Tue, 22 April 2008
In this 15-minute conversation with New Zealand-based social scientist Ken Daniels, author of “Building A Family With the Assistance of Donor Insemination,? we talk about several controversial topics: the diverse make-up of families today, how to talk to children about being donor conceived, the role of the donor in a family’s life, and the importance of being proud and confident about the way we build our families (regardless about whether society wants us to feel some shame or stigma about it).
This show was sponsored by Choice Chat sponsor California Cryobank.
I define families very broadly….now of course we have such a diverse range and forms of families. But the central bit of a family remains the same. Families are about loving and caring and nurturing. That can be done by one person, by two people, by more than two people.
The way I encourage parents to tackle this [telling the child of donor origins] is ‘I want to tell you about our family history, this is about us as a family, this is how we came to be.’ When I say this to parents it is as if the light goes off and the bell rings….it is so much easier [than separating the child by saying ‘you were donor conceived.’]
There tends to be an emphasis on donors and children and parents. I prefer to think of it as families. In a sense, the donor is part of the family. Not in the sense that they are a parent and they’re going to be involved. But they’ve had a part in the creation of this family, and to deny that is to try to pretend that something is not what it’s really like.
The history of donor insemination….is shrouded in secrecy. There’s been a lot of stigma and shame. I’m keen to bring this out in the open and say, ‘let’s be proud of the way we’ve built our family. We love these kids.’
This book is designed to help parents parent in a confident way. To be secure about what they’re doing. Because if you’re not secure, kids will pick it up.