Apologies for non-existent posting, I've been on holiday in Sicily. Now I'm back in London, and wondering why on earth there is water dripping from the sky of all places.
While away I noticed this extraordinary report in the New York Times. In the States, more and more women are choosing to freeze their eggs for later use (just stick them in the microwave to defrost) and it turns out that they are often being encouraged to do so by parents, keen to increase their chances of becoming grandparents:
“By the time Allison was 35, I felt the clock was tick-tick-ticking,” said Candace Kramer, 61, whose daughter took her up on the suggestion to freeze her eggs — and her offer to pay half the bill. “I viewed it as opening up an opportunity for her.”
Such arrangements are not unusual, said Dr. Daniel Shapiro... He estimated that at least three quarters of his center’s egg-freezing patients — more than 100 over the past two years — have parents who paid part or all of the bill.
“I was surprised at first about the parental involvement, but now I expect it to be the case,” said Dr. Shapiro, adding that many patients tell him, “My parents want me to have this as a gift.”
His center, along with an offshoot called My Egg Bank North America, are trying to make it easier, and less uncomfortable, for family members to pay for the procedure, marketing the “Gift of Hope”: a gift certificate and a silver charm bracelet for the recipients.
Perhaps this is touching evidence of parent-child collaboration. Or perhaps it's just icky. Medical science is increasingly good at posing such questions. Here's a quote from another family:
Mrs. Hayes and her husband offered to pay for the procedure, but Jennifer Hayes was initially reluctant to accept the money.
“My mom said to me, ‘Do you think we’d rather have this money sitting in an account or have a potential grandchild someday?’ ” she recalled. “When she positioned it that way, it somehow just changed the way I felt.”
I can see that.
Do the parents then get to choose who fertilises the eggs? Seems like a reasonable enough demand, given their investment.
Full report here.