'Daddy ran out of tadpoles': How parents tell their children that they are donor conceived, and what their 7-year-olds understand

L. Blake*, P. Casey, J. Readings, V. Jadva, S. Golombok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The present study explored the process of disclosure in gamete donation families in the UK. METHODS: Interviews were conducted with 23 mothers and 15 fathers who had told their 7-year-old child about the nature of their conception. Twelve children were interviewed about what they understood and how they felt about their donor conception (DC). RESULTS: The majority of families had disclosed by the age of four and mothers were found to be the main disclosers. Although some parents expressed concerns about the disclosure, the majority did not experience difficulties. No child responded to disclosure in a negative way. Seven-year-old children showed little understanding of their DC, despite parents starting the process of disclosure before the age of four. CONCLUSIONS: In spite of mothers' concerns about disclosing DC to their children, children responded to disclosure in a neutral way and most parents did not find disclosure to be problematic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2527-2534
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Reproduction
Volume25
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2010

Keywords

  • disclosure
  • donor conception
  • donor insemination
  • donor offspring
  • egg donation

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