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After reviewing my application and exhausting every possible email inquiry about my family history and personal life, I got the good news that every potential egg donor wants to hear:  the law firm orchestrating my donation decided they wanted to meet me in person! It was my big shot, my chance to shine. I felt like I was being called up from the minors to the big leagues. 

The meeting was arranged for a local Starbucks, and I made it a point to dress professionally. This is, after all, a business arrangement. It just happens to be a business arrangement involving my ovaries. 

The ladies who met me were extremely warm and friendly, and made me feel at ease as they discussed an overview of the process and then started asking me rehashed questions from the written application in order to hear my answers in person (good thing I can express myself well through oral advocacy - law school for the win!). In general, the meeting was what I expected, except for one comment that got me to thinking. At one point, one of the lawyers asked me if my teeth were so white naturally. While smiling and answering the question, I was struck once again by the absurdity of this situation. Here I was, in the year 2011, having my physical traits evaluated with a large sum of cash on the line. I know I’ve talked about it before, but it was the defining moment in this entire process where I felt a bit like I was a stud horse at auction, up for the highest bidder. 

The moment was fleeting, and I have yet again to feel something similar. But it was there nonetheless and something that brings a chuckle when I remember it. In the end, my whitening trays thankfully weren’t a deal breaker.

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Hi dear! Quick question for you.  You indicated that you had approx 5-10 drinks a week. What kind of frequency is this?  Every week? Every other week? Thanks!”

Just to confirm—that picture is of your parents and your grandparents at your sister’s wedding right?”

I quickly learned that applying to be an egg donor meant being subject to almost daily emails like these. I’d be walking into class and get an email asking me which side my Native American ancestry comes from. At one point I sat down to grab drinks with a guy I had met the week before and opened an email asking me when my next period would start. Total buzz kill.

The application covers everything from basic questions you’d assume would be on this sort of thing like ancestry and sexual history to open-ended questions like, “What is important to you?” Thankfully, my classes hadn’t start up yet so I could find the time to sit down and figure out how I “solve my personal problems and make decisions” (Question 14) and how I “get along with people” (Question 32).

I felt like I was filling out a match.com profile, and maybe the process is fairly similar. I have to admit I’ve never been privy to the world of online dating, but there must be parallels between finding the man or woman of your dreams and finding the egg donor of your dreams. You scour backgrounds, educations, life goals, personalities, creative talents, and, last but definitely not least, attractiveness levels.

Look over here, this guy can play the guitar! Oh hey, look at this egg, she’s ivy-league educated and her family is tall! In both cases, you’re essentially hand-picking traits you want to pass on to a future family. I guess the main difference is that with egg donation you get an up front number of sexual partners and family health history. Try busting that information out on a match.com date and see where it gets you. 

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The road to this decision was surprisingly short. I have a couple of friends who have been through the egg donation process when they were a bit short on cash and wanted to travel to Europe. Seemed like an absurd and almost shallow trade: a bit of your DNA in exchange for the traditional post-graduate European Tour. But, these girls told me, it’s not like they were going to use the eggs, so someone else should, right? After all, the particular eggs in question were destined to take their own vacation down a Fallopian tube and into a uterus, where they would be unable to attach to the walls and, like their predecessors before them, fail at their primal purpose. The girls just wanted to give some of their current eggs a chance at success. And more importantly, according to my female sources, the going rate for prime eggs at an anonymous clinic was in the $5000 range.

This interaction was over a year ago, and at the time I just stored the tidbit of thought process in the back of my brain along with the lyrics to that one Venga Boys song, never to think of them again. Until some weeks ago.

Galvanized into action by the growing realization that I could graduate from a top-14 law school without a source of income, I started distractedly perusing part-time job postings online. I figured, if I could spend my last semester of law school learning some non-legal trade like tending bar, I could at least feed and water (read: whiskey) myself until I got on my feet with one of those high-paying jobs that are promised to bright-eyed first year law students. That’s when I came across an ad for egg donation.

The ad promised an amount of money that was nothing to blink at; indeed it was definitely more than my friends received. I read about the process and saw that it would involve clinic visits, some hormone treatments and minor outpatient surgery for the actual egg retrieval. That didn’t sound so bad. As someone who looks like a giraffe on roller skates when attempting even the most basic of physical activities, I have had my fair share of injuries; so hospitals and doctors don’t bother me.

I have to admit that I am a little ashamed of this next part, but knowing how important self-inspection is, I have to be honest: It was at this point, without even thinking about the whole “baby” part of the equation, that I went ahead and submitted an initial application to the website. It may prove to be mildly inconvenient, what with all those doctors appointments, not to mention the procedure with the scary phrase, “vaginal extraction,” but that was worth easing my financial burdens. Unwanted bit of my flesh in exchange for a large chunk of cash? Yes please.

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Chances are, in less than a year, I will have procreated. A child of my genetic material will be nursing a bottle and soiling diapers across the Atlantic. I won’t be there of course. Hopefully I will be back here in D.C. starting a fantastic new lawyering job; or, assuming the NY Times got it right, I’ll be drowning in debt and replying to pittance-paying Craigslist Ads for contracted legal gigs.

I’m a 25 year old small-town Texan in my third and final year at Georgetown University Law Center, and I’m donating my eggs to an international gay couple.

The basic breakdown is this: I’ll do some clinic visits and a psychological evaluation to make sure I’m healthy. I’ll take some hormones to regulate my cycle. In mid May, I’ll have the egg retrieval procedure, after which I’ll be paid for my services. And then my eggs will be fertilized and implanted into a surrogate. Assuming all of this goes according to plan, I will have a child. A child I will never know, nor never have the chance to know. Heck, with all the eggs they will harvest from the plethora of fertility drugs they’ll shoot through my system, I could end up with lots of children out there somewhere.

As much as that thought initially scared me, its counterpart is why I am going through with it. Because at the end of this process, I get to give a couple the gift of life. Without someone like me, willing to donate my eggs, and without someone like the surrogate, willing to play host for 9 months, this particular gay couple couldn’t produce a child of their own flesh. That’s the reason I smile when I think about the next few months, and that’s the reason I’m willing to be uncomfortable and go to some doctors visits.

It won’t be easy; I know that. I’ll have crazy hormones shooting through my veins and will probably feel like crying more than once. But that’s what writing is for, isn’t it? So I can document this insane process and prove to myself once and for all that I am certifiable. I must be to be doing this. 

Besides, I hear blogging about bloating gets lots of dudes.