Adults are initially likely to feel numb and may find it difficult to believe what you have told them. If this news has come from someone other than yourself - for example, a relative or an accidental discovery - it is likely to be particularly difficult to deal with. They may feel confused and angry; may struggle to understand why you had not told them earlier; and wonder if there are other important issues they do not know about. They may have a feeling of being duped if others were aware of their beginnings but they were not. They may feel they need to completely rethink who they are and the relationships they have with other members of the family. If a different donor was used for other siblings, this can be even more challenging. Despite these strong difficult emotions, it is rare for a donor-conceived person to prefer not to have known. They may benefit from talking to another donor-conceived person and/or a counsellor experienced in this area.
Some donor-conceived people feel relieved when they find out, saying the discovery explains things they may have questioned; for example, a lack of physical resemblance or a sense that something had been kept from them. Some may have suspected this or mistakenly thought their mother may have had an affair and be thankful this was not the case.
Experiences of donor conception: Ross' story
Experiences of donor conception: Louise's story
Support group for donor-conceived adults