By Patricia Mendell, LCSW and Patricia Sarles
This article came out of a project started by myself and librarian Patricia Sarles. In asking Patricia Sarles to help me locate children’s books written for parents conceived by assisted conception, particularly with the help of a third party she was surprised to discover that the Library of Congress did not have a category on “donor offspring”. In fact, over 80 percent of these children's books are self-published. Numerous parents seek out mental health professionals trained in the field of donor conception for guidance on disclosure. They frequently want help with how and at what age they should begin to discuss donor conception with their children; what age–appropriate language to use; how they feel; how their children will react; what others will say; how to answer questions from their children and others; and how to address concerns that it will negatively affect their child. The article points out the conflicts and problems facing parents as well as librarians trying to access these books and gives them key words that will help them in their search. The article also includes a book list for parents and librarians.