Yes, you do owe it to your kids to tell them they were conceived via egg and or sperm donation.
I continue to get the same question over and over –
“ What is the importance of telling your child that they were conceived via a third-party reproduction. In a perfect world I wouldn’t tell anybody or even them.”
My story is pretty standard – crappy eggs, abysmal genetics – the only way to have a child that I would have the ability to carry would be through egg donation so that’s what we did.
In the beginning fear led me around by the short hairs – and let me tell you fear is one strong force to be reckoned with. I didn’t want to tell anybody about the fact we needed help with an egg donor to have a child that I didn’t want to tell my parents, my physicians, except for our reproductive endocrinologist and above all and never wanted to tell my future child – can I certainly didn’t want to know, or meet the egg donor. Ha! My go to saying was “I don’t want her taking up space in my head.” How damn scary and selfish is that?
I was worried sick that my child would reject me and want her as his mother. I felt like if my eggs weren’t good enough then how could I be a good enough mother?
Little did I know that I will be my sons universe and all of this worry was for naught.
So with the help of one amazing MHP Carole LieberWilkins I began to tell my son all about his conception of how he came into the world when he was just a baby. By the time he was old enough to put all the pieces together I had told him so many times that the words just flowed so freely, with such confidence, and above all love.
His conception story and information about his egg donor was something he always knew about – he cannot tell you when there was a time that he didn’t know about this.
Time went on and he became curious about his anonymous egg donor – and we reached out to our clinic to advocate for him. We asked them if they would contact her and inquire if she would be willing to communicate with him. For him it was the last piece of his puzzle – and it completed his circle. It also gave me peace of mind because it was just one of those things I felt as his mother I needed to do for him.
Thankfully she said yes – and we met her when my son was 11. It was a great meeting and she has become such an important part of our family – in no way did she replace me – and in no way do I replace her. We complement one another – we support one another as we are supporting my son.
So that’s the part I want to make sure all intended parents understand – there can never be too many people in your child’s life to love them like you do. That might mean that there is an extra person sitting at a recital, a school performance, a sports event, a bar mitzvah, A wedding, or some sort of medical waiting room – or even a birth.
So here is my hard and fast thoughts about third-party reproduction and transparency:
If you are going to choose to use DE/DS to create your family then it’s your responsibility to be transparent, honest and open with your children.
Remember – they didn’t ask to be brought into the world this way. It’s not OK or fair for you to keep them in the dark about their genetics.
Tell them early and tell them often and remember if you don’t it’s not if they will find out – it’s when they find out. And if you choose not to tell them and they find out on their own – they’re going to want to know what else you’ve lied to,them about. That is what causes parental estrangement – not the fact that you used donor egg donor sperm.
With that being said I can understand and empathize how scary this all must be – the biggest thing you worry about is rejection. We can help,you with the scary and complicated part.
Trust me – if you’re honest from the get go there will not be rejection – it’s all about creating trust honor and having those beautiful conversations with your kids on how they came to be.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – you cannot have too many people in your children’s life that love them, nurture them and I’ve left them – so if you have the opportunity to know who your egg donor and sperm donor are absolutely do it. You won’t be sorry.
And at the end of the day it’s okay. It’s really okay.
So please be honest, and transparent with your child on how here she came into the world – and for goodness sake‘s if you have the opportunity to know who your egg or sperm donor is – take that opportunity. Your child will thank you for it later.
- Carole LieberWilkins
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