Telling about donor assisted conception

Telling about donor assisted conception

This report from the Infertility Treatment Authority, Victoria, presents results of interviews conducted with donor-conceived adults, parents who are recipients of donated sperm or eggs, an egg donor, and infertility counsellors; 34 people in all. Discussion focused on telling donor-conceived people about their conception and resources that would assist parents and donor-conceived people to manage the information. Although it was generally accepted that concealment was no longer desirable and that children should be told as early as possible, parents often still found telling very difficult and would value specific guidance on how to tell, including detailed accounts from parents who had told their children, meetings with donor-conceived people and other parents,and a range of printed and electronic resources for children of all ages.

Resources are needed for donor-conceived children or adolescents who have always known about their conception and those who have only recently been told, and should cater for a variety of family types.Counselling and resources must also recognise the diverse individual responses to donor-assisted conception. Donor-conceived adults may need help in identifying their donors and opportunities to meet other donor-conceived people. Although not everybody felt in need of counselling, the service should take account of ‘telling’ as a process and not an event, and thus be available long after donor-assisted.