Faith Haugh claims she doesn't have a maternal bone in her body - yet she has helped to create 19 children after donating the most eggs in the world. In total, Faith has been through a staggering 41 donor cycles, which has involved her undergoing hormone injections to boost the number of eggs she produces.
The medication given to egg donors is similar to that given to women going through IVF so the same complications can occur. A reaction to the hormones used to make a donor produce more than one egg can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and, rarely, liver failure or even ovarian cancer. The 41-year-old from Melbourne, Australia, has not suffered any side effects since she started donating her eggs 17 years ago after seeing an advert in the paper.
The advert was placed by an anonymous infertile couple who went on to have twin girls after Faith donated her eggs at an IVF clinic. She went on to donate to a further three unidentified couples through a local hospital, which produced three boys and one girl. Faith has also helped to create another 13 children for couples she has met through classified adverts and online infertility groups. It is thought she has set the record for the most donor children in the world, topping egg donors from her native Australia, the US and UK.
In America, where donors are paid, the number of donor cycles an egg donor can go through is limited to around six. Faith's quest to help childless couples has even led her to travel as far as India to help a couple. She said: 'I was looking in the paper for a second job when I saw this huge advert for an egg donor. I didn't know anything about egg donation but I knew I was fertile so offered to help.
'For me, the most amazing thing is the parents. I see these people from the start when they think that they have little or no chance of having a child. They sit across from me, looking very tense and defeated and not holding out much hope.
'I will never forget one husband who called me from the delivery room. When I asked him what sex the baby was, his voice cracked and he started crying as he was so excited he forgot to see if he had a son or daughter. 'These are the rewards of donating my eggs.'
Faith, who is married to Glenn, a butcher, has a daughter, Ashlyn, 22, from a previous relationship and is a grandmother to two-year-old Charlotte. Glenn, 46, also donates his sperm and is the biological father of four children.
Faith, who works in customer services, said: 'I have never ever found it emotionally difficult to donate my eggs. I am simply passing on a cell by donating my eggs in the hope that they go on to form embryos and end up as a viable pregnancy. 'I may sound a little distant but as I'm not the one desperate to become a mother, I don't get emotionally invested. 'I just tell myself that the eggs that would usually go to waste each month now goes on to hopefully helping a couple achieve the dream of parenthood.'
Her act of kindness is made even more remarkable by the fact that it is illegal for egg donors in Australia to receive payment - although they can be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses. Of the 19 donor children, Faith sees sees half of them and keeps in regular contact with others.
She said: 'All of my donor donor children are being raised to know to know they are donor conceived and the ones who don't know me personally are being given my details of contact at 18 years old. 'I get photos emailed all the time as well as photos of the children on their first day at school and Christmas cards. 'These people know I don't view their children as mine.'
In Australia, like in the UK, egg donors, are not allowed to donate to more than ten families so Faith no longer donates. But she volunteers her time as a medium between potential donors and infertile couples all over the world. A spokesman for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in the UK, confirmed a UK egg donor has yet to match Faith as the most generous egg donor.
He said: 'According to our records the most number of children born from a single egg donor is 11 children - eight boys and three girls.'
Article: 31st May 2011 www.dailymail.co.uk
Read more about finding an egg donor or helping couples create a family, visit www.prideangel.com