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Publication Detail
Telling donor-conceived children about their conception: Evaluation of the use of the Donor Conception Network children's books
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Harper JC, Abdul I, Barnsley N, Ilan-Clarke Y
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    1, 7
  • Journal:
    Reproductive Biomedicine and Society Online
  • Volume:
  • Status:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    disclosure, donor conception, egg, fertility, spermatozoa
  • Notes:
    © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
If parents have used donated gametes, it is a personal choice whether they disclose to their children. For those that do, there is, however, little advice on how to tell their children. The Donor Conception Network (DCN) has made a series of books to help parents disclose. This study evaluated parents’ experience of using these books. An online survey with both quantitative and qualitative questions was used. The DCN membership and social media were used to publicize the survey, and 108 responses were analysed. At the time of conception, the parents’ family types were mainly mother and father (56.5%) and solo mothers (36.1%). The method of conception was mainly donor spermatozoa (55.6%) followed by donor egg (38.0%), double donation (8.3%) and one case of surrogacy. Most parents had read the book to their children before 2 years of age (76.9%). Before reading the books, some of the parents had some confidence in telling (43.5%) or were very confident in telling (30.6%). After reading the books, 60.2% reported having much more confidence in telling. Most parents felt their children had no understanding (76.8%) or only some understanding (22.3%) of donor conception before reading the books. After reading the books most parents felt their children's understanding had increased (71.3%). Most parents felt that reading the books had given them more confidence in using donor conception language (90.7%). The use of books to tell children about their conception may be a useful resource for parents wishing to be open with their children.
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