Donor Children in School – Honesty and Openness


How do you explain to the school and the other parents that your child was conceived with the help of a sperm donor? And how does your child deal with questions from classmates?

In collaboration with the Danish fertility clinic Stork Klinik, European Sperm Bank has published a pair of booklets with information on how the school, the class and the other parents may better understand and support donor children: One booklet for parents and one for teachers and others who work with children.

More and more donor children are starting kindergarten and preschool, and because we at European Sperm Bank are thinking about the future and the well-being of these children, we try our best to support them in any way we can.

Children born with help of a sperm donor might experience some difficult issues growing up – just like any other child. In Denmark more than 20.000 children have been conceive with the help of a sperm donor since the 1980’s. There is absolutely no reason this should be a secret – or that these children feel weird or different from any other children.
A recent published article in “Folkeskolen”, a magazine for teachers in Danish primary and lower secondary school, argue that openness and honesty is the key to understanding, which we at European Sperm Bank fully agree with.

Say it like it is
Ludvig, a child born with the help of a sperm donor, started preschool in 2015. He lives with his mother Iben Harder Nemensen and older sister Mikkeline – born with help from the same sperm donor. Iben explained to both her children at a young age, that even though their family might be different from others, they are still a normal family. The children have a father; they just don’t know him.

Anette Bejstrup, who is the teacher in Ludvig’s preschool, states in the article that she does not spend any extra time understanding a childlike Ludvig as she does with any other of the twenty-five 6-year olds in the same class room.
In preschool especially, we talk a lot about family and family ties; who you live with and about mom and dad. That’s how the children learn about each other. It is important for me to know, if there is anything particular, that the student needs my help with in regards to the other children”, says Anette Bejstrup.

Ludvig’s mother Iben adds: “After the introduction round I told (the other parents) that Ludvig is a donor child and therefor doesn’t know his father. I also mentioned, that we are very open and honest about this fact at home, so that the other parents were more than welcome to ask if they had any questions in regards to this. I explained it very simple and afterwards I occasionally was asked about it”.

Iben continues to stress the importance that the other children in the class know that Ludvig is a donor child – and that these children then might come home and ask their parents about it. This brings up an opportunity for both children and parents to talk about it in a simple a non-dramatic way.

Need more information?
November, we also wrote about the importance of telling your children about their origin. Inspired by The Donor Conception Network, we mentioned a few points, which can be helpfull, if you are in doubt about how to explain the insemination to your surroundings and how to tell your child.

The Danish pdf-versions of the booklets are available for download here:
Donorbarn i klassen (til lærer og pædagoger)
Donorbarn i skole (forældre)

If you are curious about our booklet or would like further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us

//posted by Stinne, Client Service Manager at European Sperm Bank