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In my clinical work with couples choosing Third Party Reproduction, I find that many couples struggle with the issue of disclosure. Some feel that

In my clinical work with couples choosing Third Party Reproduction, I find that many couples struggle with the issue of disclosure. Some feel that there is no reason to tell their children how they were conceived or fear that their children may reject them because they are not their “real” mom or dad.

Your assignment for the week is to take the stance of the mental health professional providing guidance to a couple who has come to you for a psychosocial consultation prior to moving forward with egg donation.  Part of your role is to have a discussion regarding disclosure:

Stan and Susan Hopper were referred by their fertility clinic for a psychosocial consultation before they begin an IVF cycle using egg donation.  Egg donation was recommended to Susan because of her age (she is 42).  The couple has clearly struggled with the grief over failed IVF cycles using Susan’s eggs and still have unresolved feelings about what it means to have children using egg donation.  When the discussion turns to the topic of disclosure, the couple tells you that even though they have shared with their families that they will be using an egg donor, they do not plan on sharing this news with any children they conceive via egg donation.  The couple says it “doesn’t matter” and can’t see why they would tell their child this information.  It is clear to you that Susan is struggling more with this issue, which is not uncommon among women recipients.  Your job is to present the information to them that will help them to make decisions regarding disclosure within their family system.  It is not for you to take a position or to tell them what to do, but it is your job to give them information that will help to guide them through this difficult time.

So your essay is a response to this couple’s stance with regards to disclosure.  You will need to search and review appropriate literature in order to educate this couple to the issues inherent in disclosure.  What do we know about the benefits of disclosure? What is important for them to know as they move forward in this process?  If they do decide to disclose, when should they do it? How should they do it?

Your response should be somewhat informal, but you still need to present the relevant research because that is what you would do in an actual consultation. One of the challenges in this situation is that your role is to support this couple psychologically, but also to educate them.  As a mental health professional working with one of these couples, how might you support their views or share research with them that might guide their decision? The essay should be between 2-3 pages long.  Use at least 3 peer reviewed studies in your conversation with this couple and cite appropriately.

Source examples:

Burns, L.H., Covington, S.N. (1999). 
Infertility Counseling: A Comprehensive Handbook for Clinicians. New York: Parthenon Publishing Group. 

Carp EW. (1998). 
Family Matters: Secrecy and Disclosure in the History of Adoption. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Covington, S.N. (ED.). (2015). 
Fertility Counseling: Clinical Guide and Case Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Daniels K. (2004). 
Building a Family with the Assistance of Donor Insemination. Dunmore Publishing, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Disclosure. (2017). In 

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary

Links to an external site.

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