Third Party Reproduction: Telling Your Child

 

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How in the world do you explain something so complex as conception from donor egg, sperm or embryo to a child? When should you tell? How much detail is necessary? What words can you use? Our guest to talk about the nitty gritty of telling is Patricia Mendell, therapist in NYC specializing in infertility and founding member of The American Fertility Association and Currently Co-Chair of its Board of Directors. She is a member of the Mental Health Professionals Group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

 

+ Highlights of the show (click to expand)

  • What percentage of families created through sperm donation, egg donation, or embryo donation (embryo adoption) tell their children about their conception and genetic history?
  • Are there situations where it is not advisable to tell the child the truth about their conception?
  • Why are families hesitant to tell their children?
  • How should you explain such a complex subject to children?
  • What age should you tell children that they were conceived with the help of third party reproduction?
  • What are the key topics should you include when talking to children about assisted reproduction?
  • How can you stress to children that this is not information that they should share outside of the family?
  • How should parents tell an older child conceived via donor gametes or embryo who is learning this information for the first time?
  • What language should you use to describe the donor?
  • What should parents do if the child wants to meet the donor?
  • How much detail should parents share with the child?
  • How often should parents talk about the conception story?
  • If parents choose not to tell, what things should they think through?
  • How would you start the conversation with a preschooler about being conceived through IVF with sperm donation, egg donation, or embryo donation (embryo adoption)?
  • How would you start the conversation with an elementary aged child about being conceived through IVF with sperm donation, egg donation, or embryo donation (embryo adoption)?
  • How would you start the conversation with a older child, tween, teen or older adolescent about being conceived through IVF with sperm donation, egg donation, or embryo donation (embryo adoption)?
  • What resources are available for parents to use to talk with their children about third party reproduction?

 

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