It’s important to tell our donor conceived child/children their story from the start. There are a wide range of books available to buy, many are lovely and simple rhyming books that are perfect for the early years. There are a variety of books that are written for all people going through this journey and are inclusive.
A fabulous book; “Sometimes it takes three to make a baby” was written by Kate Bourne, an Australian IVF/Infertility counsellor and retired head of the donor program at VARTA and can be downloaded here. This book is written by an expert and is good for children from birth to 9 years of age. It also allows the family to personalise it with photos and drawings and has some great information/advice at the back.
Another way to tell the story is to create your own book, we’ve done this for our boys telling their story as many of these books do but then adding in information about us, how we met, who we are, how we started our journey and then creating their story including information about their donor (photos, profile information etc.), the clinic, the Dr’s, the trip (we went to South Africa four times for our 2 boys), the pregnancy, the birth and we keep adding to it… so it’s the story of their life going forwards as well…. pre-school, going to school and more.
This can be done by just using word or other publishing software or using a website like Snapfish, Vistaprint etc. My suggestion in regard to using these websites is to maybe do a few books for each stage of their life.
The Donor Conception Network UK have an extensive range of fabulous books published. They have a range of books for our donor conceived children but also have a range for the “donors” to explain their gift to their children, friends and families. The list includes sperm donation, egg donation, double donation, embryo donation, solo donation (mum or dad), 2 mum families, 2 dad families, surrogacy and much much more.
They also have a range of booklets called “Telling and Talking” and these help donor conceived families to navigate the discussions with their children, family and friends through from a young age to 17 years plus. They also sell bundles of their books and they also sell their books as printed or pdf versions and do ship outside of the UK.
I don’t have any of their books or booklets yet but I am planning to purchase some soon, what an amazing resource of books.
This is just one of their books available for sale.
Another lovely book that we have and I read regularly to our boys since we were first pregnant is “A tiny itsy bitsy gift of life, an egg donor story” by Carmen Martinez Jover. Reading this book to Liam and Owen always makes me cry and think of our journey and of all the people that have struggled to conceive and are still dreaming of their family. There are a few other versions available.
A Very Special Lady by Nell Carswell – We also have this book and I love reading it to the boys, It’s a gorgeous book explaining the amazing gift our donors have given to us; “A very special lady, a story about egg donation”.
The Pea That Was Me – So many people on my Facebook groups and website love this book, I had planned to buy this one for the boys but already have the other books and have their personal journey book. “The Pea that was me, an egg donation story”. They also have many other inclusive versions available, see below:
Happy Together – A lovely book written by Julie Marie, someone who has egg donor conceived children is also passionate about being open and honest about the child’s origins and sharing their story from an early age. Also available other versions see below:
How We Became a Family by Teresa Vellegas & Bernard Villegas MD – Another lovely book that we also have, there are also other versions including egg donation twins, sperm donation singleton and sperm donation twins.
Your Family, a fabulous book by Wendy Kramer, Co-Founder and Director of the Donor Sibling Registry. This book includes half sibling and donor references, is easy-to-understand and has factual reproductive descriptions. Inclusive of all family types.
“The book starts with the parent’s desire to have a baby, the use of a donor, and then broaches the topic of half siblings and biological parents/donors. A perfect book for (the millions of) donor-conceived children to learn about how they were conceived and for understanding that being curious about their unknown genetic origins and relatives is natural. These early conversations are integral to creating a happy and healthy donor child and family.” *from Amazon
There are pages at the end of the book for the child to paste images or draw relatives, and add their own story.
You began as a wish, written by Kim Bergman, PhD a licensed psychologist and co-owner and senior partner of Growing Generations, a surrogacy and egg donor agency.
You were Made for Me by Sheri Sturniolo, another great range of books including one for the donating family. Many people in my support groups love this range;
Other great books:
Some more interesting books to read in regard to egg donation and donor conceived:
A fabulous book by Marna Gatlin, founder of PVED and Carole LieberWilkins sharing real stories of egg donation.
Books to help with raising your donor conceived child:
An excellent book from Jana Rupnow, a licensed professional counsellor in Dallas with a specialty in fertility, donor conception and adoption.