6 of 6

Becoming a Single Mother

Lesson 6 of 6

Birth Stories and Donor Siblings

Video Lesson

Written Lesson

Discussing a Child's Birth Story

Solo mothers often face a decision about if, when, and how to introduce their child to their “birth story”.

As you can see in this survey of 38 solo mothers who built their family through fertility treatment, nearly all disclosed to their child that they were donor-conceived, and did so when the child was young.

Today, the trend is for solo mothers to discuss their child’s birth story, in an age appropriate fashion, when the child is an infant.

Experts tend to agree that establishing openness in this topic early & avoiding sharing falsehoods about a child's birth story is ideal.

Other solo mothers opt to wait, believing their child will be more accepting and understanding with maturity. In a survey of all types of donor conceived children (who are now adults), it appears children are less likely to experience confusion or shock about their birth story the earlier on they learn about it.

Donor Siblings

For solo mothers who conceived using donor sperm, a question is whether they intend to search for, and reach out to, their child’s “donor siblings”. “Donor siblings”, or “diblings”, were conceived using sperm from the same donor.

The best research on the subject comes from the team that runs an online resource called Donor Sibling Registry and a paper they published in Human Reproduction.

The team determined that upwards of 70% of mothers managed to locate their child’s “donor sibling”, and on average, three other siblings existed.

When it came to contacting the donor siblings, most solo mothers rated the experience as positive. Less than 2% classified it as a negative experience for them or their child.

When mothers decided to have their children meet their donor siblings, by and large, both solo mothers and their children perceived it positively.

When parents express awkwardness around the situation, it has to do with not being on the same page with the other families about whether their kids are brothers and sisters and how often they should see one another.

One expert notes that it may be easiest for children and parents to meet each other when children young. Donor siblings may create a strong bond at an early age, and it can be more difficult for an older child to connect to the group at a later time.