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Old 05-03-2018, 09:21 AM
 
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An interesting question came up recently in my social circle. An acquaintance had fertility issues and conceived three children from donor eggs. The donor was anonymous and it was all run through a fertility clinic. One of the children is turning 18 and going off to college. She is debating telling her child about her method of conception as it does have some health history implications. As far as I know in our state, these records are sealed as to the identity of the donor, but the resulting child can find out information about health matters. There is actually a movement to unseal the records for the bio children to meet the donors but that has not happened yet.

So if you were in this situation, would you tell your child? Why or why not?
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:24 AM
 
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OMG 18? She missed the boat. In this day and age, the kid is likely to find out. DNA family trees and such. At 18...its going to be a tough conversation. But it needs to be done. She might need help from a family therapist to navigate how best to tell them.

I would start talking about it in age appropriate ways when topics came up to slip it into. And then more pointed conversations when the child gets older and can understand more. Of course always keeping the info age-appropriate.

Why? Because its part of their story, its part of who they are and they have an absolute right to know.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Brew City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFlyingBird View Post
OMG 18? She missed the boat. In this day and age, the kid is likely to find out. DNA family trees and such.

I would start talking about it in age appropriate ways when topics came up to slip it into. And then more pointed conversations when the child gets older and can understand more. Of course always keeping the info age-appropriate.

Why? Because its part of their story, its part of who they are and they have an absolute right to know.
This. If it were me I would have been open and honest from day one (age appropriate). I don't like the idea of lying to or deceiving my children.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:28 AM
 
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Yes I would tell the child, especially if there's important medical history. Being forewarned is half the battle when there's a serious disease. If I were told cancer was prevalent in my family, I'd be more careful in the sun, more aware and schedule more health checks. I'd be more proactive in my own health.

I'm curious if the donor eggs are all from the same donor. If not, don't the kids question why they don't look like their siblings? It's something I thought of as a child. I had two brothers and we all took after different sides / people. One brother looked like my dad. I looked like my mom. My other brother took after my mom's family but a distant ancestor. Kids think of stuff like that because they want to fit in. So if the kids are 'normal' they'll question. If they aren't told when they're young, there'll be resentment.

Tell them. If the kids are female, as females they would understand. Fertility is a big issue, and you know what? If these kids are female and they are told, they can breathe a sigh of relief that they won't have fertility issues. How's that for a motivator?
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Sollaces View Post
Yes I would tell the child, especially if there's important medical history. Being forewarned is half the battle when there's a serious disease. If I were told cancer was prevalent in my family, I'd be more careful in the sun, more aware and schedule more health checks. I'd be more proactive in my own health.

I'm curious if the donor eggs are all from the same donor. If not, don't the kids question why they don't look like their siblings? It's something I thought of as a child. I had two brothers and we all took after different sides / people. One brother looked like my dad. I looked like my mom. My other brother took after my mom's family but a distant ancestor. Kids think of stuff like that because they want to fit in. So if the kids are 'normal' they'll question. If they aren't told when they're young, there'll be resentment.

Tell them. If the kids are female, as females they would understand. Fertility is a big issue, and you know what? If these kids are female and they are told, they can breathe a sigh of relief that they won't have fertility issues. How's that for a motivator?
I have not asked if they are all from the same donor but if I didn't know about the situation, I would never guess that they were not this woman's bio kids. They have the same coloring and similar features. They also look like one another.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:36 AM
 
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My oldest DD is in this exact situation. Long story short, after years of trying to have a baby, she and her husband were told he would be unable to father children (low sperm count). They went to a fertility clinic and selected a sperm donor, who is the biological father of my oldest grandchild (now 4 1/2). As often happens, DD became pregnant when oldest grandson was 1 1/2...this time by her DH. They had never practiced birth control, because they thought they didn't need to. She miscarried. Her OBGYN said it was a one in a million chance and would probably not happen again. It did...a year later, and she carried the baby to term. Their second son is now 1 1/2.

They plan on telling oldest grandson as soon as he is old enough to understand...in a year or two. They already bought a children's book explaining it, and dwelling on the message "it doesn't matter how you got here, you are our own child, and we love you". As DD puts it, she wants him to adjust to the truth of his situation as soon as possible. What she's afraid of most is his harboring resentment someday toward his little brother, who is her DH's natural child.

There's already been a similar situation in son in law's family...his oldest brother was also unable to conceive, and they adopted a baby boy. They also told him the truth when he was 7 or 8, and he adjusted fine.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mrs. Skeffington View Post
My oldest DD is in this exact situation. Long story short, after years of trying to have a baby, she and her husband were told he would be unable to father children (low sperm count). They went to a fertility clinic and selected a donor, who is the biological father of my oldest grandchild (now 4 1/2). As often happens, DD became pregnant when oldest grandson was 1 1/2...this time by her DH. They had never practiced birth control, because they thought they didn't need to. She miscarried. Her OBGYN said it was a one in a million chance and would probably not happen again. It did...a year later, and she carried the baby to term. Their second son is now 1 1/2.

They plan on telling oldest grandson as soon as he is old enough to understand...in a year or two. They already bought a children's book explaining it, and dwelling on the message "it doesn't matter how you got here, you are our own child, and we love you". As DD puts it, she wants him to adjust to the truth of his situation as soon as possible. What she's afraid of most is his harboring resentment someday toward his little brother, who is her DH's natural child.

There's already been a similar situation in son in law's family...his oldest brother was also unable to conceive, and they adopted a baby boy. They also told him the truth when he was 7 or 8, and he adjusted fine.
Christ! That is too late too. I started talking about adoption with my kids when they were 2 or 3-ish when they started to learn about families. Since then we have talked more, added more info. When people ask me when my kids "found out" they were adopted I tell them that they pretty much always knew.

I am glad that boy adjusted "fine" (although do we know that from the outside?). But 7 or 8 is still too late to start the conversation.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by HighFlyingBird View Post
Christ! That is too late too. I started talking about adoption with my kids when they were 2 or 3-ish when they started to learn about families. Since then we have talked more, added more info. When people ask me when my kids "found out" they were adopted I tell them that they pretty much always knew.

I am glad that boy adjusted "fine" (although do we know that from the outside?). But 7 or 8 is still too late to start the conversation.
In fairness, I think different strategies work best for different families.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:46 AM
 
Location: here
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I agree with the others, that the child should have been told at an age appropriate level a long time ago. Yes, I think she should be told, if for no other reason, for medical history.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:01 AM
 
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My next-door neighbor has twins from donor eggs and her husband's sperm.

I do think it's something the children should know at some point but I really don't think it's as important to be upfront about the details from day one as it is with adoption, especially when there are no other children in the family.

There is no "birth mother" who carried these twins and then handed them off after birth. The woman who donated eggs did so voluntarily, not because she was in a position where she couldn't or didn't want to care for a child. The woman they call their mother carried and gave birth to them; she is their ONLY mother. So the same emotions and complications involved in adoption are not there.

Just for the sake of the medical aspect, of course they should know at some point. I don't think it needs to be at age 2 or 3. Being conceived from a donor egg is too much information and too confusing for a preschooler. At some time when discussion gets more detailed than "babies grow in the mommy's tummy," it could be brought up. Maybe age 8-10. I think a child that age is mature enough to understand and handle it, but won't get too freaked out about "Why didn't you tell me before?!" I do agree that going off to college is a little late.
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