Different ethnicities, race groups and religious groups all feel independently that the group to which they belong has stronger views about the highly sensitive topic of egg donation. The reality is that egg donation is very personal and the exploration of such treatment is ultimately based on the individual's own circumstances. The uniqueness of the decisions are influenced by people's own prominent histories and the influence of the associated culture.
Typically, Caucasian South Africans tend to take longer to accept the fact of requiring donor eggs to conceive. Although the trend of advanced fertility treatments is growing, proceeding with an egg donor remains a highly private decision. The general public remain in awe and interest of concepts such as egg donation, which always requires further explanation, to ensure everyone fully understands that the topic is human egg donation of the female.
In Africa, cultures amongst the Black Africans are that of fertility and the bearing of children is almost a given. As infertility neither discriminates against race nor culture, a certain proportion of woman from all groups will fall victim to infertility. Black woman have always given a fixed decision that the donor egg conception will remain highly private without even grandparents knowing about the egg donor. The ability to find an egg donor of the same ethnic group enables these hopeful parents to have the promise of a similar child to the physical traits of the commissioning parents and restore hope from a potential ostracised situation of being barren and the only family without children. Black families have typically borne many children in one household, so whilst it cannot be said that one woman's pain of infertility is greater than another, it could be argued that the stakes are higher if associated families have conceived several children and one struggling lady is battling to have a mere one child.
Black recipients tend to make decisions quicker about their egg donor. South Africa is also a haven for egg donation treatments for neighbouring African states, such as Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Nigeria who share some of the African cultures of conceiving and having many children.
A new African commissioning parent shared his story that he was raised in an environment where his genetic mother was actually his sister. He only become aware of this in his late teens, which left him somewhat deceived. His grandmother (mother of his genetic mother) assumed the role and responsibility of mother in the home. He personally had to resolve extensive personal conflicts about the concept of an anonymous egg donor. After understanding that an egg donor is not a mother and really a donor, he was able to distinguish between mother and egg donor. With this newfound realisation, he has realised that conception with an anonymous egg donor is not repeating his own deception of not having the truth about the genetic mother. His is a choice, whereas his family situation manifested as a result of an unplanned situation.
Although Australian and British recipients travelling to South Africa have to incur more costs relative to the travel investment for such fertility treatments abroad, there tends to be a greater initial acceptance. There appears to be a quicker turnaround in terms of decision making and confirming the preferred donor. This may be that there is an inherent understanding that further planning is required to facilitate and arrange such an international trip. A further possible consideration is that Australians and UK recipients have possibly explored other international egg donation options, whereas South Africans tend to explore national rather than international scenarios.
Accordingly, each individual is guided by their own personal history in terms of decision making around the selection of the egg donor, the promptness hereof and other supporting decisions, such as aspects of importance in the egg donor as well as maintaining the confidentiality of the donor egg role in the conception.