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Talking with kids about their conception

Where to Start

Information and Resources


Where to start:

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Information and Resources:

  • "Talking with Children Conceived Through Donor Insemination, IVF with Egg Donor or Surrogacy" is a free online fact sheet provided by The Center for Adoption Support and Education.

  • "Disclosure Decisions" is a great article on the Parents Via Egg Donation Site that addresses whether to tell, when and how to tell, common fears, complicated circumstances and disclosing information to others about the role of the egg donor in your child's conception.
  • "Talking about birds and bees and technologies " is a good article with concrete examples of talking with children about their conception, including conception with donor eggs and sperm. It quotes Carol Jones, an infertility therapist that I interviewed on the Creating a Family show.
  • Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates by Dr. Diane Ehrensaft. I interviewed Dr. Ehrensaft on the Creating a Family show. The book is insightful and based on her extensive experience counseling families created through Assisted Reproduction Technology.

  • The American Fertility Association has a great article on Talking with Children About Ovum Donation.

  • Donor Disclosure: When Telling the Truth to Your Child Isn’t Easy, and What to Do About It (PDF)

  • Telling and Talking - A Series of Booklets produced by the 'How to Tell' Project. The Donor Conception Network’s ‘Telling and Talking’ series of materials give detailed information, advice and tips for the parents of donor conceived children on how to approach telling their child. These booklets are aimed at parents of children aged 0 – 7, 8 – 11, 12 – 16 and young people and adults over the age of 17. The PDF's can be downloaded for free.
  • Webinar on What Do We Tell the Kids??? from the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center
  • Flight of the Stork, by Anne Bernstein. This book is about how kids think about sex, reproduction, and how families are created. It is not necessarily specific to kids conceived through ART, but the information on the developmental stages of a child's understanding is very helpful for parents when discussing the special way the child was conceived. This book is was revised in 1994, but the information on child development is still current.

  • Do I Have a Dad? CD tracks - This special 50-minute audio compilation features interviews with four experts (including two therapists from the Bay Area) about talking to our children about "daddies" and donors. It includes conversations with six Choice Moms about the kinds of questions and concerns they face as their children start using the daddy term or connect with their known donors. And it includes the insight of an anonymous donor who has had contact with grown offspring.


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