It’s no secret that in recent years more celebrities in their 40s -- some even in their 50s -- are giving birth. But what’s often not clear is whether they used their own eggs to have a child. Most of these women choose not to comment on the matter – as is their right; at the end of the day, it is no one’s business how their child was conceived, right? – so if they did use donor eggs to get pregnant, the public doesn't know and by saying nothing many of us might believe a woman in her 40s or 50s delivered her own biological child. And a few do.
In some ways it’s a natural deduction. We’ve been led to believe that the miracles of fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can solve nearly any conception difficulty a woman or couple might come across. But those of us who haven’t been able to conceive, or deliver a healthy baby, know better. It ain’t that easy, and medicine doesn’t have an answer for everyone. Even when there are "answers," they are often hard-won, and years in the making.
So on the one hand it may be heartening to see older women getting pregnant and having a family, or adding to their family later, on their own terms, when they’re ready – it may seem they're living the dream of "having it all" - a carefree youth, time and energy for career advancement, and then the joys of motherhood, when there is probably more time, money, and perspective to enjoy it all.
On the other hand, though, it’s worth mentioning that, in all likelihood, many of these women did not conceive easily, and a fair number probably didn’t conceive and carry a child that is biologically theirs – even if their silence implies they did. The potential danger in this is not to women and couples who are already dealing with difficulty conceiving (we know how they likely got pregnant, and are probably very sympathetic to anyone who struggles as we have), but there may be a real risk in implying to younger women that you can have it all – wait until your late 30s, your 40s, even your 50s and still have the family you want. Or even implying that high fertility is universal, that all women have pretty much the same “amounts” of it, which is simply not true.
ConceiveOnline.com wants to hear what you think: Do you think it’s entirely a woman’s business (and no one else’s) how she conceived? Or does a woman over 35, 40, or 50 owe it to others to be upfront if she had to use an egg donor to have a baby? What are the child’s rights in this situation? What would you do - or have you done?