A New Light on Infertility, Egg Donation, and Surrogacy
By Parham Zar, Managing Director of Egg Donor & Surrogacy Institute
As the managing director of Egg Donor and Surrogacy Institute for the past 15 years, with over 800 babies delivered, I am truly enamored with what we at EDSI accomplish every day. We have our hands in building families that could not have otherwise been formed without the help of other big-hearted individuals and the advancement of reproductive technology. It is a privilege to fulfill our company’s mission of enabling individuals to achieve their right to reproduction and experience the joy of parenthood, which at some point was almost not possible for them.
Part of the challenge is the taboo around infertility. People find it hard to talk about it because they equate reproductive challenges to being “defective” or “less than”. Even with the staggering statistic that 1 in every 6 couples faces obstacles in having their own child, awareness is still low and ignorance widespread. Our society still has many outdated judgments and misunderstandings about infertility and new reproductive methods available; which perpetuate fear and shame, and rob people of their dream of parenthood. We believe that when people are afraid to speak up, change and acceptance cannot follow. Even though there are valid ethical concerns, most in our experience can be safeguarded with proper measures.
A profoundly unfortunate misconception is that Egg Donors and Surrogates are exploited in this process. We have handled the connection between hundreds – if not thousands – of Intended Parents and their Egg Donors and Surrogates. We have witnessed relationships of service, respect, and mutual benefit. In every first meeting, a wondrous miracle transpires among all at a deep level, everyone knows that they are helping each other bring a child into the world. It is a relationship of gratitude, compassion, and collaboration. It also helps that Surrogacy laws in California protect all parties involved, which limits any form of abuse.
In our experience of working with Surrogates and Egg Donors, we have met the most compassionate, generous, and selfless people. We have found that most women that become Surrogates or Egg Donors come from a place of genuinely wanting to be of service to another, to see another person experience the love of a child, and to feel they are making a positive impact in someone’s life. While the monetary compensation is necessary to cover their time, effort, pain and suffering, it does not diminish their noble intention to give to another. We hope that our society truly acknowledges Surrogates and Egg Donors for the life-giving role they play and the joy they bring to the lives of many Intended Parents. It is often a profound and life-changing experience for them.
What drives us most at EDSI is to be the voice of education and awareness, to further open the conversation about infertility, and to garner support and acceptance for Surrogacy and Egg Donation. We understand how much pain, longing, and isolation reproductively challenged couples and individuals face. This need not be the case anymore. The more we can talk about the challenges, the more transparent the issue becomes, and the more others will be encouraged to help and respond.
It has been our privilege to give hope and successfully support many couples and individuals as they pursue Egg Donation and Surrogacy to have a child. This is not merely a victory made possible by reproductive technology, it is made possible by people opening their hearts and wanting to give and sacrifice for another. The beauty of this process is the camaraderie and collaboration between people that would otherwise be unrelated, and now bonded by a life they have created and nurtured together. We celebrate with our clients when they reach “miracle milestones”—a positive pregnancy; the first heartbeat; a healthy delivery. We have many reasons to rejoice daily! And we hope for a future where society is celebrating and supporting this way of building families hand in hand with us.