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  1. 15 May 2018

    Telling Your Child They Are Donor-Conceived: Tips, Advice & Support

    Posted: 15 May 2018
    Telling Your Child They Are Donor-Conceived: Tips, Advice & Support

    If you use an egg donor to have a baby, one of the things we’ll discuss with you as part of your treatment is telling your child in future about their origins. 

    Although you may feel anxious about this, we do encourage patients who are using donors to always be open and honest with children about how their family came to be formed.

    Our fertility counsellors will help you with this. They’ll help you anticipate conversations now, so you can positively and sensitively help your child understand their special and unique story, when the time is right.

    Here’s some advice and tips about when to tell and how:

    When to tell a child: What age is right?

    Many parents choose to start talking to their children about their origins from a young age, so it’s a comfortable and natural part of the family conversation as they grow. Telling children from a young age also means it’s a gradual process of information, that can be much easier to accept. The Donor Conception Network advises it’s best to start talking to children when they are five and under.

    What to tell a child

    When you’re ready to start talking to your child:

    • Keep it simple – young children won’t understand or think about the genetic implications
    • Introduce it as a very positive and happy experience. Start by talking about how happy you felt when they were born
    • Talk about the fact that you wanted your child so much, someone very special helped you

    As they get older and become more aware of what it means for their own identity, you can add more age-appropriate details about why you needed an egg donor and how you chose her.

    There are lots of available resources to help you start the conversation with your child. The Donor Conception Network has dedicated ‘talking and telling’ storybooks for different age groups and support forums where you can talk to other parents of donor-conceived children.

    Donor identity reassurance

    As your child gets older they may start to ask questions about who their donor is. It’s very reassuring to be able to tell your child that they have the chance to find out about her, if they want to know.

    This is because when you have treatment with donor eggs in the UK, egg donors aren’t anonymous to the children they help to create.

    Your donor-conceived child has the right to request certain information from the HFEA’s Register about their egg donor from the age of 16, and from the age of 18 can apply for identifying details. Your child also has the chance to find out about any donor siblings.

    All Manchester Fertility UK egg donors are HFEA-registered and are fully identifiable and traceable.

    Counselling support and further resources

    Our dedicated fertility counsellors, together with our clinic and Donation Team, are here to support you every step of the way so you can look forward to having your family. You can see our fertility counsellors anytime you need to.

    Other sources of support you may find useful include the National Gamete Donation Trust, which has resources for intended parents, and the HFEA.

    Start treatment with donor eggs

    We have UK egg donors from our own donor programme ready to help you conceive together with funding options for treatment with donor eggs.

    Talk to our Donation Team to explore your options on 0161 300 2734. You can also self-refer online or book in for a private, free 1-2-1.

     

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    About the Author - Sharon Rodden

    Sharon Rodden, Fertility Counsellor

    Fertility Counsellor

    A fully accredited British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA) member, Sharon joined the Manchester Fertility team following several years working within the NHS where she helped staff, counselling on a wide range of issues. She has also worked within the charity sector providing vital c...

    Find out more More posts by Sharon Rodden

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