Was that a Secret?


You have decided to tell your child how they came into your family through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), egg donation, sperm donation, or embryo donation, but you don’t want everyone and their mother’s brother to know. That’s great! After all how your children came into your family is private, but it doesn’t have to be a secret. It’s important to understand the difference between secrecy and privacy, especially if you have chosen to be open with your children about how they came to join your family. Here are four key differences between secrecy and privacy:

1) Secrets are hidden. If something is private, it is something that can be shared as a personal matter.

2) Secrets are concealed. Private matters are simply not common, public knowledge.

3) Secrets are not to be revealed. Private matters are separate from others.

4) Secrets are things that should remain a mystery. Private matters require more solitude.

In order for your child’s origins to be celebrated by your child they need to sense their origins are not a secret while still understanding some parts of their story are just not for everyone. Secrecy and privacy are two concepts adults have had time to figure out. As such, it’s easier for you, the parent; to determine who needs to know versus who does not and how much those individuals need to know. Some aspects of openness are not as clear-cut, however, particularly for a child who may still be discovering what privacy means.

In a recent Awareness Center Webinar, The Difference Between Secrecy and Privacy, experts shared how to tell your extended family and friends about your embryo adoption, what they need to know, and why they need to know. If you were not able to view this webinar as it happened, we did record the event and would like you to consider this your personal invitation to view it. Join us as we explore who is on the “need to know list” and how to help your children grow in their understanding of privacy in adoption and assisted family building.

(Please read our comment policy before commenting)