The number of babies conceived through assisted reproduction technologies is steadily on the rise.
And for those who are using sperm donors to build their families, one of the most delicate issues that can arise as parents is how to talk to your children about the donors and the whole process in general.
When is the right time to discuss it with your child? And what exactly should you and your partner say to them?
Here’s a look at some tips to help when talking with your children about his or her donor.
The longer you wait to tell your child, the harder it’s going to be for you and your partner to bring it up naturally. It’s never too early to tell the truth. In fact, some experts suggest telling your child about it while they are still in the womb so that you can get used to telling it to them when the time comes. Be matter of fact about it as though it’s not a big deal. If it’s not a big deal to your child’s two mommies, then it’s not going to be a big deal to him or her either. It’s also important to focus on your family rather than the details. Remind your child that both mommies loved each other very much and wanted to have a baby.
Distinguish Between Donor and Parent
As your child grows, he or she might start asking why they don’t have a “dad.” This is the time when it’s important to discuss with them the difference between a parent and a donor. Let them know that all families are different. What’s important is that there are two mothers that love them very much…that you two are the parents. Let them know that a donor doesn’t mean a father.
Keep the Conversation Going
Your child may continue to have questions as he or she gets older, especially once they learn about the birds and the bees, so to speak. So it’s important to always keep the doors of communication open when it comes to any questions they might have about the donor process. Think of a way that is easy for them to understand, and make sure they know that they were born out of their two mommies’ love for each other.
Acknowledge and Respect Your Child’s Feelings
Children are clear on who their parents are, so don’t be afraid of discussing any question they might have. It’s most likely they just want to understand things and are curious, like all children. Children can understand their donor origins and still know they are loved and celebrated by their family. But they may still experience complex emotions about it all, so encourage your child to talk about any emotions they may be feeling.