My Beginngs, A Very Special Story
My Beginnings: Children of IVF

Assembly Instructions - choosing the treatment options


There are eight versions of this page in the package - each is marked with the distinguishing letter against the page number.

n order they are:-

a - IVF
b - IVF + donor sperm
c - IVF + donor eggs
d - DI
e - AIH
f - IVF + Donor embryos
g - IVF + ICSI
h - IVF + Frozen Embryos

i - Surrogacy (Gestational carrier) - DOWNLOAD version only

So for example 23a refers to IVF, and 23f to donor embryos etc.

You may choose which form of treatment you want to tell your
Child /Children about. Page 24 on the reverse side is the same for each version.

Select the appropriate version you wish to RETAIN and then glue it carefully aligning the page so that its edges match the edges of the other pages in the book. We suggest you use Pritt Rollerstick which is readily available from office suppliers (e.g. Mr-office: this allows easy alignment before pressing firmly to ensure a permanent bond.

This will leave you with a complete version of "My Beginnings" which is right for your child.

Destroy the versions of pages 23/24 which do not apply.


Some suggestions on how and when you might use this story.

The decision on whether and when to tell a child about their conception must rest with the parents. However many people throughout the world would feel that an open and honest policy may, in the long run be the simplest, be the right decision - but nobody has the right to tell parents what they must or must not do. It must be your decision. Many countries are building legislation which which allow children to know their genetic origins at the age of 18 bringing these children into line with adoption practices where a child has the right to know its birth mother on
reaching 18.

Experience from adoption, and now from assisted reproductive medicine where over 2 million babies have been born, suggests that its is easier to tell a child at a very early age a simple and happy story - later on children can be quite sensitive to such discussions. The suggested age is between 3 and 5 when a child is able to accept a simple story without adding the complications which as adults think are there.  I tell a story on the CD-Rom about a little boy who was told he was 'Made in a Dish' as an example.

At the same time, because the child can accept a simple story so easily, they often feel they want to talk to 'all and sundry' about it. This means that other members of the family should also know otherwise a response from granny (for example) "don't be silly dear!" confuses the child.

The story "My Beginnings" is a starting point. There will be places where you might want to make changes - you might prefer mommymutte, mama, or some other name in place of mummy. There may be details in your own story you wish to add or modify and there may be times when questions asked require some amplification. The simple scientific story and the embryo illustrations are correct and will mean something to the child as they learn at school. And that learning may well prompt further questions.

The CD-Rom contains a lot more detail which may be useful as a reminder for parents and answer some of the questions which may arise out of their increasing knowledge. No direct mention is made of donor assisted treatments in the CD-Rom but the Glossary does allude to those treatments in\its definitions and so may well prompt questions in that direction.  An increasing number of television programmes, newspaper articles with an open discussion in the media,  may prompt a child to ask difficult questions so you need to be prepared in
your answers

Grpahic from 'A Child is Born' by Lennart Nilsson & Lars Hamberger, Delacourt Press 2003, with permission,IVF, In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo TransferMy Beginnings, A Very Special Story