How to Tell Your Kids They Were Made Using Someone Else’s DNA

Terry’s hand was shaking as she asked, “What if they hate me after I tell them? What if they want to move in with their father? He’s the only parent genetically related to them.” Then she started crying. I held her. We were about to tell her 4-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter that they were conceived using donor eggs.

We walked into her living room where her son was draping blankets across a web of chairs and her daughter was scrolling through her phone. As she told her children the truth about their genetics, her daughter looked bored and her son stood up half way through the talk and continued with his fort.

After she finished her delicately prepared speech we asked if they had any questions. Her daughter said, “So, was my donor famous? Can I tell my friends she’s famous? This is cool.” And her son interjected with, “Can we go get ice cream?” They seemed unfazed.

I stayed with her as we presented answers to questions that weren’t asked and when I reached for her hand I noticed she had stopped shaking—she was smiling.

I checked in two weeks later and she reported her children had asked a few more questions but seemed more interested in the egg donation than confused or upset.

Terry is a member of a growing group of moms: Today, as more and more women are focusing on advancing their careers before stepping into motherhood, the average age of conception continues to rise. Data released by the CDC shows that the number of women waiting to have children until their mid-thirties to early-forties is increasing, meaning that more women will likely require IVF (in vitro fertilization), often coupled with egg or sperm donation, as egg and sperm count and quality decrease with age.

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The Pros and Cons of Freezing Your Eggs

Confession: I’m afraid my eggs will poop out on me before I’m done having kids. But the thing is, I’m not ready to have more children just yet — I want to buy a house, write a few books, travel with only one small human, sleep … so what’s a girl to do?

Freeze my eggs?

Egg freezing is the hot (or cold?) fertility trend of procuring eggs from a woman’s uterus, freezing them, and re-implanting them when she’s ready to introduce the egg to a sperm. This practice became a viable option in 2012 when breakthroughs in freezing and thawing techniques helped prevent eggs from being ruined by ice crystals forming in the eggs.

I’ve been privileged to gain an insider’s view to this wild baby-making world by my mother, who was an IVF nurse for over 15 years and now owns an egg donor agency that is partnering with an egg freezing bank. My mama’s been my fertility Yoda as I navigate this world, helping me dig beneath the surface pros and cons I find on the Internet, giving me the scoop on what the experts find to be the real benefits and risks of sticking lady eggs in a freezer.

Read more on Babble!