Social Egg Freezing?! Really?
In response to the Saturday, October 27, 2012 article by Jodie Shupac – To Freeze or Not To Freeze – That is the Question:
When did choosing to have a family instead of pursuing a professional career symbolize that a woman failed to achieve her true potential? Women should not be turning to social egg freezing to delay having children because it is more convenient. This is a bad idea because women are delaying an inevitable decision making process, egg freezing gives women a potentially false safety net and it is not wise that we have parents closer to being the age of seniors taking care of young children. We need to educate young women about their options early on and then from there they can hopefully make healthy social and physical choices for themselves and their children to be.
About 20 years ago, women were led to believe that we can have it all – a successful career and a happy family. Well it’s not quite that clear and easy. While a career is difficult to leave or pick up after an extended absence raising children because it involves retraining or new education, at least there are steps to take to make you more marketable. On the flipside, there is no course or retraining that will make your body better suited for pregnancy once you reach a certain age. Women and their partners need to make a conscious decision to have a family. Social egg freezing only delays this inevitable choice.
And if you’re a woman in your 30s heartily submerged in your career and no time for a partner, social egg freezing may seem like a great way to fend off the inevitable aging of our bodies. I do not claim to be a biologist or a fertility specialist but common sense tells me that fresh is better than frozen. A frozen egg is not necessarily going to withstand the pressures of being frozen and then thawed. Women should not be given a false sense of security that their reproductive abilities are intact just because they freeze a few eggs.
What if everything works out perfectly? You freeze your eggs in your 30’s and buy yourself 10 more years to establish your career, travel and find Mr. Right. Well you and Mr. Right are now in your 40s and luck is with you so your eggs thaw beautifully and you now have a newborn at the age of 42. Do the math – you will not be as virile and active as you were in your 30s to chase after a toddler or deal with a teenager in your 40s and 50s – no matter how healthy you are! And unless you have superbly healthy parents, your kids may never meet their grandparents. The children of this utopian older generation will likely be less parented in their early 20s and you as parents will miss out on your own grandchildren.
Social egg freezing may be an up and coming trend and it may be perfect for you but women who consider it should fully inform themselves about the pros and cons of this process before they buy into the hype. As a surrogacy and IVF lawyer I have seen wildly successful career women struggle with the emotional and physical pain of not being able to have the family they always wanted. Maybe opting for a family first and then focusing on a career is not such a bad choice.
Nancy Lam is a surrogacy/IVF lawyer in Toronto, Ontario who has guided her clients through all the legal aspects of surrogacy and egg donor relationships. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her at www.surrogacylawyer.info.