What Makes a Baby by Cory Silverberg (ages 3-7) – This book it provides a way for young children to understand how reproduction works, using scientific terminology (sperm, egg, uterus). The pictures are not gender specific, and the book teaches children that while you need a sperm and an egg to make a baby, not every has a baby in the same way, so it should be able to be used by every family.
Mommy Did I Grow in Your Tummy?: Where Some Babies Come From by Elaine Gordon & Kathy Clo (ages 4-8) – This story explains the different ways babies are made. It includes IVF, egg donation, sperm donation, surrogacy, and adoption.
Hope and Will Have a Baby by Irene Celcer – Written for ages 5-8, this series of books tells birth stories about surrogacy, egg donation, embryo donation, sperm donation, and adoption. The beginning and end of each book is the same, but the middle section is specific to each topic. Contains some religious overtones.
How Babies and Families are Made: There is More than One Way!, by Patricia Schaffer (ages 5-9). This is a basic sex ed book for families formed in alternative ways. It includes a discussion of miscarriage, cesarean delivery, twins, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, adoption and stepchildren. Surrogacy and donor egg are not discussed, but the book in inclusive enough to open the door for this discussion. The book may be too technical for the younger end of the range, but it is still a worthy addition to your sex ed library/all families are different and the same collection.
Let Me Explain: A Story About Donor Insemination by Jane T. Schnitter (ages 6-10)- This book tells how donor insemination is used by a heterosexual couple.
How I Began: The Story of Donor Insemination by New South Wales Infertility Social Workers Group (ages 10-14)- This story explains how a couple uses donor sperm to conceive a child. It contains nudity and descriptions of sex, so it is better suited for older children.
The Donor Conception Network’s ‘Telling and Talking’ series has four booklets full of information, advice and tips for the parents of donor conceived children on how to tell their child. There are four separate booklets for different ages of children as well as a DVD. The booklets are available for download and are also available in a printed format.
Before You Were Born…Our Wish For A Baby by Janice Grimes – This is a series of books written for preschoolers that explore the different ways babies are conceived, including IVF, single parents, same-sex parents, surrogacy, and donor sperm and egg. The illustrations in each book are the same, but the text changes depending on the subject.
Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates by Dr. Diane Ehrensaft- This book makes the case for telling your children about the way they were conceived and gives lots of practical suggestions. I interviewed Dr. Ehrensaft for Creating a Family on the Creating a Family radio show about parenting children conceived through Assisted Reproduction.
Flight of the Stork by Anne Bernstein – This book is about how kids think about sex, reproduction, and how families are created. It is not necessarily specific to kids conceived through ART, but the information on the developmental stages of a child’s understanding is very helpful for parents when discussing the special way the child was concieved. This book is was revised in 1994, but the information on child development is still current.
Image credit: Collin Key