Far From The Tree Features Surrogacy


Far From The Tree Photo

Far From The Tree Photo

The book Far From The Tree by Andrew Solomon spotlights families with special needs children including those with dwarfism, schizophrenia and autism.  The author writes about his own son at the end of the book.  His son does not have a particular condition, but he was conceived with an egg donor and a surrogate.  Andrew and his husband John created their son with Andrew’s sperm.  They went on a donor egg hunt to find the egg donor.  The surrogate came courtesy of gratitude.  She was the mother of  two child that her and her wife conceived from sperm donations by Andrew’s husband.  She wanted to give back to her sperm donor and his husband by carrying their child.  In the world of infertility there are less then six degrees of separation!


The Babymakers Photo

 “The Babymakers” features desperate prospective parents played by Paul Schneider and Olivia Munn.  His sperm have gone bad so he robs the sperm bank that houses his one batch of good sperm that he donated in younger days.   When I was trying to conceive a baby with my second husband, we needed his extra sperm that were stored at the hospital sperm bank.  We weren’t sure if they were still good, but the nurse reassured us that his frozen sperm would outlast us all. We arranged to have the sperm shipped to our new donor egg doctor in New Jersey. Then I kept my fingers crossed that the delivery truck wouldn’t crash and smash my husband’s sperm to smithereens.


In the movie The Switch, Jennifer Aniston has a baby with a sperm donor. She chooses a good looking hunk to provide the DNA for her baby.  Unbeknownst to Jennifer, her drunken, dorky best friend, played by Jason Bateman, has changed the sperm and provided his own.  Her son becomes a nerd too. This being Hollywood, when Jennifer learns years later of her friend’s deed, she forgives him and they become romantically involved. When I decided to use donor eggs, I already had found my husband for my second marriage. So I no longer searched for the romantic fairy tale ending. But I was afraid that a donor egg  switch might result in my donor misrepresenting herself. What if my worst nightmare came true, and she was actually a serial killer who pushed people off of the subway tracks? It took time for me to trust that my egg donor really would turn out to be all right.




The time traveler’s wife faced catastrophic infertility issues in Audrey Niffenegger’s book The Time Traveler’s Wife. Every time she became pregnant, her baby inherited its father’s time traveling abilities and time traveled out of the womb. This resulted in multiple miscarriages. Finally, in order to end the angst of never ending losses, the time traveling husband had a vasectomy. Then a still potent version of himself time traveled to the future and impregnated his wife with a miracle baby that came to term. I did not have to overcome my infant hurling out of my womb to become lost in time. However, I did have to face five failed IVF attempts with my elderly eggs. I had no doppelganger younger edition of myself to come to my rescue and supply my husband with fertile eggs. But I did find a youthful egg donor who would be my knight in shining armor come to deliver eggs to the infertile damsel in distress.




My egg donor produced one baby, and her second donation resulted in another pregnancy.  My baby already would have two biological half siblings.  I could have played Sherlock Holmes and discovered the identity of these children.  Already there is a website for the 150 and still counting prodigy of a prolific sperm donor.  A mother of one of the children keeps track of the growing family tree so that in the future her son could meet some of his brothers and sisters.  I did not want built-in relatives that were complete strangers. I also did not want to jeopardize my position as the mother of my child by establishing relationships that were based on the biological egg donor mother.  But I would have been open to an incest website to prevent the growing possibility of an egg donor child of mine inadvertently marrying a half sibling. Of course, since many egg donor recipients never reveal their egg donor origin to their child, I still could have a grandchild born of incest.