The wellbeing of donor conceived children – Susan Golombok

Donor conceived children do not really differ from other children. It was thought in the early days of donor insemination that these children might have psychological problems because perhaps their parents, in particular their fathers, would feel more distant from them and this might cause difficulties for the children. But actually research, that has now been going on for three decades, has shown that these children are very well adjusted and that they are no different from children in other families. So, there s a big debate in the field about whether or not parents should tell children that they are donor conceived, and since the early days it has been thought that – well, the has been a growing opinion that parents should be open to their children. We found from our research that children who are not told are doing well, but taking everything together, it does seem that if parents tell their children when they are young, before they reach school age, that this has the best outcome in terms of the parent’s relationship with their children. And we can see this really up to the adolescence, where we have found that the children who were told when they were in their preschool years had better relationships with their parents at adolescence. So, parents often find it difficult to begin talking to their children about their donor conception and all though many receive counseling, while they are going through fertility treatment, it is not really a live issue for them. Really their attention are focused on actually getting pregnant and having a baby. I think, something that would be very helpfull for parents, is if they had the opportunity to go back and speak to counselors once the child was born, maybe when the child was one or two, around that age when they are beginning to think about these issues. So that they can think though whether or not they want to tell. The implications of telling or not, and if they decide to go ahead, then how best to do that.

1 Comment

  1. Good video

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