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Positive Family Building Language

SPERM DONOR
genetic contributor
sperm donor
helper
the man who helped us
his name
EGG DONOR
genetic contributor
egg donor
helper
the lady who helped us
her name?
EMBRYO DONORS
genetic contributors
embryo donors
helpers
the people who helped us
their names
the people who made you before you became ours?
BIRTHPARENTS
birthparents
birth mother and birth father
birth lady (some people like this term)
the people who made you (for very young children)
their names
your first parents
the lady who grew you in her body
FATHER
daddy
dad
father
papa
real father/dad
MOTHER
mommy
mom
mother
mama
real mother/mom?
PARENTS
mommy and daddy
mom and dad
mother and father
mama and papa
real mom and dad?
PARENTS
mommy and daddy
mom and dad
mother and father
mama and papa
real parents?

Children will choose different terms at different times and whatever terms they are using should always be respected and reflected back to them.

The terms will be chosen to try to understand the relationships. At times that may mean the CHILD might say “REAL MOTHER” to refer to an ovum donor. But just a week later, the child may refer to her by her name or simply as “the donor”, which is the term most commonly used.

Terms for parents who are parenting ought not to have qualifiers. If parents are not “REAL”, then the children are not “real,” which is a terrifying thought to a child. Even though the child may sometimes think of a donor or birth parent as "real" for periods of time, it is helpful for adults to refer to parenting as a verb and not a function of the contribution of genetics. While genetics are an extremely important contribution, genes do not make a parent.



This document was created by Carole LieberWilkins, MFT and Marna Gatlin, Executive Director of Parents via Egg Donation on behalf of PVED.

©Copyright 2012 Carole LieberWilkins and Marna Gatlin



Carole LieberWilkins, M.A., M.F.T. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in West Los Angeles.

A specialist in the field of reproductive medicine, adoption and family building options, Ms. LieberWilkins became a founding member of Resolve of Greater Los Angeles and served on the Resolve Board of Directors in various positions for the next 14 years. Currently, she is a mental health advisor on the Board of Directors of Parents via Egg Donation.

Having created her own family through adoption and ovum donation, Carole approaches her work with personal insights, as well as professional experience. She provides individual, couples and group counseling, as well as donor and gestational carrier psychological evaluations, and psycho?
educational consultations for intended parents.?

She is well known for her work regarding talking to children about family building, having helped hundreds of patients feel comfortable about talking with their kids about how they built their families. Her article on Talking with Children about Their Conception is highly respected and widely distributed to clients and patients. She has lectured on the topic of family building at important educational venues such as Resolve symposia, and meetings of the American Psychological Association and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Ms. LieberWilkins has also been an invited speaker for Kaiser Hospitals, as well as for industry?
sponsored nurses’ symposia.?

Carole can be reached at familybuilding@verizon.net
310.470.9049
www.LAfamilybuilding.com


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