The seventeen-year-old boy Alfred Davies, who was conceived by IVF, tells us about his personal experience with assisted reproduction.
I’ve always known that I’m an IVF baby. I can’t remember ever not knowing, it’s just a part of who I am.
I know people sometimes feel anxious about telling their children, but I’ve never been afraid to tell friends, teachers, or whoever I might encounter. It’s not something at the forefront of my mind that I always talk about, but if it comes up, I’m certainly not worried about mentioning it.
Sometimes this can lead to funny questions, like the time I told my friends in primary school that I was an IVF baby and someone in my class asked “Does that mean you have super powers?” Looking back, I think now this was a missed opportunity – I could have spent my primary school years pretending I could freeze or go back in time!
Another memorable occasion was when we covered IVF in science at school. I told the class that I had been an IVF baby because I thought it was quite interesting, and we talked about it in the lesson. Later that day, I was really surprised to find out that the teacher had called my mum afterwards to ask if it was OK that I had told the class that I’m an IVF baby. I didn’t understand why it would possibly be such a big deal.
To me, it’s not a huge issue as IVF is very common nowadays. I don’t actually know anyone else of my age who was an IVF baby, but when my younger sister was little there were four children in her class who’d been conceived by IVF. More and more people seem to need to use IVF to have children, and it’s not anything unusual.
Most of my friends know my parents had IVF to have me, but it’s not something we talk about or that has any impact on who I am or how they see me.
What I’m trying to say is, those parents who are understandably worried about telling their children that they were conceived differently, shouldn’t be. I’ve always considered it as something to be proud of. It only means that my parents wanted me so much they were willing to go to such great lengths for me to be born, and that is something no child could ever be ashamed of.