Telling your child they were conceived through IVF

Telling your child they were conceived through IVF

To Tell or Not to Tell: When Your Child Is Conceived Through In Vitro Fertilization: Author Helps Parents Explain the Process.

For Claudia Santorelli-Bates it seemed like the obvious choice to talk to her own children about how they were conceived through the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Bates, who is the author of "I Can't Wait to Meet You," recommends the discussion for all families that have used IVF to conceive a child, but she says, "It seems that many families haven't thought about sharing their child's conception or are often adamantly opposed to speaking about it with them. It reminds me of adoption back when families made the choice to never tell their child that they were adopted."

Bates believes think that honesty is the best policy, especially when so much time and love went into families who use assisted reproduction. "I feel the world is opening up about the topic of IVF. When I share how my children were born I always hear things like, 'oh I didn't know that,'" she explained. This type of response is frequently viewed as being negative. "When discussing IVF, I am also met with other responses such as 'we did it the old fashioned way,'" explains Bates.

However, for many couples, doing it "the old fashioned way" isn't an option. But the end result is the same -- a child that is brought into the world for all the right reasons, nurtured and loved by parents. But what about telling your child that they were conceived through in vitro fertilization? Bates feels it is a necessary part of the process and when a child starts asking questions about how they were brought into the world she has some very real concerns and suggestions.

Explaining the birds and the bees used to be commonplace. Simple to understand from a child's perspective, but clearly it is not applicable in the case of children born through IVF. In these days of delayed parenthood and assisted reproduction, simply explaining the mechanics of intercourse doesn't always answer the question of "where did I come from?" Bates believes that parents who have turned to IVF to have a child need to guide children with informed information about the reproductive process when they're ready to listen and their curiosity has peaked. The process of telling a child that they were conceived through IVF involves guiding children through IVF, donor insemination, surrogacy, adoption and the question of why some children might have more than one set of parents.

Bates explains that, "Focusing on technical details, while employing a light approach won't perplex your child and they will develop an understanding of how they came into the world and just how much they were wanted and loved. Explaining that IVF makes them special is another way to help your youngster understand how they were born," she says. There are many books and publications that help parents discuss IVF and assisted reproduction with their children including Bates' acclaimed children's book, "I Can't Wait to Meet You." Bates concludes that "I feel very proud of the process that I went through to have what I wanted most in my life, a child."

About the Author

Claudia Santorelli-Bates was raised in New York. She wrote and produced an award-winning independent feature film titled "Loser Love" as well as three other feature films. After years of trying, she finally conceived her first daughter through the help of IVF. And so she created I Can't Wait to Meet You which can be purchased

Article: 15th July 2010

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Posted: 17/07/2010 10:50:19


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