Donor conception - telling your child
donor; conception; donor insemination; genetic; gamete; embryo; reproductive technology; insemination; infertility;
Donor conception is when people use eggs, sperm or embryos donated from someone else to have a baby. This may be the only way some people can have a child.
We all have a right to know our own history so it is important for children to know where they come from. Our life story begins with our biology and the characteristics we inherit. Knowing where we come from helps us to understand who we are. Knowing our medical history is also important. It means we may be able to take steps to prevent or get early help for some diseases that may be passed on in our genes, eg. some cancers or heart disease.
Talking to your child from an early age about how they were conceived makes it a normal part of your family story. You don't need to worry then about sitting down and having 'the big talk' at the 'right time'.
Parenting SA (Department of Health, South Australia) has developed a guide for parents called Donor conception - telling your child (PEG 80)
Parenting SA web site has many other parenting guides
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).
This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.