Thoughts on telling a child they were conceived via DE?

Joined: February 8th, 2012, 10:14 pm

May 29th, 2012, 8:56 pm #1

Ladies you were an amazing help to me a month or so ago when I asked about seeing photos of the donor or not. I was pretty clear that I wanted to but my DH at the time definitely did not. Well I read him each and every one of your responses and he had a change of mind and has since seen photos of potential donors. And your responses further clarified my desire to want to see photos. So THANK YOU to you all!

Now the big philosophical dilemma between us is "to tell or not to tell" the potential child of their birth origins. I know I am getting way ahead of myself but it is a tense discussion that comes up often between us.

I am of the belief that the child from the outset should be fully aware of how they came to be. DH feels once the child understands their origins 1- the child will be angry and reject me and 2- the child will be gossiped about behind their back and/or other kids will tease them causing the child undo pain and suffering. The only thing we agree on is that we are absolutely no tell to friends and family. My feeling is to let the child decide if they want to share it at a certain point in time. So his fear is if the child starts talking/referring about it (say age 3ish) then the cat is out of the bag and now the child is exposed and totally vulnerable and later will hate me. To some degree I do wonder if my DH's fears have some validity? FYI we do live in a small town with lots of narrow minded and judgmental people; just being a woman over 40 and PG will cause tons of fodder.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

May 29th, 2012, 9:21 pm #2

I can sort of understand not wanting to tell folks outside of your family (cuz it's none of their business), but I cannot imagine keeping your child's own truth from him or her. And, just like when children are adopted, the telling should start way before they can even understand it, so it's not presented as a "big deal". Until the 60's, it was recommended that parents not tell adopted children that they were adopted, but for the past 40 years or so, the recommendations is the exact opposite. I think donor kids fall into this same exact circumstance.

My background is complicated, but I'll share that until I was a young teen, I thought I knew who my biological father was. But then I was told the truth. Because my family waited so long to tell me, I was horrified. Not at the truth, but that for all of those years so many people knew "my story" and I didn't. It really took a toll on me - I felt like people didn't trust me with my own truth. I felt betrayed that such an important secret was kept from me. For me, the actual news was minimal compared to the betrayal and secret keeping.

My own opinion here - I think it's crazy to think that a child won't figure it out. No matter how hard we try to find donors that look like us, the risk is really high that your child will find out one day, somehow. A forgotten piece of paper, something not working as it should on a school project on genetics, a kid figuring out your age at his or her conception, a medical need requiring blood testing, a well meaning friend, neighbor, etc, etc, etc. To me, keeping it a secret means you are ashamed of it. What's to be ashamed of - wanting and loving a child so much that you go to the ends of the earth to make it happen? That's a beautiful love story to share with your beloved child, not a shameful secret.


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Anonymous
Anonymous

May 29th, 2012, 11:04 pm #3

Hogwash!
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Kerry
Kerry

May 29th, 2012, 11:32 pm #4

Ladies you were an amazing help to me a month or so ago when I asked about seeing photos of the donor or not. I was pretty clear that I wanted to but my DH at the time definitely did not. Well I read him each and every one of your responses and he had a change of mind and has since seen photos of potential donors. And your responses further clarified my desire to want to see photos. So THANK YOU to you all!

Now the big philosophical dilemma between us is "to tell or not to tell" the potential child of their birth origins. I know I am getting way ahead of myself but it is a tense discussion that comes up often between us.

I am of the belief that the child from the outset should be fully aware of how they came to be. DH feels once the child understands their origins 1- the child will be angry and reject me and 2- the child will be gossiped about behind their back and/or other kids will tease them causing the child undo pain and suffering. The only thing we agree on is that we are absolutely no tell to friends and family. My feeling is to let the child decide if they want to share it at a certain point in time. So his fear is if the child starts talking/referring about it (say age 3ish) then the cat is out of the bag and now the child is exposed and totally vulnerable and later will hate me. To some degree I do wonder if my DH's fears have some validity? FYI we do live in a small town with lots of narrow minded and judgmental people; just being a woman over 40 and PG will cause tons of fodder.
Hi Sugar,

I've struggled with some of the same concerns...not whether to tell the child or not because I think for us we would tell but more how the child will feel and react some day. There are some posts over on the pved website (parents via egg donation) on this topic that I thought were helpful so you might want to check it out. I was very worried about this after reading some posts on a website by adults who were conceived using donor sperm. I think most of them had issues when they found out at an older age so it seems important that the child find out when they are young. I don't think the child would hate you. I went to see a counselor who specializes in this and she thinks it is best to tell. Good luck with your cycle!
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BlessedThistle
BlessedThistle

May 29th, 2012, 11:44 pm #5

Hogwash!
pusillanimous
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MaggieM
MaggieM

May 30th, 2012, 1:23 am #6

Absolutely! nt
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Joined: February 24th, 2004, 6:44 pm

May 30th, 2012, 1:28 am #7

Ladies you were an amazing help to me a month or so ago when I asked about seeing photos of the donor or not. I was pretty clear that I wanted to but my DH at the time definitely did not. Well I read him each and every one of your responses and he had a change of mind and has since seen photos of potential donors. And your responses further clarified my desire to want to see photos. So THANK YOU to you all!

Now the big philosophical dilemma between us is "to tell or not to tell" the potential child of their birth origins. I know I am getting way ahead of myself but it is a tense discussion that comes up often between us.

I am of the belief that the child from the outset should be fully aware of how they came to be. DH feels once the child understands their origins 1- the child will be angry and reject me and 2- the child will be gossiped about behind their back and/or other kids will tease them causing the child undo pain and suffering. The only thing we agree on is that we are absolutely no tell to friends and family. My feeling is to let the child decide if they want to share it at a certain point in time. So his fear is if the child starts talking/referring about it (say age 3ish) then the cat is out of the bag and now the child is exposed and totally vulnerable and later will hate me. To some degree I do wonder if my DH's fears have some validity? FYI we do live in a small town with lots of narrow minded and judgmental people; just being a woman over 40 and PG will cause tons of fodder.
Some of us have very strong opinions about this topic and it comes up often on this board and the pink board http://www.network54.com/Forum/247611/. Please take each response as an opinion (not gospel) and just as each of us has to make decisions about what is best for our family and children, each of us is entitled to make our own decision about what and how we share information with our children about their conception and their origins.

Since the decision about telling your child does not need to made today, I suggest you look at each response and ponder it, and then ponder it again and again, since you will have plenty of time to make a final decision. And you may decide one thing and then change your mind after your child is here. The tell camp makes some good arguments, but then again, each family has to to what they feel is right and often there are compelling reasons NOT to tell a child of their DE origins.

My DH feels the same way as yours does... and initially I felt as you do. OUr son is now 4 1/2 and we have not said anything to him about DE, and I'm not sure I want to. I feel quite differently now that he is here and is a real person and not just a fantasy. So, I am still unsure of what and how I will tell him, it doesn't feel right to me to tell him now, yet I feel he has the right to know, it's VERY confusing.

So, there it is, just my opinion.
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Joined: October 9th, 2008, 2:53 am

May 30th, 2012, 4:11 am #8

Ladies you were an amazing help to me a month or so ago when I asked about seeing photos of the donor or not. I was pretty clear that I wanted to but my DH at the time definitely did not. Well I read him each and every one of your responses and he had a change of mind and has since seen photos of potential donors. And your responses further clarified my desire to want to see photos. So THANK YOU to you all!

Now the big philosophical dilemma between us is "to tell or not to tell" the potential child of their birth origins. I know I am getting way ahead of myself but it is a tense discussion that comes up often between us.

I am of the belief that the child from the outset should be fully aware of how they came to be. DH feels once the child understands their origins 1- the child will be angry and reject me and 2- the child will be gossiped about behind their back and/or other kids will tease them causing the child undo pain and suffering. The only thing we agree on is that we are absolutely no tell to friends and family. My feeling is to let the child decide if they want to share it at a certain point in time. So his fear is if the child starts talking/referring about it (say age 3ish) then the cat is out of the bag and now the child is exposed and totally vulnerable and later will hate me. To some degree I do wonder if my DH's fears have some validity? FYI we do live in a small town with lots of narrow minded and judgmental people; just being a woman over 40 and PG will cause tons of fodder.
Hi,
I write that you don't have to make up your mind now because after you have your babe you may change your mind. I know I wax and wane between the two - but mostly no tell.
Just be aware that a decision to not make a decision is still a decision (as my mother used to say 'when in doubt do nothing').
best, THK
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Dee
Dee

May 30th, 2012, 4:21 am #9

Ladies you were an amazing help to me a month or so ago when I asked about seeing photos of the donor or not. I was pretty clear that I wanted to but my DH at the time definitely did not. Well I read him each and every one of your responses and he had a change of mind and has since seen photos of potential donors. And your responses further clarified my desire to want to see photos. So THANK YOU to you all!

Now the big philosophical dilemma between us is "to tell or not to tell" the potential child of their birth origins. I know I am getting way ahead of myself but it is a tense discussion that comes up often between us.

I am of the belief that the child from the outset should be fully aware of how they came to be. DH feels once the child understands their origins 1- the child will be angry and reject me and 2- the child will be gossiped about behind their back and/or other kids will tease them causing the child undo pain and suffering. The only thing we agree on is that we are absolutely no tell to friends and family. My feeling is to let the child decide if they want to share it at a certain point in time. So his fear is if the child starts talking/referring about it (say age 3ish) then the cat is out of the bag and now the child is exposed and totally vulnerable and later will hate me. To some degree I do wonder if my DH's fears have some validity? FYI we do live in a small town with lots of narrow minded and judgmental people; just being a woman over 40 and PG will cause tons of fodder.
Some parents tell, and others don't.

It can be a hotly debated issue, but ultimately its your decision.
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thesameboat
thesameboat

May 30th, 2012, 4:37 am #10

I can sort of understand not wanting to tell folks outside of your family (cuz it's none of their business), but I cannot imagine keeping your child's own truth from him or her. And, just like when children are adopted, the telling should start way before they can even understand it, so it's not presented as a "big deal". Until the 60's, it was recommended that parents not tell adopted children that they were adopted, but for the past 40 years or so, the recommendations is the exact opposite. I think donor kids fall into this same exact circumstance.

My background is complicated, but I'll share that until I was a young teen, I thought I knew who my biological father was. But then I was told the truth. Because my family waited so long to tell me, I was horrified. Not at the truth, but that for all of those years so many people knew "my story" and I didn't. It really took a toll on me - I felt like people didn't trust me with my own truth. I felt betrayed that such an important secret was kept from me. For me, the actual news was minimal compared to the betrayal and secret keeping.

My own opinion here - I think it's crazy to think that a child won't figure it out. No matter how hard we try to find donors that look like us, the risk is really high that your child will find out one day, somehow. A forgotten piece of paper, something not working as it should on a school project on genetics, a kid figuring out your age at his or her conception, a medical need requiring blood testing, a well meaning friend, neighbor, etc, etc, etc. To me, keeping it a secret means you are ashamed of it. What's to be ashamed of - wanting and loving a child so much that you go to the ends of the earth to make it happen? That's a beautiful love story to share with your beloved child, not a shameful secret.

but, if you really think about it, accusing others who don't choose to do what you do of being 'ashamed' of something 'shameful' was a bit provocative. Don't you think?

There are perfectly good reasons for telling AND for not telling. YOU have decided what YOU want to do. That's wonderful. Claiming to know how others feel if they choose something different isn't.
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