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Perceptions of Donor Conceived Children

I found this recent article from the UK that talks about a series of public events held in London addressing the perceptions of donor conceived individuals.  In this case, they were primarily talking with and about adult children conceived with donor sperm since donor eggs haven’t been available as long, so there are fewer adjult subjects to study.  Experts seem to believe that that similar feelings are likely to be reported from adult children born of egg donation or even embryo donation as well.

Dr. Tabitha Freeman from the University of Cambridge Center for Family Research discussed her work and indicated “the nature of their conception had very little noticeable psychological impact. More important to their development was the environment that they grow up in – the warmth of the family and quality of parenting. ”

She believes that since the children were obviously wanted, their parents were probably more involved and committed.

One takeaway point was that children who were told from a young age and just “always knew” tended to be indifferent or neutral about the information.  The information sparked curiosity, but not distress.  However, children who were told later were more likely to be distressed by the information.  This is not unlike the information we have learned from studies of adoptees.

The challenge oftentimes lies in deciding the best way for a family to keep information private (if that is their desire), without it being “secret” or shameful.

Here are a few more great resources for information about talking to your children about the conception through donor eggs, donor sperm, or donated embryos:

Parents Via Egg Donation

Creating A Family

American Fertility Association


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