Talking to your children about third party reproduction and where they came from can be hard. We’ve put together this list of books that can help you talk to your kids – of all ages – about their history! We’ve also included some resources for you. We know wrapping your head around third reproduction can be complicated, and some of these books and articles may be helpful.
For Your Kids
About Egg Donation
One More Giraffe (2009) Author: Kim Noble, Illustrator: Stephanie Gibson Ages: 1-3 Reading this book to your child will help you begin to introduce the key concepts about babies and egg- donation.
Tabitha and Timothy Grow a Flower (2010) Author: Sarah Shackleton, Illustrator: Gillian Coulson Ages: 2-5 A simple story explaining the concept of egg donation to a young child. It is a starter book on the subject of third party reproduction.
A Bun in the Oven: The Story of Conception Via Donor Egg (2011) Author: Anita Stokes, Illustrator: Red Ages: 2-5 Available directly from author: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Tiny Itsy Bitsy Gift of Life: An Egg Donor Story (2009) Author: Carmen Martinez-Jover, Illustrator: Rosemary Martinez Ages: 2-5 A touching children’s egg donor story.
Our Story – For Children Conceived Through Egg Donation in Heterosexual Couple Families (2002) Author: Donor Conception Network Ages: 2-5 A story of a family who used egg donation to have a child.
Mommy Was Your Tummy big? (2007) Author/Illustrator: Catherine Nadel Ages: 2-5 A mother elephant explains her use of donor eggs to her child. With charming illustrations and simple words, this book can help parents who used in vitro fertilization and donor eggs begin to explain the process to their small children.
A Part Was Given and an Angel Was Born (2002) Author/Illustrator: Rozanne Nathalie Ages: 2-5 This book creates a means by which communication about egg donation can begin. In a simplistic manner, the book provides a vehicle for introducing this form of third party parenting to their child.
Phoebe’s Family: A Story About Egg Donation (2010) Author: Linda Stamm, Ph.D., Illustrator: Joann Clipp Ages: 2-5 Phoebe’s mom tells her the wonderful and unique story of how she came into being through egg donation to a heterosexual couple.
The Pea That Was Me: An Egg Donation Story (2012) Author/Illustrator: Kimberly Kluger-Bell Ages: 4-8 Introduces young children to the idea that a generous egg donor (along with a doctor and their parents) helped to bring them into the world and into their loving family.
The Very Special Ducklings: (A Very Simple Story About Egg Donation) (2005) Author: Wava Cirisan, Illustrator: Stella Schultze Ages: 3-8 This story is for very young children but introduces the concept of egg and embryo donation in a simple way. What is interesting is that it does not discuss the father duckling’s role in the decision to receive or donate eggs but highlights the mother duck’s.
A Very Special Lady: A Story About IVF, an Egg Donor and a Little Girl (2012) Author: Nell Carswell, Illustrator: Sarah Merrigan. Ages: 2-5 This is a story about IVF, an egg donor and the arrival of a baby girl.
Sometimes it Takes Three to Make a Baby: Explaining Egg Donor Conception to Young Children (2002) Author: Kate Bourne, Illustrator: Don Thompson. Ages: 3-9 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.
A Most Precious Gift: A Story of Egg Donation (2009) Author: Kerry Roling Ages: 3-9 Told in rhyme, this blank-page book created to “support a child to draw their own illustrations or attach photographs,” is a long poem that tells the story of a fairy godmother who donated her egg so that another couple could have a child.
Mom and Dad and the Journey They Had (2010) Author: Molly Summer, Illustrator: Monica Meza Ages: 4-9 The Thompson home is bustling with excitement because soon they will 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 asks his parents to tell him about when he was a baby. They tell him about the incredible journey they took to have him, with the help of an egg donor.
Mommy, Did I Grow in Your Tummy? : Where Some Babies Come From (2011) Author: Elaine R Gordon, Illustrator: Kathy Clo Ages: 5-12 Written by a clinical psychologist who experienced infertility herself, this book is designed to start conversations. This beautifully illustrated story is about Sandy and Bob who, after trying very hard to have a baby, go to a doctor for help. They learn that they can make a baby “another way.” The book explains all of ways a baby can be made.
Two Daddies … and Me! (2013) Ages: 2-4 Author: Robbi Anne Packard, Illustrator: Lori Ann McElroy A young girl describes her life with her two fathers. Told in rhyme, this story is written by a woman who was the surrogate mother to a little girl born for a gay male couple. With colorful illustrations and few words, it is for very young children describing a day in the life of this little girl with her two dads, emphasizing that they are a family.
Daddy and Pop (2010) Author: Tina Rella, Illustrator: Monica Meza Ages: 2-8 In this heartwarming story of a little girl with two fathers, Daddy and Pop tell her about the amazing journey they took to have her, by using an egg donor and a surrogate, in this fun-filled musical book! Each book comes with an accompanying musical CD. Daddy and Pop is part of the Love Makes a Family Series, celebrating families made possible by assisted reproduction and adoption.
This is My Family: A First Look at Same-Sex Parents (2012) Author: Pat Thomas, Illustrator: Lesley Harker Ages: 2-6 This new title in Barron’s A First Look At series encourages kids of preschool through early school age to understand and overcome problems that might trouble them in social and family relationships. Written by an experienced psychotherapist and counsellor on a level that is always understandable to younger children, this book seeks to promote positive interactions among children, parents, and teachers.
Daddy Dog and Papi Panda’s Rainbow Family: It takes love to make a family (2012) Author: Anthony Hale Ages: 3-7 This children’s book is about the formation of a non-traditional family. The characters are same sex parents who created their family through a combination of adoption and surrogacy. The characters are vividly colored animals. The book is ideal for children of same sex parents as well as for parents who wish to educate their children about the diversity of family structure.
The Kangaroo Pouch: A Story About Gestational Surrogacy For Young Children (2007) Author: Sarah Phillips Pellet, Illustrator: Laurie A Faust Ages: 2-6 This discussion-starter is narrated by Oliver the Kangaroo who lives happily with his parents and brother. He tells the story of how his mother one day had the idea to help another family have a baby by carrying that baby in her kangaroo pouch. It was written by a mother to help explain her decision to become a gestational surrogate to her children.
For Your Kids
And Tango Makes Three (2005) Authors: Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell, Illustrator: Henry Cole Ages: 4-8 This tale based on a true story about a charming penguin family living in New York City’s Central Park Zoo.
The Baby Kangaroo Treasure Hunt, a A Gay Parenting Story (2010) Author: Carmen Martinez Jover, Illustrator: Rosemary Martinez Ages 6-10 A sweet children’s story of how two kangaroos: Jack and Sam, a gay couple, have their own baby by means of an egg donor and surrogacy. Using kangaroos in the story enables children to easily understand the methods related to their conception in a simple and loving way. Best suited for families that know their donors or surrogates.
Nick’s story: [how one family proved that miracles can happen] (2008) Author: Meg Corning, Illustrator Deborah J. McGee Ages: 3-9 Tells the story of how a little boy was born to a surrogate mother. Sacha, the Little Bright Shooting Star (2012) Author/Illustrator: Sofia Prezani Ages: 3-9 A surrogacy journey recounted as a tale of wild bears to introduce young children to the concept of surrogacy, the first building blocks to opening a discussion of their child’s own birth story and unique path by which their child entered their parent’s life.
Once Upon a Surrogate: The Stork’s Helpers (2010) Author: Jill Hancock Reeder, Illustrators: Tristan, Jessica, and Jill Reeder Ages: 4-10 Describes the process of surrogacy to the children of the surrogate, who are often overlooked in the process. It provides an excellent conversation starter for surrogates and their families. A Baby for Mabel and Frederick (2005) Author: Karen Poston Ages: 4-8 Emma’s mom is a surrogate – she’s carrying a baby for a couple who can’t have their own children. Emma is very excited and proud that she and her mom are helping to make a new family. Helps children understand in simple terms what goes on during a gestational surrogacy. This story is narrated by the daughter of a gestational carrier and is also available in a version narrated by a boy as well as a coloring book.
For Teens and Tweens, about Donor Conception:
My So-Called Family (2009) Author: Courtney Sheinmel Ages 9-13 Leah, who was conceived through a donor bank, decides that even though she loves her mother, stepfather, and stepbrother, she wants to find out if she has any other siblings, and sets out to investigate without telling anyone what she is doing.
The Other Half of Me (2007) Author: Emily Franklin Ages: 9-13 Feeling out of place in her athletic family, artistic sixteen-year-old Jenny Fitzgerald, who was conceived using a sperm donor, finds her half sister through the Sibling Donor Registry and contacts her, hoping that this will finally make her feel complete.
Donuthead (2003) Author: Sue Stauffacher Ages: 9-13 This is a Pre-teen book with a donor offspring character.
Donutheart (2006) Author: Sue Stauffacher Ages: 9-13 Sequel to Donuthead.
Dads, Geeks and Blue Haired Freaks (2012) Author: Ellie Phillips Ages: 13-17 Sadie Nathanson spends her life trying to survive the excruciating embarrassment of simply existing. It’s hard enough being a bit of a shrinking violet within a loud and outspoken extended family, but the unexpected card from ‘Dad’ on her 15th birthday is the last straw. As ‘Dad’ was an Internet sperm-donor, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this is a bad joke, probably set up by her ex-best-friend Shonna. But it starts Sadie wondering – just who was her father? What would happen if she tracked him down? So she decides to do just that. With help from her nerd cousin Billy, his friend Nodding Tony and a regular dose of ‘Haironomics’ (Sadie’s own hairstyle-related philosophy system), they uncover a lot more than they bargain for.
Nobel Genes (2010) Author: Rune Michaels Ages: 13-17 It’s tough to measure up to your parents’ expectations. Imagine how much harder it would be if your mother told you that your biological father—whom you’d never met— was a Nobel prize-winning genius? NOBEL GENES is the story of just such a boy. Even when he thought he discovered the most important truth, in his dreams, he finds one answer that he never imagined. Does it matter who you come from?
Finding Cassidy (2006) Author: Laura Langston Ages: 13-17 “You were conceived under exceptional circumstances.” Sixteen year old Cassidy can hardly believe it. Finding Cassidy is a terrific young adult novel that tackles a provocative subject with honesty and humour.
Call Me Mimi: The World’s Ugliest Beauty Queen (2008) Author: Francis Chalifour Ages: 13-17 Seventeen-year-old Mimi heads to Toronto to find her sperm donor father after things go awry at her prom.
To Help You Talk to Your Teen
Telling and Talking about Donor Conception with 12-16 year olds: A Guide for Parents (2006) Author: Olivia Montuschi Published by Donor Conception Network (UK)
Telling and Talking About Donor Conception With People Aged 17 and Over: A Guide for Parents (2006) Author: Olivia Montuschi Published by Donor Conception Network (UK)
Who Am I? : Experiences of Donor Conception (2006) Author: Alexina McWhinnie Publisher: Idreos Education Trust 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.
Experiences of Donor Conception: Parents, Offspring and Donors Through the Years (2002) Author: Carol Lorbach Publisher: Jessica Kingley Voices of Donor Conception (Volume 1).
Behind Closed Doors: Moving Beyond Secrecy and Shame. (2006) Authors: Kirk Maxey, Olivia Montuschi, Rebecca Hamilton, Wendy Kramer, Ryan Kramer Editor: Mikki Morrissette This is the first volume in this collection of real stories about people affected by the donor conception industry. It 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.
Cookies and Cake & The Families We Make (2011) Author: Jennifer L. Egan, Illustrator: Robin Gulak Ages: 4-8 The author uses the metaphor of the different cakes and cookies we can bake to help young readers respect, accept and welcome diversity.
What Makes a Baby (2012) Author: Cory Silverberg, Illustrator: Fiona Smyth Ages: 3-8 A modern picture book about where babies come for every kind of family and every kind of kid.
What Matters Most: A Children’s Book of Families (2008) Author/Illustrator: Kristin Carter Ages: 4-8 This story is narrated through the eyes of a four- year-old girl living with her single dad.
Birds of a Different Feather (2011) Author: Kelly Wendel Ages: 4-8 This book speaks directly to families comprised of members with differing genetic backgrounds such as adoptive and foster families, blended families with step and half siblings, and families using AHR.
I Love My Family: A Book about Assisted Conception for Young Children (2011) Author: Tammy Troute-Wood, Editor: Heather Cobb, Illustrator: Brent Patrick Gough Ages: 3-5 Assists families to discuss assisted conception (including IVF, egg donor, sperm donor, and surrogacy) with children 3 to 5 years old.
Before You Were Born: Our Wish for a Baby (2004) Author: Janice Grimes, Illustrator: Mary Moye-Rowley Ages: 3-5 Each book in this series presents a different conception story. Written by a nurse, this is the story of a baby bear that loves to hear the story of how he was born. Excellent illustrations.
Recipes of How Babies are Made (2007) Author: Carmen Martinez Jover, Illustrator: Rosemary Martinez Ages 4-8 Explains in a very simple way all the different methods used to conceive children nowadays. This story helps parents share the many ways that children can be born into a family. It is set in a heterosexual context. It’s through the illustrations that children can easily visualize all these different methods and understand them in a simple and natural way including egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation, surrogacy and adoption.
Choosing to be Open about Donor Conception: Experiences of Parents (2002) Authors: Sharon Pettle and Jan Burns Booklet for parents available through Donor Conception Network, UK
Helping the Stork: The Choices of Donor Insemination (1997) Authors: Carol Frost Vercollone, MSW, Heidi Moss, MSW, and Robert Moss, Ph.D Publisher: Wiley
Experiences of Donor Conception: Parents, Offspring and Donors throughout the Years (2009) Author: Caroline Lorbach Publisher: Jessica Kingsley
The Complete Lesbian & Gay Parenting Guide (2004) Author: Arlene Istar Lev, CSW Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
The Lesbian Parenting Book: A Guide to Creating Families and Raising Children (2003) Author: Dr. Merilee Clunis Publisher: Seal Press
Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates: Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families. (2005) Author: Diane Ehrensaft, Ph.D Publisher: Guildford Press
Choosing Single Motherhood: The Thinking Woman’s Guide (2005) Author: Mikki Morrissette “Telling and Talking” Series (2006) Author: Olivia Montuschi Produced by the The Donor Conception Network
‘Our Family: A telling and talking guide for friends and relatives’ (2013) Author: Olivia Montuschi Produced by the Donor Conception Network