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Until the 1960s, it was common to pass off adopted children as one's own; today it's almost unthinkable.Add to that decades of movies and books warning of the danger of "toxic" family secrets and our collective experience of watching children search the globe for their birth parents, and you might think that few among us would choose not to inform a child that half of his or her genes came from a woman whose name is sitting in a doctor's file across town. Since 1984, when the first egg donor baby was born in Australia, more than a million such children have been born worldwide, nearly 250,000 in the United States.
(The average age of recipients is 43.) "Celebrities may be different from you and me, they may be better-looking, but one thing they're not is more fertile." Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of the former vice presidential candidate, took a gentler but only slightly more candid approach than Tiegs last year in response to journalists' speculations regarding her two youngest children, born when she was 48 and 50.
Why, I hoped to find out, did some mothers want to keep it a secret?
This woman isn't interested in explaining her reasons, however.
"But I get upset when [reporters] go into the details of the whole process." "But don't you worry that she'll discover the truth one day? All they see is Jane Seymour smiling on , talking about her babies, and they think, wow, great. She's right that people have only the faintest understanding of the strange magic of assisted reproduction.
" I press, thinking that if she's much beyond her early forties, her age alone might maker her daughter suspicious. During my own time in infertility purgatory—my daughter was born to a surrogate earlier this year—I learned that even my highly educated friends rely on those heartwarming but sketchy articles in .