Families are defined and formed in many different ways, but biology is still the most common family bond. Most parents want to raise children with whom they share a genetic connection. Egg donation allows parents who are struggling with infertility to have some genetic connection with their children.
Just as biology matters on your side of the child’s family tree, you should also recognize the importance of biology on the other side. Many children conceived through egg (or sperm) donation grow up and want to meet their biological half-siblings. Parents are sometimes afraid to be truthful about the child’s origins for different reasons; however, genetic connections are valuable, and that’s why the donor sibling registry is an excellent resource for families and individuals who wish to use it.
Some parents see their children’s half-siblings on the donor sibling registry and decide not to tell their children, opting instead to wait until the child shows interest independently. If you’re struggling with the decision, consider this: children don’t get to decide when to meet their other relatives. They don’t wait to meet their aunts or uncles or cousins until they develop an interest in these people on their own. Children grow up knowing their relatives and when they are grown up, independently decide who to maintain contact with. Introducing children to their half-siblings conceived through donation is a viable option, as is waiting until they ask. It is ultimately up to you (the parent) to decide what the best choice is for your family and your child.
Do keep in mind that for many people, connecting on the registry is the only way for them to obtain, share, and update relevant medical information. Besides, for most people, connecting with half-siblings turns out to be a positive experience. There are no guarantees, of course, and a less-than-positive experience is always possible, but these are the same issues people in all families face. Not all people are like-minded or have things in common. However, most people do enjoy meeting their biological relatives and maintain contact with them over time.
We’ve all heard the stories of people who were conceived through egg or sperm donation running into their half-siblings unknowingly – but these stories are the exception, and the odds of this happening are very low. There are many more cases where children of donors either remain happily unaware of each other or happily find each other and form lasting bonds.