The disclosure decisions of parents who conceive children using donor eggs

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version


Start Page


End Page



STUDY OBJECTIVE: To identify variables that influence the disclosure decisions of parents who conceive children using donor eggs and to compare such variables among disclosing, nondisclosing, and undecided families. DESIGN: Exploratory, comparative, descriptive. SETTING: A university hospital-assisted reproductive technology program in the Midwest. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-one couples with children conceived with anonymously donated eggs. METHODS: Audiotaped telephone interviews, measures of social support and family environment, and a demographic survey. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Content analysis of interview transcripts and comparison of recurring themes among groups. RESULTS: The majority of parents intended disclosure. Dominant themes among disclosing parents included the belief that a child has a right to know and concerns about the harmful effects of family secrets. Among nondisclosing parents, common themes were knowing of no compelling reason to tell and perceiving potential harm in telling. Undecided parents reported concerns about how and when to tell and the child's possible reaction. Parents in all groups expressed concern about their disclosure decisions. CONCLUSIONS: Dominant decisional influences were beliefs and values and concerns about possible harm. Longitudinal study is needed to determine the impact of disclosure decisions on children, families, and society.


Adult, Child, Preschool, Data Collection, Decision Making, Female, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Insemination, Artificial, Homologous/psychology, Male, Middle Aged, Oocyte Donation, Parent-Child Relations, Paternal Behavior, Pregnancy/physiology, Privacy, Questionnaires, Tissue Donors, United States

Published Article/Book Citation

Journal of obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing, 31:3 (2002) pp.283-293.

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