A script for talking to your child about donor conception

Madeline Feingold is a therapist on our Top 6 list of Choice Mom-friendly counselors, associated with Alta Bates IVF in San Francisco. She offered insight on the actual words a parent can use, starting at a young age, for talking to your child about donor conception.

“When you describe your child’s donor conception within the framework of building a family, define family building as distinct from baby making, and separate motherhood and fatherhood from eggs and sperm, you help your child understand his experiences, feel a sense of belonging, and have the knowledge that he is loved for exactly the person he is. Early disclosure allows your child to feel secure within himself and his family.

These disclosure stories are for young children and lay the foundation for healthy child and family development. As your child grows into a teenager and young adult, queries about donor origins will become more complex and include questions about the donor, how the donor is connected to your child and family, and how being donor conceived affects identity. As parents, it is important to encourage your adolescent’s curiosity so that he feels free to explore feelings about being a donor conceived person without shame or discomfort. With your help and support your teen will develop a strong and secure sense of self and family.”

She provided a specific script that you can use, as part of a column she wrote on this subject for American Fertility Association titled “Genes Make People, People Make Families.” It includes a script for couples, for same sex couples, and for single parents.


  1 comment for “A script for talking to your child about donor conception

  1. Lara
    March 2, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks–I’ve always known what I wanted to say but never found the right words.

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