Implications counselling relating to donor treatment
If you are considering building your family using sperm or egg donation, this can bring up many conflicting thoughts and feelings. Couples may have received a negative outcome, followed quickly with a recommendation for donor treatment and suddenly find themselves trying to make the best long terms decision whilst also dealing with complex issues which span biological, psychological, social and ethical domains.
Making the decision whether or not to proceed includes trying to resolve many questions… How will this impact on me? Will this affect our relationship? How will this impact on a child/adult child? Will I bond with the baby? These are all valid questions and an exploration of these issues in a counselling context is often beneficial for patients.
Implications counselling aims to:
- Enable the person or couple concerned to understand the implications of the proposed treatment for themselves, for their family and for any children born as a result
- Explore the implications around disclosure and non disclosure to family, friends and the potential child
- Explore the feelings and thoughts relating to the treatment itself and towards the donor. Research shows that a healthy bonding relationship with the child begins with a healthy, accepting attitude toward the donor and treatment, should you decide to proceed
- Process feelings of loss relating to hoped for genetically connected child. This may include feelings of loss and grief including: sadness, frustration, confusion regarding decision making, anger (can include moments of self blaming) and conflict within the relationship
- Integrate CBT decision supportive resources to enable the best decision for short/long term happiness
- Resolve conflict in the relationship relating to deciding to move forward/or not with donor treatment
- Implications Counselling also provides information concerning the social and emotional implications of donor infertility treatment
- Includes an exploration on aspects relating to the welfare of the potential child
- The Implications of choosing an Identifiable donor vs Anonymous donor are far reaching into the future
- Implications Counselling includes information and support resources to support decision making that includes consideration of the recipient individual/couple and also the adult donor child’s needs
- Includes information on resource materials and support groups for donor recipients and adult donor children
Implications Counselling explores all aspects of donor treatment, as an alternative means of family creation. It explores whether the decision is right for the couple – have you/couple established acceptance of their decision, themselves, donor and potential child, which ultimately is aimed at leading to secure attachment in parent/child relationship in the process and future.
American Guidelines for Reproductive Medicine Guidelines on Implications counselling provision include:
‘Psychological consultation for recipients. The decision to proceed with donor insemination is complex, and patients and their partners (if applicable) may benefit from psychological counselling to aid in this decision. The clinician should strongly recommend psychological counselling by a qualified mental health professional to all donor sperm recipients and their partners’
This often means ‘one’ Implications Counselling session provided by clinics. However, accessing specific Implications therapeutic counselling ensures that you have explored and processed all the aspects relating to donor treatment to support your wellbeing, your relationship and the wellbeing of your potential child in the present and into the future.