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Ask Amy: Donor-conceived children should be told

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have read advice in your column suggesting that it is wisest to tell children about their adoption starting very young.

My six-year-old twin grandchildren have never been told that their momma’s eggs came from an egg donor.

The parents are now divorced but are very friendly.

Should they tell the kids?

Their momma carried them and gave birth to them.

– Wondering

 

Dear Wondering: As with children who join their families through adoption, parents should also tell children who were conceived through donation their true birth story – ideally starting when the children are pre-verbal.

This gives parents lots of practice in telling the story, and normalizes it for everyone.

What parents should NOT do is treat this as a mystery or a family secret. Families are made in many different ways, and children are capable of understanding this because they see it in their own world.

Kids notice that not all families are the same. For instance, your grandkids’ folks are divorced – but the parents and kids are still in a family together. They are also quite curious about their own origin story.

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