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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 January 2005, 01:40 GMT
'We told our children at an early age'
Ms Montuschi has set up a support network for parents
Research suggests that couples who have children by sperm or egg donation have concerns about explaining the situation to their children.

One mother, of two sperm donor conceived children, speaks about telling her son and daughter.

Olivia Montuschi and her husband decided to tackle the issue of donor insemination head on.

Ms Montuschi, from London, said: "We decided to talk to our children about their biological background at an early age.

"When they started to ask about where babies came from we explained you need a sperm from a daddy and an egg from a mummy but sometimes daddies do not have enough sperm so a nice man gave us some.

"But what you must remember is that it is a gradual process, you tell children all that over a long period of time as they develop. You cannot tell them all at once.

"I think addressing it early means children do not have any problems with who they are and where they came from."

Ms Montuschi, who set up the Donor Conception Network 12 years ago to give other parents support, said her children have reacted in different ways.

Her 21-year-old son, William, is not interested in finding out about the identity of the sperm donor.

"He says he would not want to know even if we knew. He says the important thing is that we told him and respect him as a person."


However, she said her daughter, Susannah, 18, is more curious. "She says she wishes she had more information but of course the donor is anonymous so we can't tell her any more."

Ms Montuschi said that she supports the change in the law, which means children conceived by donor insemination from April will have a right to have identifying information when they turn 18.

"It seems an anomaly that in this day and age we do not have that information so I think the change is a good thing.

"What is important now is that we do not see a drop in donor number.

"We feel very lucky to have been able to become parents thanks to the generosity of our donors.

"I would encourage more people to consider giving what is the most valuable charitable donation they could ever make - the gift of life."

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