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Age of disclosure is important in determining donor offspring’s feelings about their donor conception.
It appears it is less detrimental for children to be told about their donor conception at an early age.
Furthermore, if parents have discussed the child’s conception with other family members or friends, there is always a possibility that offspring will find out about their conception by accident which could be far more detrimental (Mc Whinnie, 1995).
Studies have found that around half of parents of donor-conceived children tell either a friend or a family member about their child’s donor conception (Golombok ., 2000), and thus disclosure by someone other than parents is a real concern.
Telling children from a young age enables the information to be incorporated into the child’s sense of identity (Rumball and Adair, 1999).
Reasons given by parents for non-disclosure include wanting to protect the child from the distress of not being able to gain any information about their donor.Other concerns include the impact that disclosure may have on family relationships, in particular with the father, and wanting to protect the father from either potential rejection by the child or the social stigma associated with male infertility.Parents can also be unsure about how to tell their child (Cook ., 2000).The adolescents in the study had found out about their conception at a young age (all had found out before age 10), which may well explain their more positive response.Furthermore, they all had open-identity donors which may have alleviated the feelings of anger and frustration reported by offspring unable to find out the identity of their donor (Scheib ., 2005).