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How might my child feel?

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1 fertility expert(s) answered this question

Answer from: Becky Kearns

Fertility Coach, Patient Advocate and Founder of www.definingmum.com and Paths To Parent Hub
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This is the biggest question I think we all have as parents. It is one I feel most will have, how do they feel, and it is something that you can’t really control because it is however they feel. I think there are a lot of things we can do to support them in how they are going to feel about their conception. One of the things is by telling early, telling them about their conception before they even remember they were told. Our girls know from the age of two, they could almost start reciting it back. Mommy’s eggs were broken, we tried really hard to have a baby and a lady did a kind thing by donating her eggs and that allowed us to have a baby, that was mixed with daddy’s seed, put in mummy’s tummy, mummy grew them and that’s how it came to be.

That story will evolve as they grow so it’s not just one time, we’re going to tell you this and you’ll be fine about it, it’s a dialogue, a process. For my eldest I tried to introduce certain things where she’s noticed, oh mummy your eyes are green and mine are blue and i’ve just tried to explain you don’t have the same eyes as mummy, you won’t look like mummy, because you didnt come from mummy’s egg but you will probably have some things from our donor and you’ll look like daddy, but you also smile like mummy dont you? You also sound like mummy when you talk, so we celebrate the things we do share. But I think it’s really important to talk with pride and to become comfortable with your story so they can pick up on that. Children are intuitive, they can sense how you’re feeling about it. So I would say practice from an early age and make sure that you have gotten used to saying it out loud and that even while you’re pregnant, you can talk to them. There are some amazing children’s books to help introduce the concept as well.

As they grow and thinking of how they might feel about it, there are some important things we can do as parents such as being open to them asking questions , not shutting those questions down with things like, oh don’t about that because that might upset your mum, or don’t mention that because the donor doesn’t matter, it’s not important, it might be important to them. It is having that open dialogue that they know that they can come to us with any questions they might have. Also letting them know if they do want to know more might be possible. So for those who have used a donor, who have an open ID or are anonymous and you don’t know who they are, DNA testing nowadays means that quite often you can find a close relative match and work out who that person is.

It varies in different countries as to how easy that is, but I find comfort in the fact that anonymity is no more and there are tools out there that allow me to support our children. I think alot of how they will feel, they will pick up from us and how we feel about it and if we can talk about it without shame, have a supportive family network around us who know the story and can reinforce that dialogue and we can be open to however they want to feel and express themselves about it and they are going to experience it very differently to people who may not have found out until they were older.

Being open is key and I don’t think that that means there won’t be questions or feelings in the future but it definitely gives you a head start. That’s what the research says as well, there’s a brilliant book called We are family and that’s the research of Susan Golombok. She’s researched families over the past forty years, families through natural conception, IVF and donor conception. The findings were that there were better outcomes for those who used a donor than those who’d conceived naturally. I think quite often we’ve really thought through what parenthood means to us to go down this route and we are already steps ahead in thinking about the future and supporting our children so like I’ve said in of our previous answers, were much more conscious parents by this stage and so that will also have an impact on how our child feels, how secure they feel and how loved they feel within the family as well.

About this question:

How do donor egg kids feel?

When proceeding with IVF treatment patients can come across some obstacles that they haven’t taken account of. One of them is to proceed with egg donation. Once the baby is born thanks to donated gamete, there is another concern: how and when to tell the child?
​The biggest fear is how this information might impact him or her? ​

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