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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you are accepting donor eggs or sperm, are a donor or have successfully had children by donors
Would you like the child to know? And if so when and how will you explain this to the child?

Soon I will be having my ET and if successful my partner and I have already decided we will tell the child earlier rather than later.

I've been thinking about how to do this.
I have not researched this much but have seen a childs' book from HFEA? which tells a story about a frog and her spare eggs. This looks good.


As part-time genealogist researching family histories including my own I know that there has already been a donation (of sorts) in my family in 1800's:-
Most families have skeleton's in the ancestral closet (not everyone admits it) and this is one of mine.

One of my gggggrandmothers called Eliza had a baby boy called Reuben out of wedlock.
Not long after Eliza married a man called James. Reuben was brought up as James' child and took his surname. By all accounts this was a happy life.

It was not until Reuben grew up and was about to marry that he found out he was not the son of James and that his siblings were half brothers and sisters.
At this point Reuben decided to revert to his real surname but all records state his genetic father's name as 'unknown'. So Reuben took his mother's maiden name instead.

Eliza never told Reuben who his genetic father was and my research has not been able to unravel this mystery ethier. Perhaps Eliza had a liaison with a married man, was seduced/raped by an unknown man - perhaps even her employer.

But I can draw on this story for a child who does not know one of their genetic parents too;

I have the the legacy as my surname is Eliza's maiden name too and I do not know who my genetic gggggfather was - so I'm a descent of a donor of sorts (empathy).

Reuben wrote a short account of his life;
it is known that he and his offsping had a very happy life, he was a market garderner, he lived well into his 80's, celebrated his diamond wedding and died 2/3 months after his wife from a broken heart (a happy fulfilled life ).

What ideas do you have?

 

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hi squeak

we are using donor sperm and yes me and dh have talked about it but we never came to a descion we both agree with we are still talking about it i have done 5 ivf donor sperm and hoping to start number 6 soon but i think yes we will tell the child(ren) just wanted to wish you all the best with your treatment i hope and pray you get a bfp

love always lillyxxx
 

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Hi Squeak

I think that the donor conception network have some books about this too... We've decided that we will tell our children & our feeling is that it's something we just talk about from day 1, even if the baby (or babies!) can't understand the actual words, at least you're practising what you're going to say when they can understand...

Let us know if you find any other books or information on this!

Best of luck :)

Susie
x
 

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hiya sqeak thought I,d pop over and see what you'd writen , you havent let me down, I could read your posts all day ;D

as you know we have done lots of publicity to get our donor quicker, and I have started a scrap book like a story from the beggining with all our paper clippings and I'll write bits as well then hopefully we can show our child /children ( getting a bit carried away now we havent even started tx ) just how much we wanted them and what we were prepared to do to get them, we have also done a tv programme being shown sept ish, and they will give us a copy so will have that as well for when they get older.
the way you have with words , I'd write my own book , be much more personal then also .

hope you get more replys its interesting to hear other peoples thoughts.

love caron xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Susie,
- totally agree, at least you will be in practise and perhaps some of it is will sink in. I read somewhere that a woman did this and when the time came for the parents to tell the child the child replied ' yes I know mum'.

Lilly - thanks for the support.

Caron - a scrap book what a fantastic idea! I might just copy this great idea - sure I've got plenty of stuff - since I'm a hoarder.
By the way thanks for the compliment - I'm just trying to write from the heart.

Hope there are more ideas - 'cos I think this is an important topic and that the child has a right to know

Squeakx
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All,
forgot to say...........

On http://www.dcnetwork.org/

Click on the link called Publications.
Good summaries of publications/ books available on this subject.
If you go to the base of this section you access the 'Planning a family letter leaflets ' - they are free.

SqueakX
 

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Dear Squeak and others
So glad you are planning to be open with your child/children about how your family came into being and that you have found our web site useful.
Just a note on scrapbooks, which basically are a wonderful idea, it is probably not a good idea to put emphasis on how much you went through in order to conceive as this can be felt as a burden by the child. Being 'special' is wonderful but being the cause of putting your parents through so much is not so good. We have two DI conceived young people, now aged 18 and 21 and I'm happy to answer any questions people might have about issues that come up over the years.
Very best of luck to you all.
Olivia
DC Network
 

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Hi all

I am on 2WW of first attempt at IUI using donor sperm. If we are lucky enough to conceive then we intend to tell the child from Day one like a number of you on this thread have already said. Intend to use DC network books and have lots of other ideas floating around in my head but worry that putting it into practice might be a lot more scary.

Olivia - good to see you posting on these boards. DC Network site has been very helpful to me. It would be interesting to hear your personal experience of how you told your two children or any other advice/thoughts/words of wisdom you can share.

love to all

Eileen
 

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Hi all

We have 2 boys conceived via DIUI and before becoming pg with Jack (our first son), we didn't intend to tell. This changed within the first year of him being born though. I just couldn't lie to him. So now we are telling. Jack will be 4 in October and we're just starting to find it appropriate to introduce little bits of info here and there to build the blocks in his memory so that once he's old enough to realise what he's been told, he'll never remember being told, he'll just know.

I have to admit, it's a very scarey time when you start to tell, but for me and my dh (and I do agree it's a personal choice), it's the right choice for us, and we feel the best choice for our children who of course will one day become adults who surely have a right to know where they came from, along with their children (our grandchildren) knowing the genetic line had been broken.

I have no idea what the future will bring, and how our boys will handle this information. We can just do our best to be honest with them, and bring them up the best way we know how. Hopefully all this will make them happy adults with happy childhood memories.

Good luck to you all.

Jayne x ^fairydust^
 

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Hi - great to read your story Squeak, very inspiring.

Just wanted to add that we too are in no doubt about telling our child ( of coure our donor cycle will work!HA!) - I know a lot of people who have donor kids and almost all of them are being open. Personally I think secrets just cause problems and will come out in the long run anyway..it's hard enough being a parent without the added burden of continuously hiding something from your child- and how can you ever ask them to trust you again it if ever came out? Anyway, just me rattling on...

Also I found the stuff from the donor conception network to be FABULOUS - very helpful - recommend it to everyone...

all the best,\

Rsmum
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Olivia,
thank you very much I'm sure some of us will have 100's of questions for you. You have given me strength - as you must be well versed in this by now.

Jayne,
I wish you lots of luck. Interesting that you changed your mind - I wondered if people did this.

RSmum, totally agree with you.
I have a friend who was an adopted baby, as was her brother. Both have grown up knowing this. One has met their genetic mother they exchange birthday and Christmas cards (that's all), the other does not want to seek their genetic mother. Their adoptive mum is definately their true mum, they love her to bits. Both are totally normal and well adjusted. Another reason in my mind for telling them young.

Squeak
 

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I've found it very interesting to read other peoples views on this as it is something that myself and my DP have been thinking and talking a lot about recently. As I said in my previous post we intend to tell the child (earlier rather than later). Related to this we have also been talking about who else we should or shouldn't tell - and what and when - and I would be really interested in your views on this also.

(hope this makes some sort of sense - it's late and it's been a long day)

Eileen
 

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Hi Eileen

We told a very small circle of very close friends and immediate family what was happening when we were undergoing treatment. In hindsight though, I think it's sensible to tell nobody if you aren't going to tell the children, but if you are, then it's up to you really. Although saying that, I think when you are undergoing treatment you want support from people, but in hindsight, once our first son arrived, I sort of wish we'd only told our parents and that was it. Can't even explain a real reason for this, but I just felt like I'd divulged more of my private life than I'd really wanted to, and only done this because I'd needed to vent my fears and worries that treatment may not work. I sort of wish I'd been able to just work through those issues myself now. But at the time I felt I needed something different. No right or wrong really - it's individual choice at the end of the day, but this is just my view from having been on both sides.

Since having our boys we haven't told anybody else
as when we did decided that we would tell them the truth, we also decided that it should be their choice as to whether or not other people privvy to this information. So, when they do finally come of an age where they understand what we've been telling them for years, if they chose to tell people, then that's fine, if they don't then that's fine too. It's no secret, and nothing to be ashamed of. But I do feel it is information that is private to the family and we just wanted our boys to know before the rest of the world (so to speak).

Love

Jayne x
 

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Jayne

Thanks for replying. You have echoed exactly our feelings and dilemma at the moment. My DP was VERY OPEN about being infertile as a result of chemo treatment for cancer and we discussed it with LOTS of friends. (like you say to vent our fears as much as anything) However now that we have actually started treatment we haven't told anyone other than my boss at work and one other friend of mine. Like you we have decided that there is a difference between secrecy and privacy and (if we are lucky enough to have a child) we want them to be able to tell who they choose. I now wish that we hadn't been quite so open beforehand and don't know what to tell people if I am lucky enough to get pregnant???

Eileen
 

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Hi everyone,

Not been on for a while so just seen this thread. I am 15wks pg with egg donation. Hubby and I decided we would tell junior before we even started the treatment. Like others I feel its something the child has a right to know. Personally I feel it would be harder for a child to accept their origins if it was kept a secret. I also look upon needing donation as a fact that I am not 'ashamed' of if you get my drift. I don't expect it will be plain sailing and small children will know how to hit right where it hurts, but I really feel honesty is the best policy.

This for me was confirmed (we had already decided to tell) when my hubby's Mum confessed his Dad wasn't his biological Dad. Even his Dad didn't know. Seeing him deal with this at 36! really made me realise how much harder it is to work through these issues when they are a bolt out of the blue!

We have joined the DC Network (Hi Olivia!) and although I haven't yet had chance to attend any of the meetings the newsletter is fascinating reading and there are lots of people who have 'donor' children and all have their own experiences of 'telling' or when to, and if to, but it is a tremendous support (just like FF of course!)

I hope it helps to hear our views!!

LOL
Sazzie
xxx
 

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Hi

Our little girl was conceived via DI. We have decided to tell her all about where she has come from when the time is right, although DP isn't too keen, but I know that it is the best thing for her.

I too have joined the DC Network, I'm hoping to get some books from them nearer to the time when we are thinking of telling her. I have been told that they have books for young children to help explain everything.

Love Jules xx
 

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Jules,

Just wanted to say ...she is beautiful!!! Made me go all weepy just looking at eh pic..

sorry - had to add that! :D

d xx
 

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..also..apologies for the spellling..v.late..hope I will have need of those books in a few years time - just starting D/R on a donor cycle...please keep everything crossed for us..

d xx
 

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Jules - I've got a book called 'My Story' which I got from the DC Network after Jack was born. I haven't used it yet, and he's almost 4 now, but I can see it being very valuable within the next year or so.

Jack is definitely starting to ask the odd question about where babies come from now - mainly becuase of having seen me pregnant with Ben and asking where he came out from. About a week ago he was saying to me that he had been born out of my tummy like Ben had been and he asked whose tummy I came out of and whose tummy daddy came out of, and was daddy going to have a baby in his tummy. When I said daddies didn't have babies in their tummies, but they helped to put babies in mummys tummies, he asked how he got in my tummy in the first place then and how did daddy do that? Errrrrrrrr! First serious question really and it took me back abit. So I just said about daddy giving mummy a seed which then turns into a baby and added that daddy didn't have any and so we went to the hopsital and some very kind man had left some there for him. Obviously this didn't bother him as he doesn't know any different, and he associates hopsitals with babies anyway from me having Ben. Thought that would be the end of the conversation then, but nope! He then asked if I ate the seed to get it in my tummy :eek: :-[ I was still thinking about whether or not I'd said it right about the seed and the hospital bit and didn't expect the next question! I explained that no, it went where Ben came out from (he knows that bit as I told him when I was pg and he's remembered, but mostly he still says Ben came out of my tummy). Thankfully at this point he was satisfied and changed the subject to sweets or something! Phew!

The questions phased me a bit to begin with, but I knew I had to take the opportunity to not only start giving him bits of info about the birds and the bees, but to also gently feed information about his conception being different. Now those questions have passed, I feel happy with how I handled it. It feels like the first building blocks have been laid, and I will build info from this point onwards until he just knows how he was conceived.

Love

Jayne x
 
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