Topic: Family trees

So I'm just getting started on this fun journey but am wondering what everyone does when their child has to do a family tree. Is half the tree empty?

Also, have you told the child there was a donor? And if so, have you found others around the child to be accepting? I'm thinking of school situations.

Thanks!

Re: Family trees

I wouldn't leave half the tree empty. I think if a single parent you would just do a more artistic design and spread everyone out. Even if single with no other "family" I would add chosen family that is important. At some point you can ask the kiddo who belongs on their family tree, I guarantee they'll have ideas.

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Re: Family trees

When my boys made one in school we did basically "my" tree and them directly below me. I like adding their other "family" like K&H said!

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Re: Family trees

I have wondered this myself. Really good ideas here!

Re: Family trees

We haven't done it yet (it is on our homeschool agenda this year) but I always envisioned that our family tree would begin with both of my grandmothers (they both passed away while I was pregnant with Kate).  From there it goes tony parents - divorced and remarried.  That with my 5 siblings, 10 grandkids and 2 great grandkids...it will look pretty full smile

As far as telling children they have a donor, Kate has always known.  I did it this way intentionally so there was never "the talk".  We have 2 books about her being donor conceived (one personalized, one general - let me know if you want more info) that we have read since she was an infant.  We have never not talked about it, not used the term donor etc.  Like Jdiana's 8 year old, she has been told more than once that she "must have a Dad".  She too wonders why these kids don't know the facts of life smile.

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Re: Family trees

Thanks so much everyone! I love the idea of spreading it out instead of the traditional way.

My friend is a single mom (father chose to left) and she was worried about telling her son when he asked. I told her lots of kids have single mom's so school shouldn't be a big deal. Wouldn't you know his first year in preschool every child has a dad.

In my mind, my kid would go to school and talk about the donor and get made fun of or something. My RE wants me to see a psychologist, who advocates for telling the child early. I think I will tell them but try to focus more on the single mom part than the donor part. Then when they're older and have questions they can ask.

I do like to worry, so thanks again for all the suggestions!

Re: Family trees

I would love to know where you got your books from!  My wife  & I definately plan on letting Baby Rowan know that he is donor concieved.


Shanny wrote:

We haven't done it yet (it is on our homeschool agenda this year) but I always envisioned that our family tree would begin with both of my grandmothers (they both passed away while I was pregnant with Kate).  From there it goes tony parents - divorced and remarried.  That with my 5 siblings, 10 grandkids and 2 great grandkids...it will look pretty full smile

As far as telling children they have a donor, Kate has always known.  I did it this way intentionally so there was never "the talk".  We have 2 books about her being donor conceived (one personalized, one general - let me know if you want more info) that we have read since she was an infant.  We have never not talked about it, not used the term donor etc.  Like Jdiana's 8 year old, she has been told more than once that she "must have a Dad".  She too wonders why these kids don't know the facts of life smile.

Re: Family trees

i love the idea of making a more artistic design that includes everyone in their family, rather than leaving half blank.  leaving half blank implies there are someones who should be on there and aren't, which is guaranteed to make the child feel they're missing out on something. 

as for the question of whether or not we tell our children that they have donors, my own personal choices have changed since my littlest has started asking questions.  my position on it today isn't a popular one.  i don't usually tell her she has a donor.  she doesn't.  that person isn't in her life, so she doesn't have him.  he is no more a part of her life than a blood donor or a kidney transplant donor, and nobody includes those people in their list of family, when talking to their kids.  i tell her that all families are different, and while many families have moms and dads, some have two dads, some have two moms, some have one mom, some have one dad, etc.  i go on to tell her she has a mom in her family, as well as listing all the other people.  then i say, "like caterina on daniel tiger's neighborhood."  i like to make that reference, because i think it's nice that there is a character that she admires whose situation resembles hers.  i will never withhold from her how she came to be, but she doesn't "have a donor," as far as i'm concerned. 

also, i have changed my mind regarding how i will deal with the subject of her paternity publicly.  when i decided to use a donor, and even long after she was born, i was very vocal about it.  since then i have confronted situations where i realize that she is on her own and far too young to defend herself against the closed-minded at a time when her self-image is developing.  she attends a christian preschool in a city in the american midwest.  while i have always been very ballsy in defense of all my unconventional life choices, and there are many, i feel it's not up to me to force my child into the position of defending a choice she didn't make.  there is nothing to be ashamed of, as far as i'm concerned, but this isn't about shame or pride.  if the result of the 2016 u.s. election tells us anything, it's that we are a far less progressive country than we like to believe, and it's not up to me to make her a social experiment or statement in a country where she will no doubt be subjected to scorn and humiliation as a result.  this is about me not doing that to her without consulting her first.

this position could change with more information or with more talks with her, but that's where i'm at right now.  she will know how she got here, and it will be up to her how much she wants to share with others from there. 

i believe there are safe and unsafe people to talk to about it.  my family all know and so do my friends.  that's enough.

Re: Family trees

babybaby wrote:

i love the idea of making a more artistic design that includes everyone in their family, rather than leaving half blank.  leaving half blank implies there are someones who should be on there and aren't, which is guaranteed to make the child feel they're missing out on something. 

as for the question of whether or not we tell our children that they have donors, my own personal choices have changed since my littlest has started asking questions.  my position on it today isn't a popular one.  i don't usually tell her she has a donor.  she doesn't.  that person isn't in her life, so she doesn't have him.  he is no more a part of her life than a blood donor or a kidney transplant donor, and nobody includes those people in their list of family, when talking to their kids.  i tell her that all families are different, and while many families have moms and dads, some have two dads, some have two moms, some have one mom, some have one dad, etc.  i go on to tell her she has a mom in her family, as well as listing all the other people.  then i say, "like caterina on daniel tiger's neighborhood."  i like to make that reference, because i think it's nice that there is a character that she admires whose situation resembles hers.  i will never withhold from her how she came to be, but she doesn't "have a donor," as far as i'm concerned. 

also, i have changed my mind regarding how i will deal with the subject of her paternity publicly.  when i decided to use a donor, and even long after she was born, i was very vocal about it.  since then i have confronted situations where i realize that she is on her own and far too young to defend herself against the closed-minded at a time when her self-image is developing.  she attends a christian preschool in a city in the american midwest.  while i have always been very ballsy in defense of all my unconventional life choices, and there are many, i feel it's not up to me to force my child into the position of defending a choice she didn't make.  there is nothing to be ashamed of, as far as i'm concerned, but this isn't about shame or pride.  if the result of the 2016 u.s. election tells us anything, it's that we are a far less progressive country than we like to believe, and it's not up to me to make her a social experiment or statement in a country where she will no doubt be subjected to scorn and humiliation as a result.  this is about me not doing that to her without consulting her first.

this position could change with more information or with more talks with her, but that's where i'm at right now.  she will know how she got here, and it will be up to her how much she wants to share with others from there. 

i believe there are safe and unsafe people to talk to about it.  my family all know and so do my friends.  that's enough.


Thank you for sharing. I am also very open about deciding to use a donor but do worry about how that will affect the child when they are younger.

I sometimes think about moving to a smaller town closer to work, but it would be very conservative and I know I wouldn't be able to share any details. And I probably would get a lot of questions. Oh well, there's still time to decide that. The commute isn't that bad.

Re: Family trees

yeah, same here.  i live in a nice-sized city with an ice skating rink, performing arts center, symphony, ballet company, etc.  there are small towns on the outskirts, where the rent is much lower than what it is here.  i have considered moving to one of these, but it's bad enough living in a city in the midwest.  living in a midwestern small town?  no thanks.  lol