Life Advice



Ask Amy: Donor-conceived children should be told

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Not knowing the truth and then finding out later can prove genuinely traumatic for people – who upon learning that their birth is the result of sperm or egg donation can struggle understanding their true identity and wonder why nobody ever told them the story surrounding their conception and birth.

Another reason for parents to tell – and retell – this story is that in this day of easy DNA testing (and certainly in the future), all children will eventually have access to this knowledge when they are older.

Because these parents are divorced, they should both talk to the twins about the very happy way they came into the world. They should answer all questions as they arise. Even though some donor-conceived people eventually meet their biological relations, they know their parents are the people who raised them.

There are a number of charming children’s books describing this process in age-appropriate ways.

One I like is, “The Pea that was Me: An Egg-Donation Story,” by Kimberly Kluger-Bell (2012, CreateSpace Independent).

Dear Amy: My wife and I have two young children. One is in pre-school and the other is in first grade. My wife and I both work.


I recently found a basketball league of other dads that I’d like to join. The games are one evening a week.

I haven’t approached my wife about doing this, but honestly – I’m nervous about it. She works really hard, and I don’t want her to feel like I’m abandoning her.

Maybe I should just wait until the kids are older.

What do you think?


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