Should I tell my child about his origins? Are there any psychological repercussions?

Published: 16 March 2017|Last updated: 30 November 2020|

Although there are several contrasting studies on the psychological effects that receiving donated oocytes (eggs) and/or semen may produce, every family is free to choose their own position on the subject and tell the child from an early age, wait until he or she is older, or never tell them.

This is a personal decision and there is no right or wrong answer; it all depends on the family context, on the social and cultural environment and on the acceptance of the patients themselves, who are considering using an assisted reproduction technique to enable them to have a child.

The psychological effect is believed to be less than in the case of adoption as there is no rejection by or loss of the biological parents, but rather an act of generosity on the part of a donor in order to help the parents conceive a child. This child has never had any other parents or a prior history and therefore there are fewer doubts about his or her origin.

It is true that, genetically, there is a difference, an unknown factor, a mystery, as the law protects both the parents and donors. Even if this law were to change in the future, it could never be backdated. Therefore, even if the child wanted to find out more information in the future, he would only be able to find out what you already know; the blood group and age of the donor at the time of the donation.

There are some very good children’s books on this subject which try to explain, from a very young age, the donation of eggs or sperm so that the child is able to understand why their parents needed help to conceive. Also, nowadays, the media and information available to explain In Vitro Fertilization or Oocyte Donation has progressed a lot.

With the passing of time, the taboos and prejudices on this subject are disappearing, and this has helped communication between children and their parents. In fact, the assisted reproduction techniques available nowadays enable many families to happily embrace this concept.

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