Talking to your child about their origins
If your child is conceived an using egg from an anonymous donor, telling them about their origins can be a sensitive topic to discuss. However, if done honestly and if discussed at the right time, the issue need not be a difficult one to broach.
Evidence from the experience of adoption, as well as studies of donor-conceived people, suggest that it is best for donor-conceived people to be told about their origins in childhood. Finding out suddenly, later in life, may be emotionally damaging to donor-conceived people and their family. This, coupled with the donor-conceived people’s legal right to find out about their genetic origins, means that it is advisable for parents to be open with their children from an early age.
Family secrets can undermine trust and lead to conflict and stress. They can also suggest to donor-conceived children that their parents are ashamed of how they were conceived. If parents are open about how the child was conceived, there is no reason they should feel any different to any other child. If donation has been part of the family story for as long as the child can remember, their genetic origins need not be an issue. Some donor-conceived children are likely to want to know more about their donor, while others will not be particularly interested.
It is therefore recommended that parents should let their children know about their origins at an early age. The “Donor Conception Network” has produced a series of booklets called “Telling & Talking”, which prepare and support parents of donor-conceived people to tell their children about their origins.