I ordered a few items from the UK Donor Conception Network.
I love this DVD. It features donor-conceived children/young people from solo mum and lesbian families (one film) and heterosexual couple families (the other film) talking about their origins and what it’s like to be donor-conceived. I found the videos very heartening, as the kids are so articulate and thoughtful and appear to be very content and happy.
The Our Story book is aimed at kids aged three to six and comes in different guises depending on the family circumstances (solo mum/lesbian couples/heterosexual couples, twins v singletons, type of donation). The solo mum version explains how a kind man helped Mammy to have the baby à la: ‘One day I said, “Have I got a dad?”. My mum told me all about how a hospital helped her to have a baby, even though she hadn’t met the right person to be a dad. I am really happy my mum could do this and I am proud of us and our family.’ I found it really sweet, though for some reason it made me a little tearful when I read it the first time. You write the child’s name at the front and paste a photo of their family at the back. Some versions are customised for your particular situation when you order.
I also bought but have only skimmed so far:
Telling and talking about donor conception with 0-7 year olds – a guide for parents
Telling and talking with family and friends about donor conception – a guide for parents
Our family – a guide for the relatives and friends of those contemplating donor conception, undergoing treatment or parenting young donor conceived children
One thing I noticed in the first Telling and talking book was the advice to bring up the subject of donor conception from time to time almost from day one, so the child knows this is a comfortable subject that they can ask questions about when they are ready. So, even with a baby or infant, you can take advantage of a quiet moment to tell the baby about how much you wanted to be a parent, how lucky you feel to have been able to because of the generosity of the donor, how much you love your baby and so on. With the subject part of your family story from day one, you can add to it as the child grows up. This ‘building block’ approach also means you aren’t worried about when to start talking about donor conception with your child and you can get over any awkwardness or stumbles when the baby isn’t really aware of these things.
I haven’t joined the DCN or gone to any of their meetings but they and other organisations like them offer a lot in the way of support, networking and resources and it’s nice to know they’re around.