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PVED's Recommended Reading List

The following is a list of books and articles about and for families conceived through egg and embryo donation. It is by no means an exhaustive list.

We are fortunate to live in a time when we not only have many options for creating a family, but we have many books to read to and about our children to help them understand how we came together as a family.

Books are an excellent way to introduce the family's story at ages as young as infancy. Beginning then makes it easy and natural. Leave the books on the bookshelves for your children to grab as they would any other book. They'll enjoy the pictures and being close to you, but won't understand the story for a long time. With the books, you don't have to find all the words in the beginning; the authors and illustrators have done it for you.

The selection of books is a stylistic choice. Some of us here at PVED prefer books with flowery language and talk of angels; others don't like those at all and prefer a more straight forward approach. There is room for all. If you have a book that your child enjoys that is not on our list, please let us know at Via Contact Page. We love to keep current.

Enjoy the read.

Getting started

The Insider's Guide to Egg Donation: A Compassionate and Comprehensive Guide for All Parents-to-Be by Wendie Wilson-Miller & Erika Napoletano

In their search for alternative means for building a family, those who face infertility turn to the nearly 500 reproductive specialty clinics across the United States. While egg donors enter into the picture for a variety of reasons, every reason has the same desired result: a family to call one's own. Same-sex and single-by-choice parents are more prevalent than ever in the fertility industry, and there is no definitive, up-to-date guide to help families of all types approach egg donation, especially these niche groups. Resources are fragmented, true regardless of the family structure. The Insider's Guide to Egg Donation is the first how-to-handbook that helps families of all types navigate the less talked about but widely practiced egg donor landscape with a warm and friendly tone, giving those in search of a different kind of stork the answers and information they need as they begin to research family-building options.
Marna Gatlin, Founder of Parents via Egg Donation highly recommends this book as a great place to start your journey of becoming a parent via egg donation.

Creating Life Against the Odds: The Journey from Infertility to Parenthood by, FACOG Ilona Laszlo Higgins MD Most prospective parents, when arriving at the decision to have children, presume their journey will be an exciting and rewarding one, resulting in the birth of a healthy baby. When those dreams are shattered by their inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term, they ask, "Why me? What did I do wrong?"

In Creating Life Against The Odds, Dr. Lonny Higgins has gathered numerous firsthand accounts from individuals around the world who have traversed the maze of infertility treatment. What have been these parents' misgivings? Is it God's will that they should be barren? Are they selfish to want to bring another child into a world where there are already too many mouths to feed? She also takes us into the minds and hearts of donors looking into what makes them want to lend such an intimate, helping hand, not just to a relative or friend, but to a complete stranger. Are they like organ donors? Do they do it for financial gain? Is it just naivete? And what about the children? Whose children are they, really? When assisted reproductive technology enters the picture, who are the real parents? What do the children say about how they came to be?

For Children?

Birds of a Different Feather by Kelly Wendel

Hen and Gander are ready to start a family and hatch a beautiful baby, Gosling. Soon, Gosling wants siblings. She searches high and low. In the grass and thistles, she finds a baby duckling. She loves the new baby so much that she wants another bird to make the family complete. She soon finds a baby chicken under an oak tree. Come see how these Birds of a Different Feather make their own unique family. Hope & Will Have a Baby: The Gift of Egg Donation by Irene Celcer

Follow an inquisitive little boy who learns of his parents' quest to have children, and the success they ultimately achieve in creating a family. Told in a language a child can understand, read the tale of how mom and dad met, fell in love, and ultimately built a family.
This story on the gift of egg donation is part of a book collection that brings to light the many reproductive options of family building. Come and celebrate the unique gift couples can receive on their way to becoming a family.

One More Giraffe by Kim Noble

Reading this book to your child will help you begin to introduce the key concepts about babies and egg- donation. It is very simple and touches the subject of how some people (in this case giraffes) need help to be able to be a Mommy or a Daddy. The key idea is that the baby is wanted very badly and will be loved and cherished. If you have been searching for a way to introduce your toddler to the concepts of being a baby that was born via egg donation... look no more.

There are some great books available for your child when they are a bit older; such as kindergarten age or beyond. One More Giraffe is a fun easy way to give your child some simple ideas about families and give them basic concepts. Then the more advanced books with more detailed concepts around egg-donation will make much more sense to them.

A tiny itsy bitsy gift of life, an egg donor by Carmen Martinez Jover

A touching children s egg donor story about a happy couple of rabbits, Pally and Comet who have everything in life except a baby bunny, you accompany them in their longing for this child, the waiting and the moment the mother is informed she has no eggs to conceive. One day a good lady rabbit brings her a tiny itsy bitsy gift of life, which is the egg, the half, she needs to conceive. The rabbit s tummy then begins to grow and finally her baby bunny is born and the happiness of how this family is formed is shared. The book is very colorful and ideal for children even before they can read, because the pictures are so full of details it easily captures the child s attention. It is my intention that the book should be easy for parents to read to their child so that gradually, as the child grows they will begin to understand their origins, in an easy and amusing manner.

A Part Was Given and an Angel Was Born by Rozanne Nathalie

How do I approach the complicated, delicate subject of egg donation with my child? A Part Was Given and an Angel was Born creates a means by which communication can begin. In a simplistic innocent manner, the book provides a vehicle for introducing this sensitive form of third party parenting (also known as ovum donation) to their child. By using phrases such as "a part in mommy just didn't work as it should," this book removes the "heaviness" from the topic of egg donation and emphasizes the love that surrounds it.

Mommy, Did I Grow in Your Tummy? Where Many Babies Come From by Elaine Gordon www.elainegordon.com

A book for children ages 3 to 8 to be read in part or whole explaining the various reproductive options available and the different ways to grow a family. A communication tool use to talk to children about their unique beginnings. Includes explanations of infertility, egg/sperm donation, surrogacy, & adoption.

Mommy, Was Your Tummy Big? By Caroline Nadel http://www.carolinanadel.com/DonorEgg/index.html

A mother elephant explains her use of donor eggs to her child. With charming illustrations and simple words, "Mommy, was your tummy big?" can help parents who used in vitro fertilization and donor eggs begin to explain the process to their small children.

The book has been praised by many mental health professionals who work with fertility clinics, and an NYU Child Study Center article offers it as an example of how to tell a young child about his/her donor egg origins. It is on all major lists of books recommended for helping parents explain the use of donor eggs, including that of ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine).

My Story/Our Story www.dcnetwork.org - A series of books for children up to age 6 for varying constellations of families formed in many different ways.

Mom and Dad and the Journey They Had by Molly Summer, Monica Meza & Tina Rella

The Thompson home is bustling with excitement because they will soon be welcoming a new baby into their family and Patrick will be a big brother for the very first time! As they are preparing the house, Patrick's parents tell him about the incredible journey they took to have him, with the help of an egg donor and gestational surrogate.

Phoebe's Family: A Story about Egg Donation by Linda Stamm and Joan Clipp?

Phoebe's mom tells her the wonderful and unique story of how she came into being through egg donation. Along the way, Phoebe hears about the challenges her mom and dad faced in trying to have a baby, as well as the ultimate good news of her birth into a warm and loving family.
This vividly illustrated children's book is a great way for kids to learn about their distinctive beginnings.

Sometimes It Takes Three to Make a Baby by Kate Bourne

Explaining that "lots and lots of kids begin like this" and written by an infertility counselor, this is the story of a Mum and Dad who tried very hard to have a baby and couldn't. When the doctor said it was because the Mum's eggs didn't work, the Mum and Dad used an egg donor to help them get pregnant.


Disclosing Origins: Children Born through Third Party Reproduction by Madeline Feingold

Initially, many couples view the option of using donor gametes as part of a reproductive continuum, and subsequently wonder why they have feelings of depression in the face of receiving hopeful news about having a child. In fact, the use of donor egg or donor sperm is not a treatment for infertility, but rather an alternative way of family building. Nonetheless, these couples must grieve for their losses.


Donor Disclosure: When Telling the Truth to Your Child Isn't Easy and What to Do about It by Donor Sibling Registry www.donorsiblingregistry.com

How to Talk with Kids about Their Unique Conception by Carole LieberWilkins, M.F.T. www.LAFamilybuilding.com

?Your Gamete, Myself by Peggy Orenstein

"With egg donation, science has succeeded in, if not extending women's fertility, at least making an end run around it .... Still, many question the morality of egg donation."


The Donor Conception Network: website www.dcnetwork.org

Telling and Talking - A Series of Booklets and DVD produced by the 'How to Tell' Project

These booklets are aimed at parents of children aged 0 - 7, 8 - 11, 12 - 16 and to young people and adults over the age of 17. Unique resources for parents of donor conceived children and the professionals who support them. They offer a series of handouts that take you step by step in regards to talking to your child about their origins from ages newborn to over the age of 17.

Written by a parent of donor conceived young people and based on children's developmental stages, the booklets provide parents with a source of emotional support and practical guidance in finding the right time and the right language to ' tell' and continue conversations with their children over the years.

The film

Produced and directed by Liesel Evans, the 45 minute film shows parents and children in ten families answering questions about their experiences of ' telling' and continuing to talk together as children grow and change. Liesel's first pioneering film for the Network ' A Different Story', featuring seven young people conceived by donor insemination talking about their feelings, is still available on video or DVD.

Experiences of Donor Conception; Parents, Offspring, and Donors Through the Years by Caroline Lorbach

Drawing on the experiences of parents, offspring and donors, including her own and her family's story, this is an exploration of the process of donor conception, from the consumer advocate for the Donor Conception Support Group of Australia. Caroline Lorbach takes the reader step by step through the process of deciding to use donor conception, choosing a donor, and discussing the decision with others. She also considers the perspective of the donor alongside those of parents and offspring.

Single Mothers by Choice: A Guide for Single Women who are Considering or Have Chosen Motherhood by Jane Mattes

The first handbook for the rapidly growing number of American women choosing single motherhood, written by the director of the national organization, Single Mothers by Choice

Voices of Donor Conception: Behind Closed Doors: Moving Beyond Secrecy and Shame by Mikki Morrissette, The first volume in this collection of real stories about people affected by the donor conception industry "Behind Closed Doors: Moving Beyond Secrecy and Shame," includes first-person essays designed to take some of the stigma out of donor conception and enable more open conversation for families affected by donor insemination. To learn more about this book, also visit VoicesofDonorConception.com.

Who Am I? Experiences of Donor Conception By Alexina McWhinnie

What is it like to grow up knowing that one was conceived from donor sperm - or to find this out only much later in life? How does it feel to meet, for the first time, other children of one's donor father - or to continue to search for the identity of the donor and of other relatives? In this book, three adult offspring conceived by donor insemination share their experiences. Dr Alexina McWhinnie, a social researcher who has worked extensively in the area of assisted conception, reflects further on their stories and those of other donor-conceived adults.

This collection of essays was commissioned by the Idreos Education Trust to raise awareness of the impact of donor conception on the offspring, and on his/her social family. The book is intended both for the general reader and for those with a personal or professional interest in donor conception. It has been distributed free of charge to Members of Parliament.

Flight of the Stork: What Children Think and When about Sex and Family Building by Anne Bernstein

http://www.artparenting.org/index.html A website put up by the Harvard Medical School for Mental Health and Media titled "Talking to Children About Assisted Reproductive Technology" offers a mix of commentary and instant audio clips from varying families offering their experiences. The site, beyond offering general advice, focuses on two distinct age groups-kids and teens.

Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates: Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families by Diane Ehrensaft

If you need help having a baby, reproductive technology can supply the answer. But it also raises a host of questions that won't arise until after the child is born: What will you say to "Where did I come from?" when the answer includes a donor or surrogate? Will knowing the truth about how you conceived make your child love you less? Will having a baby with someone else strain your relationship with your spouse or partner? What will grandparents, family members, friends, and coworkers think? Dr. Diane Ehrensaft--a developmental and clinical psychologist who's worked with families formed using assisted reproductive technology for more than 20 years--helps you anticipate the big questions and find solutions that are right for you and your loved ones. Dr. Ehrensaft offers information, support, and straightforward advice for coping with private worries, confronting public prejudices, and raising happy, healthy children. Single or married, straight or gay, anyone looking forward to the joys and challenges of building a family with the help of a donor or surrogate will discover a wealth of thought-provoking ideas and fresh insights in this sensitive, practical, and positive book.


I Felt You Flutter in my Heart by Choice Moms and Choice Kids (for children of single moms by choice) ? by Choice Moms and Choice Kids (for children of single moms by choice)? http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2974967

Single women who decide to have a baby on their own can share this simple story with their beloved children -- featuring colorful artwork by Choice Kids

Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice: How Women are Choosing Parenthood without Marriage and Creating the New American Family by: Rosanna Hertz

Choosing Single Motherhood: The Thinking Woman's Guide by Mikki Morrissette

General resources for books: http://booksfordonoroffspring.blogspot.com/search/label/donor%20egg

This bibliography was compiled by Carole LieberWilkins, M.F.T. and Marna Gatlin for Parents via Egg Donation (PVED) and is not to be reproduced without permission in whole or part.

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