All one USC college student had was a grainy old photo of a woman posing in a pool which would be the only clue to track down the woman responsible for giving her life. With the help of her supportive family and friends, this information turned out to be all she needed.
Witness the emotional reunion, almost two decades later, between a woman who donated her egg in college and the daughter she never met…
Since Elizabeth Gaba was a young girl, she’s known she was born via egg donation and surrogacy. Her parents have always been transparent with her and Gaba knew that it was for this egg donation that her life has been possible.
But it wasn’t until she turned 18 that Gaba decided she would like to meet the egg donor that created her. Little did she know, she not only had matching DNA with her donor but also matching voices.
When she began her search, Gaba had little information to go on, but the fertility clinic where her mother had been a patient released details of the egg donor’s file. Still, there wasn’t much to go on.
The file included the donor’s birth year (1977), the college she attended (USC), the sorority she was a member of (Alphi Phi), and a glamour shot of a pretty blonde in a hot tub.
Since most fertility clinics pay egg donors between $5,000 and $10,000 and require they be between 26 and 32, and have a college education, the donor’s degree wouldn’t have narrowed the list down much. As of 2010, more than 18,300 women received donor eggs, according to the Daily Mail.
University of Southern California
This meant that finding her donor was possible, but the chances were slim. Gaba was surprised her donor attended the same college where she was currently a student, and she had gotten a degree in music, the same major she was pursuing.
As Gaba searched the Internet for more clues, she also consulted her manager, Amanda Newman. Newman began the search right away and figured out what year Throckmorton could have graduated and contacted sorority sisters from that year through Facebook.
Beauty Of The Internet
She also sent Throckmorton’s glamour shot to each, simply asking if they knew her. But seconds after she hit send on the fourth message, Newman knew she had just sent the message to Throckmorton, who was clearly the woman from the glamour shot.
Finding Her Egg Donor
Newman texted Gaba asking her if she was sitting down, saying, “this one is a doozey.” “I found your egg donor, and she [was in] SoCal Vocals!” It was incredible that her donor had sung in the same A Capella group at the same school just 18 years earlier.
Throckmorton, who has three children, told KTVU, “We have so many similar quirks. But the fact that she sang in my old A Capella group was mind-bending.” Throckmorton and Gaba decided they would have to meet and eventually sing together.
“Meeting her was wonderful and surreal,” Throckmorton said. She took a video of her and Gaba singing and posted it on her Facebook page with a heartfelt caption. “Funny story. In college, I was an egg donor for an infertile couple. Today, I met that egg.”
“She goes to my college and sings in my A Capella group. It was a crazy and wonderful day! I’m so excited to know her and especially freaked out (in the best way) to hear our voices together,” Throckmorton wrote. “Skip a minute or two into the video to hear us sing together. Genetics, man!”
As she thought back to her decision to donate eggs in her college years, Throckmorton said it was an easy decision because it seemed like a “win-win” for everyone involved. “I wasn’t squeamish about the medical procedures (lots of self-administered shots, etc.) and I liked the idea of helping a couple who couldn’t have children of their own start a family,” she said.
Checking A Box
When Throckmorton, now 41, filled out her forms with the fertility clinic, she checked a box saying she would be open to contact. She always knew in the back of her mind that someone could come forward to her many years later, although she wasn’t aware that any of her eggs led to viable pregnancies.
Building A Relationship
After she got to meet Gaba, she also introduced her three children to her. As far as if they will continue to nurture a relationship, Throckmorton said, “I do think we’ll continue to have a relationship.” “She’s a really cool chick and I’m so excited to know her.”
Gaba feels the same, saying she leads a happy life and loves her family, but she always wanted to learn more about where she came from. The pair said they plan to continue building their relationship.
While this story had a happy ending, more often than not, the outcome is not ideal. Contact between children and their donor parents remains a delicate issue in the fertility world. Some research suggests that telling donor children where they come from does not benefit them.
In a 2009 study by Oxford Academic, 37 percent of the offspring who were told during childhood felt confused and 27 percent were shocked. There was a lower percentage in those who were informed later but clearly worse than those who were not told at all.
While some authors of these studies stated that no differences were found in those who were told and those who weren’t, they concluded that it is better for children to be told. One possible explanation of this is the moral premise that ‘children should be told the truth,’ or ‘children have a right to know their genetic origin.’
Others studies indicate that women feel they are not adequately informed or emotionally prepared for the implications of donation down the line. For Gaba, her mother has always encouraged her to get in touch with her egg donor, so she already had a great support system behind her.