Overcoming Reluctance to Donor Egg, Sperm, or Embryo in Your Extended Family

There are few, if any, resources available to help infertility patients navigate who to tell about using third party reproduction. Our guest is Bette Galen, a licensed clinical social worker specializing in infertility who has worked at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey for 8 years and has a private practice in Montclair, NJ.

Hit the Highlights
  • Why are parents via egg donation, sperm donation and embryo donation often hesitant to tell their family and friends about their use of third party reproduction?
  • How do you decide who to tell?
  • If you plan on telling your child of their conception with donor sperm, donor egg, or donor embryo, does that influence who else you need to or should tell?
  • How to we help our children to understand the distinction between private information and secrets?
  • How do you make distinctions between who to tell and who not to tell?
  • Is it possible to tell some people and not tell others? Or once you tell someone is it likely to spread to everyone?
  • What are the different levels of who to tell?
  • What are the downsides and disadvantages to telling others that you became pregnant from egg donation, sperm donation or embryo adoption?
  • What are the downsides and disadvantages of not telling friends and family that your child was conceived with donor gametes?
  • How to handle grandparents who are not comfortable with any information on IVF, much less donor egg, sperm or embryo?
  • What causes families members to not be supportive of third party reproduction?
  • How do religious beliefs affect grandparents and extended family members acceptance of egg or sperm donation?
  • How to handle the inevitable question about who the child looks like?
  • What should you do if a family member (grandparent, aunt, uncle) treats your child different because they are not genetically related to their side of the family?