Talking With Children About Sperm Donation
Saturday April 09th, 2011 09:15 PM

This article is part of a series of conversations, includes an adaptation of an earlier article, “Talking With Children About Ovum Donation” and is written primarily for heterosexual couples with permission from The AFA, January 2011

By Jean Benward, LCSW and Patricia Mendell, LCSW

Donor Insemination of DI has been performed for more than a century in the United States and is the oldest form of conception.  The exact number of children born from DI is unknown since there is no central mechanism for documentation of births from donor insemination. The cultural elements that make sperm donation different include the much longer history of secrecy and stigma compared to egg donation. The authors discuss these differences and how it effects parents’ decision to disclose to their child their donor origins.
The authors discuss how couples deciding to use sperm donation confront choices that are similar and different from ovum donation and how these differences influence their decision to disclose. Again Benward and Mendell go on to  discuss how donor conceived offspring might understand donor conception and ask different questions at different stages of development; they respond to some questions parents frequently ask, and some questions children might ask about their donor conception. Included are quotes from other professionals who have written on the subject; comments from donor parents and their offspring; possible scripts; and an annotated book list.

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