When your child asks you the question, it will be time
In general, by 5 or 6 years of age, children begin to wonder where babies come from. When your child asks you the question, it will be time to explain the natural method and then talk to them, if it feels right, about assisted reproduction. If this child came into the world thanks to insemination or even intra-conjugal IVF, in other words, the oocyte comes from the mother and the sperm is from father, there won’t be much of a problem in explaining that, to conceive, you had to resort to a medical team. Obviously, it will be necessary to adapt the information to the child’s age and complete it as they get older. The explanations should be simple and clear so as not to make them feel peculiar or different. There are several children’s books that talk about the subject.
However, it may be somewhat more difficult to explain to those children who were born thanks to a donation. In this case, it is advisable to talk to them as soon as possible, from when they start to ask the first questions. Specialists agree that from adolescence on, children don’t assimilate well finding out that their conception was artificial. The path you have taken for your child to be born is an integral part of their life, so they have the right to be told in a totally transparent way and to grow up having accepted and integrated it. Sincerity, honesty and humility are key to the child’s acceptance. On the other hand, if they feel that you are hiding things, that there is a secret about their birth or that some aspects have been omitted, there is a risk that they’ll worry. The child has to know that genes are not everything, and that the male or female donor has simply offered a cell with a genetic load that has led to his or her conception, just as others donate blood or platelets, which is also donating life to a haemophiliac. With the unconditional love you give your child, fully accepting your choice and asserting that you don’t regret anything, that you stand equally firm with this decision, should be enough to soothe their doubts.
If you can’t find the words and you don’t reveal the secret, don’t hesitate to turn to a psychologist or a child psychiatrist as they will have the necessary resources to break the taboo and manage the child’s emotions. Similarly, don’t hesitate to ask them if the child reacts badly and sets out in search of endless answers, if they have problems at school or don’t fit in. This can be a lengthy task depending on the child and the history and background of the parents.
Explain that more than a donation of gametes, the male or female donor has given them the chance to live, and that this is the greatest gift one can receive, which is what makes him or her an exceptional being, the culmination of an incredible story…