An excerpt from a published article about Third Party Reproduction featuring Mahshid Albrecht, RSC’s Egg Donor Manager
*Note: Names have been changed to protect the privacy of RSC patients.
One of the most important decisions a person can make in life is when to start a family. Unfortunately, some women want children beyond their bodies’ capabilities or under less traditional circumstances. The Reproductive Science Center (RSC) provides the solution of egg donation. With growing technological advances, the program allows more and more men and women to form families when they once might never have had the chance.
Each pregnancy that occurs at RSC holds a unique story behind it. Tracy’s journey began as a 42 year-old single woman who yearned for motherhood. She had faced devastation a few years ago when she lost her naturally conceived baby 37 weeks into the pregnancy.
“I had never been married, and the realization hit me that I wasn’t getting any younger, and my window of opportunity to have children was getting smaller and smaller. Then I decided that I could do it myself,” Tracy said.
Tracy turned to artificial insemination, looking at various programs in Sacramento, but remarked that they all felt very impersonal. The cost of the programs and her unhappiness with the facilities made her turn to another location. After thousands of dollars spent and no child of her own, she found RSC.
When asked what attracted her to the program, Tracy replied, “RSC had a lot of experience, which I really liked. I liked the fact that RSC had their own donors. Also, RSC has the highest success rate out of anyone else, and they provided more financial assistance than the other places.”
These success rates are part of the reason that many donors turn to RSC to help create families for people. Another important factor behind RSC’s success is the quality of donors elected to the program. Donors must complete a lengthy screening process that examines their BMI, health history, genetic background and blood work.
Albrecht presents recipients like Tracy with a number of options and lets them choose from the pool of donors. “I try to give them as much information as possible for them to make the decision that they feel good about. The ramifications are so huge; you’re creating another life, and I want them to feel good about the decision they made in creating that life,” Albrecht said. “There is no cookie cutter formula or answer because everyone is so different,” she remarked.
The egg donation process paid off for Tracy, and she gave birth to twin daughters four months ago. “I adore them,” she said. “I’m really grateful that I made that choice and didn’t give up.”
Albrecht agreed. “The most rewarding part is getting the pictures about nine or ten months later after working with someone for a year or two years, and seeing the end result, which is a family. It’s a huge honor to be a part of being able to create families for people.”