Raising A Child Conceived With Donor Material

The challenge of raising an ART child has been discussed previously. Raising a child that has been conceived with donor material forces you to tackle even more ethical considerations.

Of course, you must decide if you will explain your child's conception to him or her. And you'll also want to discuss your wishes with close family members and friends so that they will abide by your wishes.

In the case of donor sperm, eggs, or embryos, you'll also need to decide if you want to explain this to your child. If you do decide to be open about the conception, consider how much information to share with the child. Some people choose to portray the donor in the same way as a biological parent who placed the child for adoption. Others explain that the donor was more of a helper who assisted in conception but has no further role. At some point, will the child be able to find out about the donor? Should they meet and form a relationship? Many agencies keep this information on file, and so it may become available to the child once he or she reaches age 18. Ideally, this type of information should be spelled out in your donor agreement prior to conception. At the very least, the child should know about the donor's medical history because it is part of the child's genetic makeup and medical family history.

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