By on November 14, 2018

“If you don’t make it weird they won’t make it weird”

That has been my standby and go to phrase since the beginning of PVED. 

Everybody is going to have their own flavor, way, and how they choose to share with their child their conception story. But it all begins the same way-

“Mommy and Daddy” or “Mommy and Mommy” or “Daddy and Daddy” or “Mommy” or “Daddy”

(Whatever your family looks like) 

really wanted to have a special baby just like you love…. 

And then you personalized that story/there information to them. 

Some families need donor sperm. Some families need donor egg and donor sperm. Some families need the help of embryo donation, and some families need help with an egg donor and a gestational carrier. 

Here is the example my husband and I used with our son. We have been telling him his story since he was born)

“Mommy and Daddy wanted nothing more than to become parents and have a baby just like you. It’s something we always dreamed about but it just wasn’t working. 

So Mommy and Daddy went to a doctor that helps other parents have children. 

The doctor told us to make a baby  you need two parts. You need one egg and one sperm. The egg comes from Mommy and the sperm comes from Daddy. 

This doctor did some tests on Mommy and Daddy and we learned that Mommy’s eggs were broken.

We were really sad when we learned this because we thought we would never be able to make a baby. But the doctor told us that we still could make a baby but we would have to have some help. 

Mommy and Daddy asked what kind of help they would need and the doctor told us that we would need to find a really nice lady who would give us some of her healthy eggs and she would be our egg donor. 

Luckily, the doctor knew of a nice lady who had some healthy eggs and he called her up and asked her if she would help us. Thankfully for us, she agreed!

So a little while later this nice lady gave the doctor some of her eggs and we took those eggs and mixed it with Daddy’s sperm and guess what? We created you!  Yes! We created you! 

The egg and the sperm became what we call an embryo and they put that sweet little embryo back in Mommy‘s uterus – it’s a special place where women grow babies – nine months later you were born and we are so so thankful and happy and we love you so much!”

And I would tell him the story sometimes in an abridged version, sometimes in the long version, but I told him early and often. By the time he was old enough to put all the pieces together I had told him his story enough that I wasn’t stumbling over my words, or my tongue, and his story flowed out of me easily. 

All the while practicing the “if I didn’t make it weird he wasn’t gonna make it weird.” mindset.

As he got older he started to ask questions and I would answer his questions when he asked them. 

He wanted to know things like what I thought his donor’s name was. At the time I didn’t know what her name was because we hadn’t met her yet. So, he decided to name her. He named her “Nel” which is short for “Nice Egg Lady” How clever is that? 

He wanted to know if he looked like her. I honestly didn’t know because at the time they didn’t give out adult pictures – or any pictures for that matter. 

He wondered if his drawing ability was because she was an artist or if he liked music and the piano because she liked music and the piano – he wondered if his love for coffee and chocolate came from her. He wanted to know if she was nice, and loved animals like he did. 

He was exploring that invisible side of himself. All normal. All natural..

Each year on his birthday I still sit down with him and tell him about the night that he was born – I focus on him coming into the world not so much of his conception now because he’s almost an adult.

If you ask him about his conception now he will just look at you and roll his eyes, and tell you that he is just over all the egg business – ha ha ha 

Truly  and honestly there’s nothing to be afraid of in regards to sharing your child’s story with him or her. 

We owe are children honesty and transparency – is there right to know how they came into the world.

  1. Reply


    October 2, 2019

    Wonderful article, thanks a lot for it. So many helpful and useful tips. I haven’t decided yet how and when I tell my child that he/she is donor conceived, but I’ll definitely use your advice. Recently I’ve been looking through the comments on some forums about how to tell your child the truth about donor. And I really liked one response. OP said they (she and her dh) always told their daughter how she was conceived. From the time she was a toddler the words like “egg donor” and “mommy had some help” were a part of how they talked around her. It was important that being conceived with a donor egg was something that was always in the room, but not an elephant, more like the curtains. You see them, you know they are there, but not such a big deal. When their daughter became a teenager, she was asking questions about genetics, sometimes curious but never questioning that she’s OP’ daughter. I want to do my best so my child won’t feel that the fact he/she is a donor-conceived baby is something odd, weird or scary. It should be something normal. And I want my baby to perceive it as a normal thing.

    • Reply

      Marna Gatlin

      October 2, 2019

      Hey Vicky – Thanks for commenting and there’s two really resources for you. Is our organization with a private forum and secret Facebook group.

      There’s also a pretty great book out there called ” let’s talk about Egg Donation”


  2. Reply


    November 6, 2019

    Strong! I absolutely agree with it till the last word! I hate the lies and always tell the truth.
    If a child will know everything from the very childhood he won’t be vulnerable and nobody could hurt him by saying the truth. Sooner or later he will know but it will really be better if he get it from his own parents but not from strangers.

  3. Reply


    November 11, 2019

    I’m still not sure how I’ll start the conversation like that..Though I know it’s inevitable..
    My dh and I have recently been through DE IVF shots in Ukraine. We’ve been successful for the first time since ever!! We’ve tried all the possible options with OE before, like mitochondrial donation and ICSI..but all the attempts resulted in eggs turned out to be absolutely useless that is why we turned to donor eggs..Well, I’m in the research stage so to say..Am just keeping on reading on the point..Hopefuly I’ll get to know what to say to my DE IVF kid when time comes…



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