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Couple Seeking Egg Donor Offers Their Kid's Nanny $30K ... & She Quits

by Ericka Sóuter on December 10, 2012 at 4:02 PM

eggAnyone with a great nanny will tell you that they are like part of the family. They not only bond with the kids under their care, they have a close relationship with the parents too. Well, one New York City couple is accused of trying to take that nanny-family bond to a disturbing new level

According to the New York Post, a rich financier's wife was having trouble conceiving another child, so she offered her nanny $30,000 to donate her eggs. The nanny was so put off by the incident, she quit and the story has raised a lot of eyebrows. Some are even outraged that this woman would cross that line and ask for something so inappropriate. But I beg to differ. I don't think this woman, who is struggling with infertility, did anything wrong.

When the mom first approached the caregiver, identified as a 25-year-old, blue-eyed English woman with a bachelor's degree named Elizabeth, she said she wanted to discuss a "delicate matter." The nanny assumed it had something to do with the family's 14-year-old son, but her employee went on to say, "You know how we've been trying for a baby, and we've been having some issues? We wondered if you would mind donating your eggs."

Elizabeth, who already earned a whopping $100,000 a year, says she politely declined. "I called on my British wit and made a joke about whether she wanted them 'scrambled or fried,'" she said. Her boss responded with "a somewhat weak" smile. "It's freaky to think they wanted me to continue working for them and raise what would have been my own child," she added. If she had donated and then stayed on with the family, she would have essentially been taking care of her own biological child, who would call someone else mom and think of her as an employee. Indeed, that would have been bizarre.

There is no disputing that it is an odd situation, but I get why these parents asked her to donate her eggs. I would even go as far as to say this mom did the right thing, the responsible thing. Most people don’t know their donors. Typically, they have to rely on a questionnaire/medical history that may not even be truthful. In this case, they know Elizabeth's background. They know what kind of person she is, her ethics, her lifestyle, her health status. Those are all very important factors when you think about half your baby's genetic material.

And I doubt this was an easy thing to even ask. There is a lot of emotional pain and humiliation when it comes to fertility problems. I bet it took a great deal of courage. But these parents wanted to give their baby the best -- starting from conception. And here was a college-educated, presumably intelligent, decent woman that could make their baby dreams come true.

Going to someone they knew and trusted makes sense to me. Of course, I completely understand how it would make Elizabeth uncomfortable. It is a strange request from someone you work for, but I don't think her employees did anything wrong. And they seemed to have parted on good terms. Elizabeth still lists that family as a reference.

Do you think this mom's request was out of line?

 

Image via Steve A Johnson/Flickr

Filed Under: infertility

Comments

32
  • Cass
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Cass

    December 10, 2012 at 4:07 PM
    Not nearly as out of line as Elizabeth releasing this personal matter to the public. She was making 100k a year at the age of 25, and she felt that a simple request (which sounds like it was awkward for the both of them) was so insulting that she quit and released this personal story to the public? I have no problem with what the mother did, and every problem with the nanny's despicable actions.
  • Gabby...
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    Gabbysmom715

    December 10, 2012 at 4:14 PM
    Not at all.
  • youth...
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    youthfulsoul

    December 10, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Nope


  • kelti...
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    kelticmom

    December 10, 2012 at 4:17 PM
    No, I think this nanny was cruel in her response. She could have found a nicer way to decline than responding with "scrambled or fried". Obviously this mom was hurting and desperate because of infertility. What a heartless thing to say.
  • shelly
    -- Nonmember comment from

    shelly

    December 10, 2012 at 4:22 PM
    I think she's desperate, and desperate people do desperate things. I DO think wanting the nanny to continue to take care of the kid who is biologically hers...well...that's just bazaar. I would have not continued working with these people, either. There is no way it wouldn't be uncomfortable.
  • Akash...
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    AkashaGermaine

    December 10, 2012 at 4:32 PM
    While I would have declined I would have been offended. Infact I think I would have felt honored that these people thought that much of me. And I wouldn't have left the position. Not many people paying 100k for childcare right now.
  • Bloom...
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    Bloomie79

    December 10, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    I can forgive the bad attempt at humor, we all respond to difficult situations in our own way, leaving the family seems over the top. I'm sure it was awkward for a moment but it would have passed. 


  • Reepi...
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    Reepicheep.CSL

    December 10, 2012 at 6:35 PM
    That family was WAY out of line. Can you imagine your boss approaching you one day and asking you to donate your eggs? Or how about approaching your husband to donate his sperm?
    They were in a position of power over this woman and asked for something completely out of line. While a nanny relationship may FEEL like a family situation, don't mistake that the nanny knows she is an employee and the 'family' aspect only comes into play when it suits the bosses. If this nanny had approached the family for money or for the mom to donate her eggs....well it would not be considered a 'family' request.
    This mother should have gone the usual route and asked her actual family or gone to an egg donor who didn't rely on her for her livelihood.
  • GlowW...
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    GlowWorm889

    December 10, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Does anyone else think it's odd that a 14-year-old has a nanny? If the child is special needs, that's one thing, but the article doesn't say.

    And I agreed with AkashaGermaine--I'd be honored that the family trusted me and thought that much of me to want me to donate eggs. I would decline for the same reason this nanny did; helping raise my own child who would be calling someone else "Mommy" and know me only as the nanny would be too awkward and too heartbreaking. However, I would handle the situation with a little more maturity and discretion than this nanny did. And I wouldn't have left a childcare position that paid over $100K!


  • Theresa
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Theresa

    December 10, 2012 at 7:07 PM
    At the very least what that mom/employer did was unethical. She crossed the line, not the nanny. People tend to go public when their bosses say outrageous things. That mom was out of line for sure. It was selfish to ask someone to do something like that. I know that in today's world, it's perfectly acceptable to be detached from the beings that carry our DNA--it's merely a commodity with which to profit apparently-- but surely they should have taken into account that there are still people who don't view children as items to sell. Not even potential children. To babysit your child every day, lying to their face about their origins just seems to wrong and selfish. Your fulfillment isn't as important as someone knowing their identity. It's sad that we live in the type of world where people defend this. A desire for motherhood shouldn't trump everything.
1-10 of 32 comments

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