Talking to Children About Ovum Donation
As the number of men and women experiencing infertility continues to grow, so is the popularity of a number of different fertility treatments. In particular, egg donation is becoming a relevant option for many couples that are struggling with infertility. If you have conceived a child through egg donation, you are probably ecstatic that your treatments were successful. But you may feel a little unsure about talking to your future child about your egg donation.
Should You Tell Your Child?
One of the biggest questions that couples who have gone through egg donation in the past have is whether or not they should tell their child about the procedure. Many couples feel that it is their child\'s right to know about their biological background. But other couples often feel that telling their child about ovum donation is unnecessary. Some common reasons that you may have for worrying about disclosing egg donation information include:
- Fear of your child\'s emotional reaction.
- Fear of the reaction from your other relatives, friends, or colleagues.
- Fear that your child will feel violated or betrayed.
- Fear that your child will no longer trust you.
Despite these valid fears, most therapist and the American Infertility Association recommend that parents discuss egg donation with their child.
Why Should You Tell?
There are a variety of good reasons to inform your child that she was conceived through an egg donation procedure.
- Children have the ability to \"sense\" out secrets that may be present in a family.
- Secrets rarely stay secrets forever.
- If a child finds out accidentally, he could experience a lot of trust and betrayal issues.
- A child\'s genetic background may need to be released in the future for certain medical procedures.
How Much Should You Tell Your Child?
There are different levels of information disclosure that you and your partner may settle upon when talking to your child. Depending upon your child\'s emotional and intellectual development, as well as your own feelings, one type of disclosure may be more suitable for you.
- Full Disclosure: Many parents choose to fully disclose all information about egg donation to their child. You may feel that your child has the right to know about his biological background and the way in which he was brought into your family. Full disclosure involves telling your child that he was conceived using donated eggs. It also involves explaining who the donors were, how the donation was done, and what that means for your child. Full disclosure can also involve telling family, friends, and colleagues about your use of egg donation in order to conceive.
- Partial Disclosure: Many parents believe that their child should know about her genetic background. However, you may feel that your child is not prepared to digest all of this information at once. Partial disclosure involves presenting details of the egg donation over time, perhaps over several months or years. As your child develops and grows, she can ask you for more information.