Ultimately, telling people about your choice to be a solo mum is all about taking care of your child. Donor-conceived children will encounter situations throughout their lives where people will question their heritage. By preparing people and doing your bit towards breaking the taboo, you’re making things easier for your child.
For that reason, whenever you want to keep your family situation a secret, think about why. Is it because of your insecurities or for the sake of your child?
Start with your family and close friends. Help them understand and equip them with the story and arguments that you want your child to grow up hearing. Keep them updated along the way. That way, you reduce the risk of your child feeling misunderstood or wrong. If a child grows up thinking that parts of his or her background are not to be talked about, they can internalise that sense of wrongness or shame. So it’s important to make sure that your child feels that it’s OK to discuss everything.
“If you opt for openness, your child will be able to seek guidance from other people than you when he or she is old enough to question their heritage. That way, you leave room for another person to fill in as an important figurre in your child’s life,” Henriette Cranil says.