Most parents who use third party reproduction are not telling their children about it. A recent Australian study of 111 families with donor conceived children found that only 35% had discussed it with their children before they were 13, despite being explicitly counseled to be open with their kids about their conception. The study also found no real difference in emotional wellbeing between families that were ope about using a donor and those that weren’t.
“In a perfect world,” said Dr. Gab Kovacs, “it’s good to say there shouldn’t be any secrets, but most families do have secrets. On our study, there is no evidence that secrecy is harmful to the family … and people who haven’t been open shouldn’t feel guilty.”
But is that the full story?
Another study found that most parents who use third party reproduction tell at least one other person about, greatly increasing the odds that their child finds out. “We know that when secrets come out in a way that is not ideal, it can be detrimental to young people born through donor treatment,” Ms Johnson, chief executive of the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority, said. “We also know … that young people want their parents to be the ones that tell them they are donor-conceived. They don’t want to hear it from other people.”