t realize I was supposed to vote in the actual survey link. Just went to do that.

  5. I vote no. A parent is the one that is up at night in tears because the baby won’t sleep. A donor, is just that…a donor. If I donate blood to the Red Cross I don’t know if my donation saved a life or got thrown away after a short shelf life. Once you donate, your part is complete. IMHO.

  6. here’s my thinking:

    let’s say, you donate a kidney, or some bone marrow or something…. now, let’s say, you change your mind!!! let’s say you decide, “hey, that’s MY kidney… I want it back!!”

    you think anyone’s going to take you seriously??? I certainly hope not, and most likely, if you took that to a judge, they would throw you in the loonie bin.

    Same should happen here…

    You give something away, it’s no longer YOURS!!! end of story.

  7. I don’t feel maternal over blood that I donated that may have saved a childs life. Did I help, yes. Do I gain anything other than satisfaction of helping, no.

    I guess, technically, on a purely logical level – the DNA of them created a child, they are linked. But, they are not a parent.

    I truly believe that people who donate their eggs or their blasts are doing it with love and good intentions for others to become parents.

  8. Wow heavy thinking for a Monday so close to Christmas!!

    Ok, here is how I see things… of course this is JMHO…

    Biologically they are a parent, but as Heather said, it takes so much more then DNA to parent a child… TRUST ME on this one. It is a slippery slope I suppose, but one that I am greatful is even there to be tackled!!


  9. Is this like the “if a tree falls in the woods and noone hears it” question? I’m eating my lunch! How am I supposed to process philosophical questions!

    I’m curious to hear what people say, because my gut reaction is absolutely not. A parent is the one who raises you. However if I donated an egg to someone I knew and was aware of the child created, I would definitely feel a strong connection to that child. Not a parental connection but definitely a connection.

  10. The key word for me is ‘donor’.

    You don’t donate anything with preconditions, once you donate it’s out of your hands, not yours, you have no say.

    In my book.

  11. Nope. Whomever gives birth/parents the kid is the parent/mommy/daddy. The donor gives some starter, end of story.

  12. I’ve only just seen the shiner – boy, that’s big!

    I actually voted yes, but there are different types of parent – I think they’d be in the same situation as a birth father who had no interest in parenting a child and didn’t know their girlfriend (or one-night-stand) had got pregnant, though in theory they knew sex could lead to pregnancy.

    So, on paper, yes, but in practice, no.

  13. Provider of half the child’s genes – yes – although who knows what effect the place of gestation has. Parent – no.

  14. I’m just into the basic biologic level. Yes, (part of) your DNA is being carried around in another person.

    Does that make you a parent? Biologically, yes. Emotionally? NO.

  15. No, not a parent (Mother/Father), but of course there is a biological tie.

    My cousin, who donated her eggs, does not consider herself a mother to our son, but she does have a special connection to him. She is also his godmother and legal guardian. She loves seeing pictures of him and hearing about his toddler exploits.

    We’re all going to my aunt’s for Christmas this year, and everyone is so excited to spend time with our Bee. We consider my cousins to be his aunts and uncles, which is nice as my DH & I have no siblings.

    The donation process brought my cousin and I closer, but I realize that many people use anonymous donors. Obviously a very different circumstance.

  16. […] the comments to moderation as I don’t want any one to be influenced unfairly in their voting. On the poll. Yes, there’s an actual voting process. Click the link and you’ll […]

  17. Is the donor related to the child? Yes. Does that make them the mother/father? No. Unless at some later point in the lives of the donor and child they develop some kind of parent/child relationship, I don’t consider the donors as parents.

  18. Genetically, yes, I suppose. But I think that’s as far as it goes. You’re donating body fluids and cells, so I can’t really see you calling the donor mommy or daddy.

  19. If I had an answer, I’d gladly give you one.

  20. […] you voted? On the poll? Do so so I can close that SOB down and turn off comment moderation. […]

  21. Ok, well I may end up being the radical here, I guess we’ll see in the comments.

    Anyway, we have emailed enough that you know I think that genetics matter just as much as who raises the kid.

    As for the term? Why not? Frankly, if Heather can have two mommies who are lesbians and a father who was the donor, and she turns out just fine–then why can’t Heather have two mommies who are donor egg mommy and the carrier/raising the kid mommy?

    There are birth mothers who are so mentally ill or on drugs that they never know they are pregnant, and don’t remember giving birth. They may not know the state has taken their child, but they may find out later when they recover, get the right meds, or whatever. They still acted as mothers in some capacity, right? I know of one mom who realized that the meds she took for schizophrenia would damage her fetus, so prior to the pregnancy, she went off them and checked into a hospital. She spent most of the pregnancy there or at home being watched and knew nothing until long after her child was born.

    Her responsibility towards the health of the baby shows motherhood, even though it was prior to the pregnancy occurring.

    Same for your Egg Donor I think. She didn’t just donate for money, and she didn’t just donate to any old person. I assume that she knew about the clinic process in checking you out and she wanted the future potential z-girl to be okay. The responsibility and care shows that she earns a title, of some sort.

  22. No, a sperm or egg donor does not become a father or mother if the recipient delivers a baby. I believe being a mother of father involves much more than genetics. To be a mother or father, I believe an emotional and physical connection is needed and a commitment to be there for the child.

  23. […] What bug flew up my butt and inspired the poll (final results were 74.59% said no, donors do not become mothers/fathers while 24.59% said they did,…? […]

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