Gladstone mother wants to break stigma on egg donation
JEMMA Bacon is a Gladstone mother and advocate for the process of egg donation to help women who are trying to conceive and she is doing her best to end the stigma facing egg donors.
Since 7 News aired a segment on Friday night featuring Ms Bacon discussing the topic, more than 100 new egg donors from Central Queensland had joined the online not-for-profit community of Egg Donation Australia.
“I’ve had personal messages from people wanting to know how to get started,” Ms Bacon said this week.
“It’s been really humbling.”
Through Egg Donation Australia, Ms Bacon has altruistically donated more than 100 eggs, resulting in five live births over the past eight years.
She said many people sought donors from overseas when there were “women in their own backyards willing to give their eggs out of the goodness of their heart”.
Overseas egg donor arrangements were “business transactions”, she said, and there were benefits to having a known donor you could call for information such as medical history.
The Kirkwood resident has two children of her own and two stepchildren ranging in ages from two to 10.
“Parenthood is a gift and being a part of egg donation you really see that,” she said.
“It makes you feel really grateful to be given the gifts I get every day – the smiles on your children’s faces and the hugs. I was really saddened to hear of the people who struggled to have a family and who pined for it.
“The world is about being kind and giving back and that’s what I’m trying to promote.
“And if I can help somebody achieve their dream of becoming a family, then why not?”
Ms Bacon said when she joined Egg Donation Australia in 2012, there were 20 people involved and now there were more than 4000 recipients and donors throughout Australia and New Zealand.
She said the level of involvement she had with each of the families she donated to was an individual arrangement to suit all involved, however no money was exchanged.
“Ultimately it is a gift,” she said.
She said Egg Donation Australian promoted “bonding” with the recipient family so it was a “lifetime commitment”.
Both parties ensured they “were on the same page” before embarking on the process.
Ms Bacon maintains online contact with some of the families she has helped and with others she has formed family-like bonds.
“I’m godmother to identical twin girls who are four and live in Brisbane and I’m now best friends with their mother,” she said.
She is also a godmother to a five-year-old boy whose aunty was his surrogate.
“We all catch up – they’re like extended members of my family,” Ms Bacon said.
For more information, check the Egg Donation Australia Facebook page.