Words Matter

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file0001365683306No, an egg donor is not the “biological mother” of the resulting child.  Nor is she the “real mother.”

No, it’s not known as “three parent IVF” when a generous young woman donates her eggs for a new procedure where portions of two different human eggs can be combined.  Read more here about this medical advancement.  And no, the woman who donates her eggs for this process is not properly called the “donor mother”.

Words matters.  Words can hurt.  And words mislead the public and children born through these advances in technology.

Donors of eggs and sperm are generous people who choose to help other people–often strangers–have families. But they are not “mothers”, “fathers” or “parents”.

When talking about third-party reproduction, please choose your words carefully.  Terms such as “donor” and “genetic contributor” accurately describe the role of the parties, without attributing to them a parental role that they do not have.