On Saturday, I was very fortunate to be part of (and co-faciliating) VARTA’s annual Time to Tell seminar for people building their family with the help of donors and surrogates. It was the first time I have had an opportunity to attend this amazing event, and it was an incredibly powerful and positive experience to be in a space with around 150 people (including parents, grandparents, kids, donor-conceived adults and donors) who all have a critical involvement in donor conception.
I think the best part of the day for me was listening to some incredibly brave (It’s pretty tough getting up on a stage and talking to a giant crowd about your life!!) young people and their parents, talking about their experiences on donor conception. It was beautiful to listen to the positive experiences of young people growing up knowing how wanted they were (and are) by their parents. There was also a powerfully emotional reminder of the importance of telling, and telling early, from some donor conceived adults who found out in not so great ways. These brave young people made a clear request to all parents using donor conception- tell your kids about the donor conception: don’t let them find out themselves or from someone else – that’s when damage gets done.
If you missed out this year, but would like to be part of the event in future years, keep your eyes peeled on the VARTA website https://www.varta.org.au for announcements of future dates – totally worth a trip to Melbourne, even if your don’t live locally! In the meantime, I am including some slides from the day about how and when we can tell our kids if they have been born with the help of donors or surrogates.