Tuesday 23rd November 2021 – 8pm (GMT)
I was delighted to be joined by two wonderful speakers to explore “raising our children after donor conception”. Both Dr Marilyn Crawshaw, a researcher into the outcomes of assisted conception treatments, and Dr Sharon Pettle, Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist, have spent many years researching and speaking to donor conceived families.
I know many parents worry about the challenges that donor conception can present as our children grow into adolescence and adulthood, with questions such as;
How do we explain that our ‘normal’ is different to most other families?
How can we be open, whilst managing their expectations about our donor?
How do we manage conversations about potential half siblings?
Just a few questions that I know many of us, as parents to donor conceived children, can be unsure of. We explored various considerations that we may need to be aware of as our children develop, understand more and become curious in wanting to explore more of what being donor conceived means to them.
Now an Honorary Fellow at University of York, Marilyn has long standing interests in reproductive health and the outcomes of assisted conception treatments. She has written about and researched into donor conception, surrogacy, cancer-related fertility, adoption and birth registration.
Dr Sharon Pettle
Sharon is a clinical psychologist who also trained as a family therapist. She worked in the NHS for over 30 years, mostly in child and family settings. She has researched the impact of late disclosures about biological parentage, and how parents who choose to be open share information about DC origins with their children. She has been associated with the Donor Conception Network for the last two decades. She developed and runs their groups for children.