For most parents, answering the question “where did I come from?” is difficult enough, but for children born via egg donation process, finding the most suitable explanation is even more challenging.
In this article, we will address why it’s necessary to discuss surrogacy birth with your child and how to do it tactfully and fittingly.
Should you tell your child about birth through egg donation?
It is understandable that each parent has his or her own philosophy about revealing their child’s birth origin, but all experts agree that being honest with your child from the start is the best route.
How can, not revealing be problematic?
By not being truthful with your child, the following can occur:
A confused self-identity –Achild may begin to notice early on that their physical characteristics do not match those of his intended parents. For instance, the child may notice his skin color is noticeably different from his parents. When your child begins to realize these differences, you need to address it. The longer you wait or postpone the truth, the more doubtful your child will be about where they belong in this world.
Hiding the truth is never good –It takes too much effort to create elaborate scenarios or asking family and friends to participate in your concocted stories. Telling the truth is more reasonable.
If a child learns about his origins from another source, he may develop distrust towards his intended parents. It won’t be surprising if it accidentally slips out from a friend or family member. This can traumatize the child.
Inaccurate Medical Data – A child born through surrogacy needs to know his or her complete family history. In the event they face a medical issue later on, having this information may actually save their life.
When you do decide to tell your child about their special arrival, consider applying the following tips:
Prep your conversation
Use easy-to-use, simple language that is also age appropriate to help your child understand his or her origins. Avoid using impulsive dialogues or commentaries. Explain to your child that some moms are unable to have a baby the regular way and must use help from another mom.
Host this dialogue in a quiet place
Before having this conversation, find the best setting. Pick a place and time where there are no distractions. On a weekend or after school is ideal because children are most attentive at that time.
Use easy-to-understand Language
Don’t assume your child has the same language or vocabulary skills as you do. Avoid using technical words or jargon. There’s also no need to get into the specifics of infertility or in vitro fertilization. Explain terms like pregnancy, surrogacy and mommy.
Listen and Answer your child’s questions
Be prepared to be asked questions like, “am I not your real child”, “what is a surrogate”, etc. Listen with attention, pause and think about your response before providing an answer. Always remind your child that you love him or her and that they are no different from other children in school.
The dialogue about where your child came from is going to be a continuous one. As your child grows up, be prepared to hear more questions about it. With age, the intricacy of those questions will also increase. Be involved in your child’s conversations and avoid dodging them. This will help your child form a lasting bond with you.
For more tips on how to have a dialogue about surrogacy with your child, contact Rite Options.