The New Kinship: Constructing Donor-Conceived Families by Naomi R. Cahn

By Naomi R. Cahn

No federal legislations within the usa calls for that egg or sperm donors or recipients trade any info with the offspring that outcome from the donation. Donors usually input into contracts with fertility clinics or sperm banks which promise them anonymity. the oldsters might be aware of the donor’s hair colour, top, IQ, university, and career; they might also have heard the donor’s voice. yet they don’t be aware of the donor’s identify, scientific historical past, or different details that may play a key function in a child’s improvement. And, till lately, donor-conceived offspring in most cases didn’t understand that considered one of their organic mom and dad used to be a donor. however the secrecy surrounding using donor eggs and sperm is altering. And because it does, expanding numbers of folks and donor-conceived offspring are looking for others who proportion an analogous organic historical past. whilst donors, recipients, and “donor youngsters” locate one another, they bring new kinds of households that exist open air of the legislations. the hot Kinship info how households are made and the way bonds are created among households within the courageous new international of reproductive expertise. Naomi Cahn, a nationally-recognized specialist on reproductive know-how and the legislation, exhibits how those new kinship bonds dramatically exemplify the continued cultural switch in how we predict approximately relations. the problems Cahn explores during this publication will resonate with anyone—and everyone—who has struggled with questions of ways to outline themselves in reference to their very own organic, criminal, or social households.

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Extra resources for The New Kinship: Constructing Donor-Conceived Families

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Donors: Egg and Sperm Egg donors are altruists; sperm donors are in it for the money. This view is reinforced throughout the donor world. When Yale sociologist Rene Almeling studied a variety of egg agencies and sperm banks,100 she found that clinics emphasized that egg donation involves caring and helping others, and tried to encourage feelings of altruism even though, as with sperm “donation,” this too involves money. ’”102 By contrast to the recruitment of egg donors, sperm donor solicitation is far more explicitly mercenary.

To help in explaining how clinics should implement these mandatory screening requirements, the Food and Drug Administration has also issued a “guidance” document that suggests how to determine donor eligibility. It has the enticing title Guidance for Industry: Eligibility Determination for Donors of Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/Ps). 84 There has been an increasing amount of review of establishments,85 although there is no way to verify much of the information that donors provide.

110 After Ruth Ragan donated eggs, like most donors, she never found out whether any children had been conceived; when 30 << Peopling the Donor World she sees “awful parents” at a playground, she worries that her eggs may have been used to produce their victimized children. And she has changed: Over the years, thoughts about the happiness, safety and well-being of any donor-conceived children have slowly crept into my head, but it wasn’t until I became a mother that they invaded. Between age 24 and 39 I changed; I became more loyal, more responsible, more patient and less of a risk-taker.

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