What the experts are saying:
3. Tell them where they came from
“Oh, I’ve known that for years,” 12-year-old Caleb Foster says when asked how he came into the world. “My uncle gave sperm and Mommy had me.”
Mommy is his birth mother, Beth Foster; Mama is her partner, Lesley Fellows (moms who aren’t biologically related to their children often use the term “co-mother”). His DNA-donor “uncle” is a close family friend, but for Caleb, the word “parents” refers to his moms.
“I’ve got my family and I’m going to keep it,” says the Montreal karate blue belt, who enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons.
For such families, the story of conception is rarely simple. Athabasca University’s Deborah Foster and other researchers have noted that children are less anxious about their uncommon family structures when they’re told early about divorce, adoption, donors or the other ways they might have been conceived.
“Most children of lesbians know at a very young age,” Prof. Hastings says.
His research found that in cases of assisted conception, lesbians were less secretive with their children than straight parents were, with positive effects on family relationships. “Offspring who don’t find out until adolescence or adulthood feel more negatively.”
Mikaela Graham-Radford, 21, and her twin sister, Zoë, were adopted from Romania as infants. Through their childhoods, their mothers, Jan Radford and Lindsey Graham, were frank, welcoming questions and encouraging them to write to their biological relatives. When the twins were about 11, the foursome travelled from Burnaby, B.C., to Romania. The families still exchange photos and e-mails.
This “helped me accept who I am and not be afraid or not be shy,” Mikaela says.
Families who conceive the more conventional way also have opportunities to ground kids in their backgrounds and identities. Prof. Hastings says African-American parents, for example, who share honest history with their kids – even the painful parts – tend to raise resilient offspring who confront prejudice with education and don’t let it affect their self-esteem.
The Globe and Mail Denise Balkissoon
Link to full article:
A great article on the realities of the egg trade in Canada
Facebook and myspace and how they limit anonymity in Egg Donation
My parents should probably read this…
A video from Johnson and Johnson Health Channel- An Egg Donor Child- the beautiful Allegra- talks about her experience