How can a California Cryobank DNA Ancestry report help me talk with my donor-conceived child about their story?
At one point or another, all children ask their parents about their family and their origins. Hearing stories of how they came into the world helps children develop a sense of belonging and this innate desire is part of the reason personal DNA analyses are so popular.
The urge to belong can be seen in all children – whether donor-conceived or not. Jaime Shamonki says, “Millions of us have accessed our personal DNA-based ancestry reports, and we know donor-conceived children are often just as interested in knowing their own genetic heritage.”
Yet with increased accessibility to DNA reports comes more potential for curious donor-conceived adults to delve into their genetic heritage, once they reach the age of 18. Finding out about their origins later in life can leave donor-conceived adults feeling ashamed, confused or shocked by their background and over recent years, research into donor-conception is overwhelmingly in favor of sharing children’s donor-conceived origins with them from a young age.
Being truthful about a donor-conceived child’s origins can feel daunting but it helps embed a foundation of trust and honesty within the family, and allows children to accept their story without shame, distress or shock. To convey an accurate picture of your donor-conceived child’s origins, wouldn’t it be beneficial to know as much as possible about your chosen sperm donor? Knowing more information about your sperm donor will make sharing your donor-conceived child’s story easier and help you feel prepared for any questions your child might ask.
Parents of donor-conceived children know this isn’t a one-time conversation. Return to the story time and time again, perhaps adding more layers of information as and when you and your child feel ready. When your donor-conceived child is older, a free California Cryobank account also allows them to view information about their paternal genetic heritage through the DNA Ancestry report. Allowing some independent inquiry and your child returning to you with questions can be a supportive way to build your donor-conceived child’s narrative of their origins.