By Jennifer

When I was 19, I found out at a family party that my parents used a sperm donation to conceive me. My father had been in a motorcycle accident when he was young, leaving him sterile. I was so shocked and upset that I didn’t speak to my mother for two weeks. I eventually made up with her and pushed this “bombshell” aside.

The subject came up again during my third year in college. One friend was working for a law firm specializing in adoption and fertility agreements, and hearing about families in need of donor eggs made me start thinking about donating. I also discovered that another friend’s sister was an egg donor. In a way, it felt like I was coming full circle – I could help a struggling couple have a child, like the sperm donor did for my parents years ago. (Read one family’s journey through egg donation and surrogacy at

I did a lot of research to find out everything I could about egg donation. I asked my friend who worked for the law firm to recommend the best agencies to work with in Chicago. From those I selected ARR.

My first donation cycle took about eight months. Once I cleared the psychological and medical tests, I was ready to be matched. (The process reminded me of waiting to be picked for the fourth grade kickball team!) ARR matched me within a few weeks and the actual procedure was not as painful as I thought.

This was such an amazing experience. At first my family didn’t understand why I wanted to be a donor, but I was very open with them throughout the entire process. The more we talked, the more supportive they became. Since my first donation I’ve become and advocate for egg donation, and have completed a second donation cycle.

I don’t know if a birth has come from my egg donation, but I like to think it did. I hope I was able to give the same gift that someone gave my parents – the gift of a family.

Jennifer, 26, is a choreographer living in New York. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago.