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Telling Your Child about Their Donor Origins

a blog by Michelle Ottey, PhD, Laboratory Director for Fairfax Cryobank, September 25, 2013

Are you planning to tell your donor conceived child about his/her origins?

This is a very personal matter and parents are responsible for making this choice. Situations vary and there is no one right answer for everyone. Increasingly more literature, both lay and medical, is being published to help assist families as they contemplate how best to address this issue with their son or daughter. There are also online resources; chat rooms, forums and support groups which may be helpful. But ultimately, this decision rests in the hands of the parent(s) to determine how best to deal with their child's future desire to know they are donor conceived.

If a family does choose to disclose, you may also find it helpful to be in contact with other like-minded individuals who used donor insemination (DI) or a group of parents who used the same donor. As a child matures and becomes curious about his/her origins, they might gain important emotional support and biological connections by communicating with half siblings. There are online sites that cater to making these contacts and allow individuals to do so without revealing their identity. Several sperm banks offer forums as well to facilitate these connections. The advantage of using a forum from a sperm bank is that they can verify that only those that used the donor are actually in the private donor forums and some will post medical updates there as well. For those who are ready to meet face to face, these sites also offer the opportunity to plan meetings with each other. These online communities may not be for everyone, but it is important to know they exist.

If you want your child to have the option of having contact with the donor, you can choose an ID Option donor. This gives your child, with a birth registration, the option of contacting the donor when they are eighteen or older.


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