Many couples who have successfully given birth by using the assistance of an egg donor struggle with disclosing this information to even their closest friends and relatives. Telling your child is even harder. The following tips should help you do this:
Decide to tell the truth.
The first decision you make is whether to tell the child at all. Various fertility organizations that study all fertility-related issues in depth unanimously agree that you should aim to be as honest as possible. Aspiring parents usually turn to egg donation only after all the other available techniques have failed. Therefore, children born through this procedure are highly cherished and grow up surrounded by their parents’ love. There is no chance of your child feeling unwanted because he or she doesn’t share all the genes with you.
Start explaining when the child is still young.
At first, you don’t have to tell your little one all the specifics of fertility treatments, donations, and other practices. What you should start with is explaining that you wanted a child so very much that you overcame many challenges to have your precious baby and love him/her all the more for it.
As your child grows older, you may add details bit by bit. This will have the additional bonus of building up the trust between yourself and your children.
Find appropriate books.
Nowadays, you can find many helpful books for both parents and children, that explain the process of conception through donation in an age-appropriate manner. You should stock up on these books now as they will provide you with many useful tips as well as help you introduce your children to this topic since a young age. A simple online search will yield numerous results regarding this literature. You can study pre-views online and discuss them with parents who have more experience.
Don’t wait for your child to be of certain age.
There is no ‘appropriate’ age to start this kind of conversation with your children. If you look into specialized books, you will see that the ‘earliest’ edition is for kids aged 0-7. Start as early as possible to solidify the thought that despite the method of conception, the child is a treasured member of your family whom you love with all your heart. Start with telling stories that you needed a helper to become a real family and how important helpers are. Then, you will be able to explain the role of this ‘helper’ in more detail.
Whatever you do, never cease to remind your children how much they are loved.
Understand that children don’t understand the difference between ‘privacy’ and ‘secrecy’.
If you have no problem with sharing this information with your family and closest friends, but wouldn’t want to spread it to outsiders, you might have some problems. You can’t tell your child that you are proud of who they are and how they came to be, and tell them that they should keep this information secret at the same time. This is sending a mixed message and will only create confusion and potential problems with trust and self-identification for the child.
By sharing this information with your child, you give it to them to use as their see fit. The only thing you can do is to accept the results of their choices in sharing it.
What if the child wants to meet the donor?
It is possible that your child will want to meet the donor when he or she grows older. At this point, you should discuss this as a family and make a decision together, taking into account the input of every member. You also need to inform your child about any privacy agreements signed with the donor.
Teach your children that your family is normal.
There might come a time when your child encounters those who don’t understand or support various types of fertility treatments. Therefore, it’s essential to instill the idea that even though your family may not be regular, there is nothing abnormal or wrong about you. The conversations about how your family came to be will teach your child how to defend themselves should a situation like this arise while they are in school.
Accept that your children may not even care about this.
Quite often, parents work themselves up only to be met with a reaction that goes along the lines of ‘Okay. What’s for dinner, mom?’
What you should understand in this case is that for your child this may not be such a big deal. He or she knows you are loving parents and this is all that matters.