The parenthood journey is a pleasant and fulfilling experience. But in the case of some parents, they ought to take a different route other than the traditional one to become parents. It could be through third-party reproduction such as egg or sperm donation, IVF, or Surrogacy. The one question that lingers in the minds of these parents is “should we tell our child about their birth?”. Parents go through a very tumultuous journey as they are always worried about how their children would comprehend the truth behind their birth when they come to know it. But it is highly important to let the children know their origin due to several ethical and medical reasons, said Dr. Durga Rao Co-Founder and Medical Director, Oasis Fertility.
Why should children know their genetic background and origin?
- A Question of Identity:
The children should not get confused regarding their genetic traits. This will create a sense of fear and isolation in them. They may have different features similar to their biological parents and hence it is highly essential to let them know the process of their birth. Hiding the truth is not going to help in any way and it will only create unnecessary psychological problems for the children.
- To Avoid Distrust:
If the children get to know about their birth through someone else other than their parents, it will be a very painful experience for them and they will start losing trust in their parents. It is better to inform the children rather than postponing it or waiting for the right moment. When parents reveal the truth, the child feels secure and can confide in their parents.
- For Medical Reasons:
The children should know their genetic lineage which will help in knowing the medical history of the donor or surrogate.
How to inform your children about IVF or Surrogacy?
As parents, you should not have guilt or shame for your decision of IVF or surrogacy. Keeping this a secret will do more harm than good. If you wish to tell your child at a younger age, then try telling it through a story. Even if the children cannot understand it fully, it is important to let them know this right from the beginning. A parent should also make the child understand that irrespective of the birth route, the child is considered precious and also a blessing. Though it’s a very sensitive issue to discuss, it is the responsibility of the parents to keep the children informed.
The child will be disappointed at the beginning and may ask you questions repeatedly. Have patience and clarify their doubts and misconception. It may take time for the child to absorb the truth and may either become sad or irritated. But emphasizing the love, care, and affection towards the child and making them feel special is important. Not everyone wants to go through IVF or surrogacy but some medical conditions, age, and fear of transmission of genetic disorders make the couple go in for these methods.
A child is always special from whatever way it is born and there is no need to worry about telling the truth as your love and commitment towards the child is not going to change.