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Would-be grandparents encouraging aging daughters to freeze eggs

This picture would be more apt if she were holding a grandfather clock.

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You're not the only one feeling your biological clock ticking. Your mom and dad are feeling it, too.

According to The New York Times, U.S. doctors say a growing number of women are choosing to freeze their eggs with the intent of having children later in life, and would-be grandparents are encouraging the practice. Some are even helping foot the costs.

Daniel Shapiro, medical director of Reproductive Biology Associates of Atlanta, told the newspaper that at least three-quarters of his centre's patients who freeze their eggs have their parents pay part or all of the bill.

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"I was surprised at first about the parental involvement, but now I expect it to be the case," he said.

Patients and their parents see the procedure as a gift, albeit an expensive one, costing between $8,000 and $18,000.

Susan Lorman, for instance, suggested the idea to her daughter Stephanie, who was turning 35 and had just broken up with her latest boyfriend. Stephanie took up her mother's suggestion a year later and called a fertility doctor.

"It was a gift of love," Susan Lorman told the Times. "I had my kids at 22, and here she is, a healthy, beautiful young woman who felt her years were passing her by."

Meanwhile, Jennifer Hayes, 36, said she was initially reluctant to accept money from her parents for her egg-freezing procedure. She changed her mind when her mother said she'd rather have a potential grandchild than have the money sit in an account.

Ms. Hayes noted that egg freezing is a decision that involves the whole family. "Grandchildren are really important to parents," she said. "Everybody wants to experience being a grandparent."

There are, however, no guarantees that egg freezing will allow a woman to get pregnant.

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According to NPR, eggs are delicate and prone to damage. Although new technology has improved freezing methods, NPR noted in 2011 that only 1,000 to 2,000 babies in the world had been born using frozen eggs. No abnormalities had been recorded, but there is no long-term, large-scale study.

If you decided to freeze your eggs, would you let your parents help pay for it?

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About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

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