Saturday, August 26, 2006

A5 - Position on Disclosure / Openness - Richard

What is your position on disclosure / openness with your children re DI? And if you do disclose at what age would you think appropriate to tell the children?

I shall try to keep this one as short as possible. I believe that every child has a right to information about who they are and where they come from. That information includes the fact that they are donor conceived. While I understand that some people feel that keeping the information from their children means preventing a lot of uncomfortable questions and pretending that their family is exactly the same as every other, I don't believe that parents have a right to keep their children in the dark. Fundamentally I don't believe that the information belongs to the parent, they're simply guardians of it until their children are old enough to understand what it means.

Why do I feel so strongly about the subject? Because lies are not a way of building a secure family unit, and no matter how you frame it, not telling is a lie of ommission. What on earth would happen if somehow my children found the information out from a doctor or a government official or, heaven forbid, a letter landing on the doorstep from their donor? It's one of those lies, like so many others, that is terrifying while it is untold and then powerless once it is out in the open. It has the power to hold my family to ransom or bring us together, depending on how I choose to deal with it.

When will I tell my children? It will be the first thing that I say to them after "hello" when they enter this world, and I will keep telling them on a regular basis as they grow up so that they are confident that the information is not something to be afraid or ashamed of. And as well as making it easier for them to deal with the information, talking to them about it before they can understand allows me to become comfortable with the words so that, when I explain it to them when they're older, I know how to phrase it and don't stumble over the words making both me and them uncomfortable.

I will love my kids and I will trust them to love me, despite the fact that they don't share my genes.

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