Donor Conception: Navigating Bio Family & Sibling Relationships

Families created by donor sperm, donor egg, or donor embryo may have the option of contact with the donor or with donor siblings. We discuss how donor conceived families should navigate these relationships. Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility and adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Elaine Gordon, a clinical psychologist specializing in reproductive medicine and third party family building.

Hit the Highlights
  • We are talking about families created by donor conception, including donor sperm, donor egg and donor embryo. All of these types of conception might have the possibility for contact with either the donor or with other children conceived by the same donor (called donor siblings).
  • Are there different issues that are presented with donor or donor sibling contact between families built by donor sperm, donor egg, or donor embryo?
  • What influences how interested a child will be in wanting information on their donor or possible donor siblings? Age? Gender?
  • If parents used an anonymous donor and their child wants information, how should they respond?
  • What to do when a child shared information about his donor siblings and his donor conception with friends and classmates?
  • How to view or define the relationship between donor siblings?
  • What are parents afraid of when they don’t tell their child?
  • How many parents are telling their kids they are conceived through donor sperm, donor egg, or donor embryo, and how many know info on the donor and siblings?
  • What does the research show on how children and young adults deal with contact with siblings or donors?
  • Should donors tell their children that they donated? Should people who donated embryos to another couple tell their children that they have full donor siblings?
  • How to handle when one child in the family is conceived by donor and another child is the full genetic child of the parents?

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Image credit: Win_Photography