When & How to Talk with Children about Third Party Conception

Is there a right way or right time to tell your child that they were conceived through donor egg, sperm or embryo, or carried by a surrogate? Join our guest Dr. Elaine Gordon, a clinical psychologist with a specialty in infertility and child development, and author of Mommy, Did I Grow in Your Tummy? Where Some Babies Come From, a children’s book explaining a child’s unique reproductive beginnings.

Hit the Highlights
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to telling children their conception and genetic history if they were conceived through third party reproduction.
  • Why are parents hesitant to tell their children about donor egg, donor sperm, or donated embryo?
  • Is there one best age to start telling children that they were conceived by donor egg, donor sperm donor embryo, or surrogacy?
  • At what age do children begin to understand about conception?
  • What is the goal when telling children their conception history through third party reproduction?
  • How do you initiate the conversation if you have waited until your children are older?
  • How much detail should you share when telling younger children they were conceived through infertility treatment and donor gametes or surrogacy?
  • How can you keep children from telling everyone their conception history?  Is there a danger of over-telling?
  • What does the research show on how children conceived through donor egg or sperm are doing psychologically?
  • Model conversation with a 3 year old. 6 year old, 10 year old, 13 year old.
  • What element absolutely must be included when telling children they were conceived through donor egg, donor sperm or donated embryo?
  • Do you think that embryo adoption should be addressed to others and your children  as an infertility treatment or as an adoption?
  • At what age should you share all the information you have on the egg or sperm donor with your child?
  • Suggested books for telling children about their conception.

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Image Credit: moke076