Together with European Sperm Bank, we are so pleased to announce our new partnership (see more here). ESB will gift a personalised 'Magic of You' book to customers who have had a child with the help of an ESB donor. Both companies hope to encourage and support parents who have used donor conception to be as open as possible.
Helping parents start the conversation about donor conception with their child
Finding the words to explain donor conception can be difficult. Parents could be a same-sex couple or a solo parent trying to find age-appropriate language to describe their journey. Equally, they may be a heterosexual couple coping with the emotional strain of infertility. In all scenarios, the assisted reproduction industry could do more to support and help donor-conceived families before and after conception.
This is why Sensitive Matters and European Sperm Bank are launching this new partnership. By gifting these families a Magic of You book, ESB is giving them the opportunity to create a personalised book which can be a crucial resource in starting a positive conversation.
CEO of Sensitive Matters, Sali Odendaal, said: "We are delighted to launch our partnership with European Sperm Bank. Through this collaboration, ESB are demonstrating their forward-thinking approach to putting the interests of donor conceived people (DCP) and their families at the heart of their business.
"As a parent who has been through the donor-conception process, I understand how challenging and daunting it can be to talk to my child about their origins, which is why I created a book that can be entirely customised to each family's unique story. If more assisted reproduction organisations took a similar stand, we could ensure that donor conceived people of the future will be better served and achieve more positive outcomes."
Evidence shows that early conversations help create a positive experience for donor conceived people
According to the 2020 We Are Donor Conceived Survey: "evidence shows that donor conceived people who learn they are donor conceived before age three were significantly more likely to categorize their overall experience of being donor conceived as positive and less likely to say the method of their conception sometimes makes them feel distressed, angry or sad than late discovery respondents."
Historically, recipient parents were in some cases reluctant to disclose their child's origins because these experiences can be painful. But, by disclosing the story early, parents not only have time to practice telling, but they may also find it helps them come to terms with what using a donor means for them.
As one of the leading sperm banks in the world, European Sperm Bank recognises the role it plays in helping parents to start a family and they want to do more to help and support donor conceived families before and after conception.
Julie Paulli Budtz of ESB said: "For us at European Sperm Bank, our commitments to families go beyond helping parents have a healthy child; we also provide resources to support children as they grow up. We view this gift as an important tool to help parents start the dialogue about donor conception with their toddlers or pre-schoolers”.
How the partnership will work
European Sperm Bank considers it part of their responsibility to guide families created with donor sperm, hence they provide a range of activities and resources aimed at supporting parents and donor children alike. They frequently host webinars, offer counselling sessions, publish blogs posts and much more.
This partnership will allow ESB to enhance these initiatives by providing copies of 'The Magic of You'. Parents will be issued with a voucher that they have at least 2 years to redeem.
Created by Sensitive Matters, the book is a personalised children's story of how they came to be. Fully customisable, each book enables families to create a story that describes their lived experience. From same-sex couples to children born through surrogacy, as every word is editable The Magic of You is inclusive of all family settings and covers all scenarios.
To cater for European Sperm Bank’s vast customer base, we are proud to launch ESB’s version of the Magic of You in three new languages, including Danish, Dutch and German.
Words and illustrations can be easily adapted to suit different family journeys
Aimed at toddlers and pre-schoolers, the books contain beautiful illustrations and age-appropriate language to explain conception. Every word and image can be customised to suit preferences on terms and each book has a photo section at the end which is a great place to add cherished photos of donors (if known), surrogates, other children in the family or godparents (or anyone else special) who will play an important role in the child’s life.
This partnership is a significant step forward in supporting donor conceived families, and it will also help raise awareness about the importance of telling children about their conception.
92% of donor conceived people surveyed in the 2020 We Are Donor Conceived survey agree with the statement “The ART (Assisted Reproduction Technology) industry has a responsibility to act in the best interest of the people it helps to create”.
By joining forces with other organisations within the assisted reproduction industry and aligning ourselves with them, we can create a more positive future for donor conceived people. If you are an organisation within the ART industry that wants to help improve the wellbeing and outcomes of future donor conceived people through a partnership arrangement, contact us to learn more.
 2020 We are Donor Conceived Report which can be accessed here.