Relationship between parents, child and a donor that you know

"It was always important for me for the kids to know who their donor was because I’m adopted. I don’t know my biological parents and I just really felt this strong need for them to know where they came from because I don’t." Kate

The relationship between parents and donor - and the donor’s level of involvement in the child’s life - can vary enormously. Some donors have no involvement at all, others have occasional, while some have ongoing involvement.

This information provides advice and suggestions for deciding whether or not to use a donor you know. It is also offers guidance on ways to maintain a positive ongoing relationship between a known donor, parents, and child. This is particularly important where there is a co-parenting arrangement in which the donor is actively involved in the child's upbringing.

Parents and donors often talk about how their expectations, feelings, and needs change over time. This often happens after a child is born and the discussions are no longer theoretical but about a real person. Successfully managing the changing feelings of everyone involved can be fundamental to ensuring positive outcomes for the family and, most importantly, for the child.

Some factors that may contribute to positive relationships between parents and donors are:

  • a high level of trust and a capacity to communicate openly and honestly
  • an ability to manage change and conflict
  • a solid grounding of shared values and priorities
  • holding the other person in high regard and seeing them as a ‘good person’
  • a level of emotional maturity.


To help tell the unique story of how you became a family, you may be interested to attend the family storybook workshop.