What to say - examples

"There was a special man that helped you be. He gave a gift to the hospital and the doctor passed it onto me. I've always used the term 'sperm' and 'egg'." Anna

This page provides some examples of what you might say when telling your child their story of coming to be. They are suggestions only, intended for young children. It is important to use your own words and to adapt it to your child as they develop and begin to be able to understand more complex information. Remember that telling is a process, not a one-off event -  what is most important is how you say it, not what you say. 

There are also a number of books for children and parents and other resources to assist with this process.

Family formation

The use of assisted reproductive treatment enables families to be formed in many different ways. The following examples may help you to find ways to talk with your children about how their family was formed. 

Further support is available through VARTA's Time to tell seminar and Family storybook workshop. For individual support you can contact us.


A useful way of describing a donor is 'someone who gives something to someone else to help them'. Lots of people are donors, such as blood, kidney, bone marrow, and charity donors. If possible, show ways that you donate (for example, consider sponsoring a child or take them with you while you donate blood). It's also good to refer to your donor by their first name, if known.