Personalised Children’s Books about Donor-Conception

Eloise Edington  |   17 Nov 2021

Anyone who regularly interacts with children knows they’re naturally curious.  “Why are you wearing your red gloves?”, “What would happen if I ate my banana skin?”, “How does an aeroplane fly?” and most parents will likely be asked something like: “How was I made?” at some point.

For parents of surrogate or donor-conceived children, questions about your child’s birth can seem daunting, especially if you feel you lack the language of how to explain donor conception.

Fortunately, Sali Odendaal at Sensitive Matters has come up with a beautiful solution: customisable storybooks for donor-conceived children.

Read on to find out how these wonderfully hardback books can help you talk with your child about their story.  They’re not just personalised books but fully customisable.

Words by Sali Odendaal with Holly Pigache

Honesty Matters

Research into donor-conceived individuals is overwhelmingly in favour of sharing the truth of their conception from a young age.  By growing up with the knowledge of their birth, children come to accept their story more readily than if they find out about their origins through difficult circumstances.  But it can seem hard to find ways to broach this conversation with little ones. 

The Magic of You storybooks provide a personalised way for talking to children about donor conception and surrogacy.

 Eloise shares her personalised Magic of You book with her daughter.

From a Personal Story…

As a mother to a donor-conceived son, born with the help of a gestational surrogate, Sali Odendaal was uniquely motivated to make a book that told her story.  The desire to help other parents navigating a similar, challenging road – all with unique stories – resulted in her creating Sensitive Matters, an online publisher providing “personalised books to help talk to children about tricky subjects”.

She acknowledges parents may feel threatened by their child’s intrigue to find their genetic links but offers reassurance that sharing the truth with your child can help build a stronger relationship. 

Follow this link to discover Sali’s story.

“At the crack of dawn this morning, my eldest said, ‘Mummy, please can we finish making that book about me and adding all the pictures?'” – Eloise

…To a Magical Story, Just for You

The Magic of You books by Sensitive Matters come in two forms: avatar storybooks and photo storybooks.

The avatar version allows parents and children to star in their own story as avatars.  To start, parents complete a questionnaire to help identify their story, then they upload photos which are turned into cartoon avatars in the book.  Once in the digital book builder, parents can edit the text to make the story their own.  There are 32 variations of the avatar version, covering heterosexual parents, single sex parents and single parents using egg or sperm donation with or without surrogacy.

(There are also stories for adopted or foster families.)

If you’d like to purchase a beautiful, customisable book for donor-conceived children, FHH readers get an exclusive 15% off until the end of February 2022 when using code FHH15 at checkout.  Click here to buy a the photo book and here to buy the avatar version.

Following the step-by-step guide, parents can easily create personalised books for their child (or children) using The Magic of You photo version

  • Find the family scenario that matches yours
  • Format the book using the book builder
  • Clipart can be added, changed or entirely removed
  • Images can be included using the drag and drop feature and
  • Text can be adjusted. 

Also in the book builder, photos can be scaled easily and the words changed to reflect your family’s conversation (the handy help guide is always available should you run into difficulty). 

Eloise found personalising the text to such detail allowed her to include all her children in one book.  This meant she could share the chronology of when they became part of the family.

 Eloise builds a Magic of You book for her children.

There are 36 versions of the photo version, covering heterosexual parents, single sex parents and single parents using egg or sperm donation with or without surrogacy.

“A great way to get your child engaged and excited about learning how they came into the world, with words and pictures – personalised to their unique story.  I have never seen something like this before and my husband wanted to get involved too.” – Eloise

Empowering Parents

At Fertility Help Hub, we’re extremely impressed by The Magic of You books.  They’re customisable to such fine detail and we’re confident these beautiful storybooks will help empower parents to talk with their donor-conceived and surrogate children about their origins.  

No matter what your family structure, Sensitive Matters has a book for you.

Until the end of February 2022, get an exclusive 15% off your book using the code FHH15 at checkout.

(The books are also printed and shipped worldwide.)

Create a personalised story you can read together again and again, for years to come.

Enter our exciting giveaway here before 17th February to be in for a chance to win a customisable “Magic of You” storybook.

Download our Fertility Squad and chat with other families using surrogacy or donor gametes for their family-building efforts.

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