Those who have had a child through donor egg or those families who are considering using egg donation often ask about various ways to talk to children about their unique beginnings. For many families, developing a "family story" is one idea.
Children are fascinated by their own history, and they love hearing stories. They enjoy learning about where they were born, their relatives, and what was happening in the world at that time. Baby books have long been used as a way to chronicle a child’s early days. Why not use these same methods with your own family? The creation of a special book, personal website, verbal story or some combination of these can also include telling your child about egg donation.
To get started, establish a time to tell stories as a family ritual. As you tell your story, include elements relevant to egg donation. For example, introduce members of the extended family and discuss how much you wanted to add to your family. Explain that help was needed, resulting in the birth of your much-loved child.
The story, along with your child, will mature over time. The increasingly detailed telling of the story about egg donation may develop into a dialogue during adolescence and adulthood. Retaining donor-related information will provide a resource to help answer more specific questions posed by a curious older child.
Make the story even more personal by using photographs, recordings of special memories, keeping a diary, or writing letters to be shared with your child in the future. To teach the concepts of donation or anonymity, explain that some families help others by volunteering together, or give an anonymous donation to another family in need. By adapting these basic written, verbal and active ideas to match developmental changes in your child, you will have created a template to help you frame your family story for years to come.