Parenting a Child Conceived Through Donated Genetics
As you prepare to embark upon your egg donation or surrogacy journey, it is incredibly common to question how your family will function once your new baby arrives. Pondering the potential connection with a child that does not share your genetics is an emotional hurdle many intended parents must face before they move forward.
Understand that a family is created from the same four components no matter what the family structure is. These components include:
- An egg
- A uterus
- A home
While, in the case of assisted reproduction pregnancies, you may not be able to provide each of these components, you will be providing the most important one of all: a home.
The intent to have a family and the preparation and love that goes into creating a family through egg donation or surrogacy puts you in a unique position to bond with your unborn child months, sometimes years, before that child ever exists. You are paving a way to this life to exist and preparing a home for him or her long before many other would-be parents have to. This preparation will help you lay a foundation of trust and love for your future child.
As for what happens after the pregnancy, most of our intended parents tell us any fears or concerns they had about the lack of a genetic connection melt away fairly quickly, usually within moments of birth. From the moment that child enters the world, they are your own. Genetic code doesn’t matter much once the child is in your arms and under your care. You will bond with the child through the normal course of parenthood.
Perhaps the largest hurdle you will have to navigate is choosing if and when you’ll share your child’s unique creation story with them. This choice is personal, and merits some amount of thought even in your planning stages. While the choice is ultimately yours to make, we do encourage you to share your child’s story with them with honesty and openness. Introducing the story in small, age appropriate doses from a young age can help establish trust and pride in their creation. It allows you to show that, while they may not share your genes, they do have your heart. It shows the child that they were born of deep desire and were always wanted.
If you have additional questions on what it’s like to raise a child that does not share your genes, please feel free to reach out to your Case Specialist or Dr. Kim Bergman.