4 tips for parents who use a sperm donor

Together with the sperm bank Cryos International, we have put together 4 tips for women or couples who are in treatment with, or have already used a sperm donor.

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15. juli - 2022

Be proud of your story

At Cryos, we recommend talking to your child about the donor. Be open and proud of your family with all that your story entails. Normalising sperm donation and talking openly with your child and other people about the need to use a donor will enable the child to cope with this information in the future. This knowledge makes it all the more likely that your child will become more comfortable with, and proud of their story. Knowing where you come from is a big part of our sense of identity and secrecy can compromise this. Tell your child that they are both wanted and greatly loved. Thanks to a donation from a caring man, you became a family, and that is something to be proud of.

Be open, and answer questions

Telling your child about the donor is an ongoing process. As your child gets older, new questions or feelings usually arise, as their understanding of the magnitude of the subject increases. So, it is not optimal to have just a single conversation and then not to talk about it again. It is not certain that you can answer all the questions, but if you keep the discussion open and honest, you can make sure your child will feel comfortable and safe when coming to you with questions and concerns. Share the information you have and talk openly and positively about the donor. However, you need to strike a balance, so you do not unrealistically build up your child’s expectations about the donor. Bear in mind that your child may want to contact the donor one day. In this context, unrealistic expectations of the donor could lead to grief and disappointment for the child.

The child's story

In your child’s first year of life, it is up to you as a parent to tell your child how they came into this world. It may be a good idea to share the story with your child’s teacher. This leads to a greater understanding of the subject. The teacher can then take it into account in teaching, and will be able to support your child in conversations with classmates. At some point, the child will be old enough to decide for themselves who and when other people should know about their personal story. When that time comes, it is important for parents to respect the fact that it is the child’s story to share - not yours. Parents must acknowledge the narrative your child shapes and chooses to share or not share with others.

You will always be family

There is widespread concern among parents about how their children will react when they find out that half of their genetic code comes from a donor. If the child has not always known this, the information may well give rise to questions and frustrations. Despite conflicts in the family, remember that what creates a family is not only genetics but the social bond - traditions and rituals, love, and the fact that you are there for each other. Children who have grown up in loving relationships will be in no doubt as to who their family is. Not even if their curiosity prompts them to seek out the donor or the half siblings they may have via the donor. Even though they may want to know more about their donor, your children will not reject you or love you less.

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