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Ideas For Age Appropriate Ways To Tell Your Child From Birth To Teens

Research shows the earlier a child is told the story of how they were conceived, the more straightforward and stress-free this is for both the parents and the child.

Telling a child early allows them to incorporate their embryo donation story as they develop their identity. It also allows recipient parents to gain confidence in explaining to their child as they can tell the child their story gradually, in an age appropriate way. In this way, being embryo donor conceived can be normal for the child as they grow, rather than a sudden revelation.

Below you'll find some language and concepts that you could use as you talk to your child to develop the idea at different ages

2-3 Years

  • “We’ve waited a long time to have you”
  • “Sometimes people need help to create a baby”
  • “Donors help create families”

Focus on the different kinds of families, the importance of love making a family and just as they learn about different body parts, teach them about their different “make up”


3-5 Years

  • Start to use children’s books or create your own unique family book
  • Use simple language and repeat many times


5-7 Years

This is the age the questions will come.

  • Be confident in your response.
  • Use every opportunity to “replant the seed”
  • Encourage questions and follow up with how they are feeling in the days following these conversations


8-9 Years

  • Children of this age really start to understand the implications and what it means to be donor conceived.
  • It is a great age to explore “Nature vs Nurture” and give them ownership and a sense of pride about their identity and story


10-11 Years & beyond

  • A good age to start using statistics – 3% of kids are conceived by A.R.T
  • Find a community or group where other donor conceived children can share their experiences.
  • Be open to sharing more about the donor person / family if that is what the child shows an interest in. Continue to be open and approachable.
  • Children of this age can start to be sensitive to feeling different.


This information was modified utilising content from the VARTA website

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