At some point every child will ask a parent the big question, ‘Where did I come from?’ This standard inquiry becomes more complex when the child asking was conceived through third-party reproduction. Many parents experience anticipatory anxiety over these conversations; however, it is natural for donor conceived kids (like all kids) to be curious about their origins.
Research has shown that disclosure strengthens the parent-child bond, and how and when you tell your child has great impact on their identity development. It is essential to be open with your child, explore feelings and support their search for answers. Sharing from an early age allows children to progressively learn more about their family story, become comfortable with their origins, and develop a strong identity.
How can you prepare?
Begin thinking about how your family came to be during pregnancy. Consider what connected you to the particular donor(s) to help build your family. Your gratitude for their help. How you felt when you found out you were pregnant. How you felt seeing your child at birth. What it means to be a family. Start talking to your child during infancy so that when your child is old enough to understand basic concepts a bit more, you will feel more confident in sharing your family story. The more comfortable you are with talking about your family story, the more comfortable your child will feel too.