Family / Family-building

Telling Your Child About Their Anonymous Sperm Donor


The Night Before

I have been playing the conversation over and over in my head since before my oldest son was born. I rehearsed many different ways to tell him he was created using a sperm donor we don’t know. I practiced consoling him as the news sunk in. While I thought we would tell him when he was older and started asking questions, the opportune moment arose the day after Halloween at eight in the morning, six weeks shy of his fourth birthday.

For some reason, my spouse decided that would be a good time to tell him where babies come from. We have this awesome book ( What Makes A Baby by Corey Silverberg) that talks about how some bodies have eggs and some bodies have sperm, but you need both parts to make a baby. S began reading and my palms started to sweat. My son sat there with his candy bowl in his lap hanging on every word. When the book was over, we looked at each other and knew the moment had arrived.

“M, honey? You remember how that book says that some bodies have sperm and some bodies have eggs?”


“Well, when it came time to make you, Ima’s body had eggs but Mama’s body didn’t have sperm.”

“Uh huh.”

“So, we had to go to a store to get some. There was a very special man who we have never met who gave us his sperm so we could make you and your brother and sister.”

“Uh huh.”

Gulp. I had done it. I didn’t fumble or cry. Damn, I’m good at this.

“M? Do you have any questions?”

He looked down at his candy bowl for what seemed like an eternity. Raising his big blue eyes to meet mine he said, “Can I have just two more lollipops?”

And that was that. All the time I spent worrying and researching, he couldn’t care less. Of course, I realize he is almost four and there are much more important things on his mind than where the other half of his DNA comes from. My hope is that he will always know the full truth about his story. When he is ready, I will be there to answer all his questions, lollipops in hand.

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  1. Clare Masson says:

    Your kid gets two lollipops? I am such a mean Mommy.

  2. We revisit the sperm donor topic about once a year. Different questions have come up at different ages. But no one ever has asked for lollipops. Next time, I’ll have a candy bowl nearby.

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