Article

Experiences of offspring searching for and contacting their donor siblings and donor

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Abstract

This study investigates a new phenomenon whereby individuals conceived by donor insemination are searching for and contacting their donor and/or 'donor siblings' (i.e. donor offspring conceived by the same donor who are their genetic half siblings). On-line questionnaires were completed by members of the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR), a US-based registry that facilitates contact between donor conception families who share the same donor. Of the 165 donor offspring who completed the survey, 15% were searching for their donor siblings, 13% were searching for their donor, and 64% were searching for both. Differences were found according to family type and age of disclosure. Fewer offspring from heterosexual couple families had told their father about their search when compared with offspring from lesbian couple families who had told their co-parent. Offspring who had found out about their conception after age 18 were more likely to be searching for medical reasons, whereas those who had found out before age 18 tended to be searching out of curiosity. Some offspring had discovered large numbers of half siblings (maximum=13). The majority of offspring who had found their donor relations reported positive experiences and remained in regular contact with them.

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... The effect of age may also relate to procreation, with donor-conceived people reporting in grey literature and government submissions their desire to inform subsequent generations of their familial medical history (New South Wales Law and Safety Committee, 2013;House of Assembly Standing Committee on Community Development, 2016;Allan 2017;2019). Alternatively, in an investigation of sperm donor offspring, Jadva et al. (2010) found that donorseeking behaviour may relate to age of disclosure, with donor-conceived people told of their conception status after the age of 18 years more commonly, listing medical reasons as their main reason for donor seeking compared with donorconceived people told before the age of 18 years. This analysis was based on only 15 donor-conceived people who listed medical reasons as their primary reason. ...
... This may explain the variability in results in which seeking medical history as a motivation has ranged from the most common motivation for contact (Beeson et al., 2011), to barely mentioned (Scheib et al., 2017). The need to treat information seeking and contact seeking as disctinct concepts is supported by Jadva et al. (2010), who found that not all donorconceived people seeking their donor were seeking contact. Donor-conceived people may ascribe distinct motivations to each act. ...
... This study found that motivation to seek medical information was associated with time, but not in the hypothesised direction. Unlike the finding by Jadva et al. (2010) that donor-conceived people who were disclosed to during adulthood more frequently sought information to access medical information than those disclosed to before the age of 18 years, the present study found an association between years since disclosure or discovery of donor conception status and being motivated by wanting medical history. Specifically, as years since disclosure increased, endorsement of wanting to obtain medical history decreased. ...
Article
Research question Donor conception prevalence is increasing, so too the number of donor-conceived people identifying themselves, including offspring conceived when anonymity and secrecy were prevalent. In previous literature, some donor-conceived people have reported a desire to learn about their donor. This study aimed to find out how donor-conceived adults' demographic characteristics, mental health experiences and disclosure experiences shape motivations for seeking information about, and/or contact with, sperm donors. Design Sixty-nine Australian sperm donor-conceived adults completed an online survey. Uniquely, information and contact seeking were investigated as two distinct concepts. Results Participants reported a variety of demographic, mental health and disclosure/discovery experiences. The majority had been motivated to seek information about (88%), and/or contact with (73%) their donor. The most commonly reported motivations for each act were: for medical information; expand identity; curiosity. Logistic regression findings were significant for wanting medical information as a motivation for seeking donor information (p=.03). Endorsement of this motivation was associated with self-reported anxiety (p=.02) and less likely as participant age increased (p=.02). Motivation to contact donors for medical information was associated with self-reported anxiety (p=.02) and depression (p=.01) and more likely when the participant was raised in a household that included the recipient co-parent (p=.04). As years since disclosure/discovery increased, participants were less likely to report wanting medical information as a motivation (p=.02). Conclusion Overall, participants were motivated to obtain information and seek contact with sperm donors. Motivations for each were similar despite participants varying in age and reporting a range of circumstances regarding disclosure, some of which were adverse.
... As discussed earlier, legislation varies across countries with regards to anonymity, identifiability of donors and restrictions on the number of offspring from the same donor. On restrictions on offspring number, there have been several news items as well as documented reports of large groups of same-donor offspring (Jadva et al., 2010). ...
... Others (estimated at 30%) did not want to have peer contact (Schrijvers et al., 2019). About two-thirds (64%) of donor-conceived offspring registered to a US-based donor sibling registry indicated that they had searched for both their donor and same-donor offspring, with others replying they searched specifically for their donor (15%), same-donor offspring (13%), or neither (Jadva et al., 2010). ...
... In effect, most studies focusing on the relationship between donorconceived offspring and donors from the offspring's perspective seem to describe positive perceptions of donors, both from adolescents (Jadva et al., 2010;Zadeh et al., 2018) or adults (e.g. Goldberg and Allen, 2013;Freeman, 2015;van den Akker et al., 2015). ...
Article
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Study question: What information and support should be offered to donors, intended parents and donor-conceived people, in general and in consideration of the availability of direct-to-consumer genetic testing and matching services? Summary answer: For donors, intended parents and donor-conceived offspring, recommendations are made that cover information needs and informed consent, psychosocial implications and disclosure. What is known already: Trends indicate that the use of donor-assisted conception is growing and guidance is needed to help these recipients/intended parents, the donors and offspring, navigate the rapidly changing environment in which donor-assisted conception takes place. Study design size duration: A working group (WG) collaborated on writing recommendations based, where available, on evidence collected from a literature search and expert opinion. Draft recommendations were published for stakeholder review and adapted where relevant based on the comments received. Participants/materials setting methods: Papers retrieved from PUBMED were included from 1 January 2014 up to 31 August 2020, focusing on studies published since direct-to-consumer genetic testing has become more widespread and accessible. The current paper is limited to reproductive donation performed in medically assisted reproduction (MAR) centres (and gamete banks): donation outside the medical context was not considered. Main results and the role of chance: In total, 32 recommendations were made for information provision and support to donors, 32 for intended parents and 27 for donor-conceived offspring requesting information/support. Limitations reasons for caution: The available evidence in the area of reproductive donation is limited and diverse with regards to the context and types of donation. General conclusions and recommendations are largely based on expert opinion and may need to be adapted in light of future research. Wider implications of the findings: These recommendations provide guidance to MAR centres and gamete banks on good practice in information provision and support but should also be considered by regulatory bodies and policymakers at a national and international level to guide regulatory and legislative efforts towards the protection of donors and donor-conceived offspring. Study funding/competing interests: The development of this good practice paper was funded by European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), covering expenses associated with the WG meetings, the literature searches and dissemination. The WG members did not receive any payment. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare. Disclaimer: This document represents the views of ESHRE, which are the result of consensus between the relevant ESHRE stakeholders and where relevant based on the scientific evidence available at the time of preparation. The recommendations should be used for informational and educational purposes. They should not be interpreted as setting a standard of care, or be deemed inclusive of all proper methods of care nor exclusive of other methods of care reasonably directed to obtaining the same results. They do not replace the need for application of clinical judgement to each individual presentation, nor variations based on locality and facility type. †ESHRE pages content is not externally peer reviewed. The manuscript has been approved by the Executive Committee of ESHRE.
... Much previous academic research on openness in gamete donation has been conducted in the fields of social psychology and social work, often using survey or interview data to examine the impact policies and practices of openness or secrecy have in donor-conceived families (eg Turner and Coyle, 2000;Lycett et al, 2004;Scheib et al, 2005;Golombok et al, 2006;Jadva et al, 2010;Ravelingien et al, 2013) and very often mobilized in support of the drive to openness (Daniels and Taylor, 1993;McGee et al, 2001;Crawshaw et al, 2017). Undoubtedly, it is important that research seeks to understand the impact of openness/secrecy for those implicated by donation. ...
... It may seem common sense that policy in this area should emphasize the importance of origins information to donor offspring. After all, there is now a considerable body of academic literature which demonstrates the importance of this information to donor-conceived people (Turner and Coyle, 2000;Scheib et al, 2005;Jadva et al, 2010) and the reasoning of the HFEA that donor-conceived people (more than recipients or donors) lack agency in the decision to be part of a donor conception rings true (see findings in 'donor offspring' section). We are not seeking to deny that information about their donor may be of significance to donor-conceived people. ...
... With regard to shared ancestry, the provision of the Donor Sibling Link would suggest that politicians and policy-makers have responded to research findings which demonstrate the importance donor-conceived people sometimes attribute to connections with 'donor siblings' (Jadva et al, 2010;Hertz and Mattes, 2011;Blyth, 2012). However, as noted earlier, there has been much less debate and discussion regarding the significance of these lateral ties. ...
Article
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'Openness' is increasingly held up as a self-evident virtue, presented as inherently positive and progressive in both the public and personal sphere. This article examines how this ideal is realized in the regulation of gamete donation in the UK; what exactly is it that people are expected to be open about and with whom? Through an analysis of the policies and texts via which information about gamete donation is managed, we demonstrate that sharing information about the donor with donor offspring is prioritized, whilst other trajectories of information often remain forbidden or unconsidered. We argue that these policy discourses and decisions both reflect and reproduce a dominant framing of gamete donation as significant in terms of its reproductive consequences and specifically the interest donor offspring may have in their origins. However, as we demonstrate, this is not the only way in which donation information can be significant to those implicated. It can also, for example, be viewed as a gift or form of bodily donation connecting donors and recipients. We argue for closer analysis of the ways in which social policies organize openness along particular trajectories and how this in turn shapes the social and relational significance of the events being disclosed.
... This claim is not clearly reflected in the available social science evidence. Although there is some evidence to suggest that some DC persons find that their sense of self is influenced to some extent by having a "genetic connection" to their gamete donor (Jadva et al., 2010;Nuffield, 2013, 55), there is little indication that DC persons generally think about this genetic connection in terms of sheer numbers of genes. For example, we might expect some DC persons to say that their sense of self is influenced by sharing nuclear genes with their donors; 15 however, we would not expect DC persons to say that their sense of self has been significantly influenced as a result of sharing approximately 10,000-12,500 protein encoding nuclear genes with their donors. ...
... The available social science evidence does suggest that a person's sense of self is one possible reason for wanting to know a donor's identity, but it is not necessarily the only reason or the main reason for that matter. 17 For example, a study by Jadva et al. (2010) surveyed 127 persons who had used the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) to search for their sperm donors and asked them why they had searched for their donor. 18 These respondents provided a broad range of reasons (beyond the reason of "sense of self"), which included the desire to find out the donor's motivation and a desire to thank the donor (Jadva et al., 2010). ...
... 17 For example, a study by Jadva et al. (2010) surveyed 127 persons who had used the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) to search for their sperm donors and asked them why they had searched for their donor. 18 These respondents provided a broad range of reasons (beyond the reason of "sense of self"), which included the desire to find out the donor's motivation and a desire to thank the donor (Jadva et al., 2010). 19 There appears to be no obvious reason why these additional examples of important reasons for having identifiable gamete donors would not equally apply to the case of MDC persons. ...
Article
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Currently in the United Kingdom, anyone donating gametes has the status of an open-identity donor. This means that, at the age of 18, persons conceived with gametes donated since April 1, 2005 have a right to access certain pieces of identifying information about their donor. However, in early 2015, the UK Parliament approved new regulations that make mitochondrial donors anonymous. Both mitochondrial donation and gamete donation are similar in the basic sense that they involve the contribution of gamete materials to create future persons. Given this similarity, this paper presumes that both types of donor should be treated the same and made open-identity under the law, unless there is a convincing argument for treating them differently. I argue that none of the existing arguments that have been made so far in favor of mitochondrial donor anonymity are convincing and mitochondrial donors should therefore be treated as open-identity donors under UK law.
... After quality assuring full texts, one study (Ehrensaft, 2007) was excluded, resulting in 21 papers for inclusion. Eight further papers were identified by consulting the reference list of the selected articles, resulting in a total of 29 papers (Beeson et al., 2011;Blake et al., 2010Blake et al., , 2013Blyth, 2012;Bos and Gartrell, 2011;Goldberg and Allen, 2013;Hanssen, 2015;Harrigan et al., 2015;Hertz et al., 2013;Jadva et al., 2009Jadva et al., , 2010Kirkman, 2003;Mahlstedt et al., 2010;Malmquist et al., 2014;Provoost et al., 2017;Raes et al., 2015;Ravelingien et al., 2013;Rodino et al., 2011;Scheib et al., 2005Scheib et al., , 2017Slutsky et al., 2016;Tasker and Grandville, 2011;Turner and Coyle, 2000;van den Akker et al., 2015;Van Parys et al., 2015;Vanfraussen et al., 2001Vanfraussen et al., , 2003Zadeh et al., 2017aZadeh et al., , 2017b. 1 provides an overview of the heterogeneity of the data extracted with regard to author/date/country, study aims, research design and method, sample, type of conception and type of family. In four studies, the same two datasets were used twice by two sets of authors (Jadva et al., 2009Vanfraussen et al., 2001Vanfraussen et al., , 2003. ...
... More than two-thirds (n = 23) of the papers were published between 2010 and 2017, indicating an increasing research interest in the social and psychological impact of donor conception. The papers came from just five countries: USA (Beeson et al., 2011;Bos and Gartrell, 2011;Goldberg and Allen, 2013;Harrigan et al., 2015;Hertz et al., 2013;Jadva et al., 2009Jadva et al., , 2010Mahlstedt et al., 2010;Scheib et al., 2005Scheib et al., , 2017Slutsky et al., 2016;Tasker and Grandville, 2011), UK (Blake et al., 2010(Blake et al., , 2013Blyth, 2012;Turner and Coyle, 2000;van den Akker et al., 2015;Zadeh et al., 2017aZadeh et al., , 2017b, Belgium (Provoost et al., 2017;Raes et al., 2015;Ravelingien et al., 2013;Van Parys et al., 2015;Vanfraussen et al., 2001Vanfraussen et al., , 2003, Australia (Kirkman, 2003;Rodino et al., 2011) and Northern Europe (Norway and Sweden) (Hanssen, 2015;Malmquist et al., 2014). ...
... Most studies used qualitative (Blake et al., 2010(Blake et al., , 2013Blyth, 2012;Goldberg and Allen, 2013;Hanssen, 2015;Harrigan et al., 2015;Kirkman, 2003;Malmquist et al., 2014;Provoost et al., 2017;Raes et al., 2015;Ravelingien et al., 2013;Tasker and Grandville, 2011;Van Parys et al., 2015;Zadeh 2017a) and mixed methods (Beeson et al., 2011;Hertz et al., 2013;Jadva et al., 2009Jadva et al., , 2010Scheib et al., 2005Scheib et al., , 2017Slutsky et al., 2016;Turner and Coyle, 2000;van den Akker et al., 2015;Vanfraussen et al., 2001Vanfraussen et al., , 2003Zadeh et al., 2017b). The three remaining quantitative studies (Bos and Gartrell, 2011;Mahlstedt et al., 2010;Rodino et al., 2011) used self-report questionnaires (mostly online questionnaires), and ad hoc scales. ...
Article
The aim of this study was to provide a systematic narrative review of the published research articles on donor conceived offspring's subjective experiences of their donor. A systematic search of electronic databases (PsycINFO and PubMed) provided 29 published quantitative and qualitative studies matching the inclusion criteria. The analysis of the studies outcomes led to the identification of four main themes: (i) views/representations of the donor; (ii) desire to contact the donor (in terms of desire to meet the donor, reasons for wanting to contact the donor, type and frequency of contact); (iii) reactions to discovering the donor's identity and contacting the donor; (iv) identity issues. The findings revealed that genetic ties do matter to donor conceived people, especially during adolescence or adulthood. Many donor conceived people were interested in contacting the donor and all of them needed to make meaning of the role of the donor, as well as to integrate it into their family life and self-concept. Besides curiosity and medical reasons, many people reported wanting to contact the donor to see what he/she looked like, and to have access to their own ancestry and genetic history.
... DC people searched for the donor and/or same-donor peers in various ways. They could be interested in only one or the other (52,53); in other cases, an interest in the donor was closely related to an interest in same-donor peers (42,52). The search could be very specific (e.g., for the donor) but could result in others (e.g., samedonor peers) being found (54,55) because of the search method used (e.g., voluntary register). ...
... DC people searched for the donor and/or same-donor peers in various ways. They could be interested in only one or the other (52,53); in other cases, an interest in the donor was closely related to an interest in same-donor peers (42,52). The search could be very specific (e.g., for the donor) but could result in others (e.g., samedonor peers) being found (54,55) because of the search method used (e.g., voluntary register). ...
... Getting that information could help fill a void and help identify and/or assess their own defining characteristics and abilities. This information was sought not only for themselves but also to have this genetic information for their own children, suggesting that such information may serve a purpose beyond the DC person (26,52,57). Donor-conceived people also wanted to know the donor's motivation to donate to complete their life story (42,43). ...
Article
Objective Recent changes in policy, practice, and technology have made it possible for those connected through donor conception - donor-conceived (DC) people, parents, and donors - to find and contact one another. We review the body of literature to summarize existing knowledge about factors that shape donor linking and discuss the implications for clinical care and future research. Evidence Review A bibliographic search of English, French, German, Spanish, and Dutch language peer-reviewed publications was performed following PRISMA guidelines, using the electronic databases PUBMED, EMBASE, and WEB of SCIENCE CORE COLLECTION. Inclusion criteria were (i) original empirical research with quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods, (ii) research participants were DC people, gamete donors and/or parents interested in searching for people (genetically) related to them through gamete donation, and (iii) a substantial part of the article focused on searching for or interest in contacting donor-related people. Exclusion criteria were (i) publications other than original peer-reviewed research, and (ii) publications on known donors and surrogacy. The methodological quality was assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Program checklist for qualitative studies and the JBI Critical Appraisal Checklist for quantitative studies. Eligibility, quality assessments and data extraction were performed by two teams independently, with disagreements resolved through discussion Results The initial search retrieved 4040 publications, of which 119 articles were full-text screened and 47 studies were included for review. Studies were diverse in design, setting, recruitment methods, data collection, and stakeholder groups. DC people, parents and donors of the included studies all had an interest in each other; however, motives, desired information and/or expectations regarding interest and/or contact could differ. For participants in the studies, the interests of DC people, parents and donors are intertwined and not necessarily in conflict. Methodological limitations were identified in the included studies. Conclusions Donor linking occurs within a complex array of several factors: psychosocial, social-demographical, relational and environmental variables. Research is still needed to better understand the relative influence of these variables and identify the psychosocial needs of the different groups. Preliminary findings show that stakeholders can have an interest in ongoing contact. However, methodological shortcomings limited the extent to which findings can be applied to all people interested in donor-related contact. Follow-up research is needed on what happens after parties are linked.
... Donor conception creates families with varying genetic links within the family unit, and where the child will have genetic ties to the donor and to individuals who share the same donor. While donor conceived (DC) individuals have been reported to desire information about their donor and same-donor offspring (Scheib et al., 2005;Jadva et al., 2010;Beeson et al., 2011;Scheib et al., 2017;Bos et al., 2019;Indekeu et al., 2021), studies are often based on self-selected groups that actively searched for such information and it is unknown to which extent these results reflect the views of the whole population of DC individuals (Zadeh, 2016;Skoog Svanberg et al., 2019). ...
... DC individuals following anonymous donation may find and establish contact with same-donor offspring and/or the donor by using matching services such as the Donor Sibling Registry, with a majority reporting contact as a positive experience (Jadva et al., 2010). Learning the identity of the donor and same-donor offspring has sometimes been described as a redefining moment in terms of personal identity, and interacting with newly found genetic kin could extend the support network and reinforce belongingness Scheib et al., 2020). ...
... Learning the identity of the donor and same-donor offspring has sometimes been described as a redefining moment in terms of personal identity, and interacting with newly found genetic kin could extend the support network and reinforce belongingness Scheib et al., 2020). Negative experiences related to identifying or contacting the donor or same-donor offspring include emotional strain involved when meeting persons who are genetically close and yet 'total strangers', as well as conflicted feelings and discomfort due to mismatched expectations of relationships (Jadva et al., 2010;Beeson et al., 2011;Blyth, 2012;Koh et al., 2020;Scheib et al., 2020;Indekeu et al., 2021). ...
Article
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STUDY QUESTION How do heterosexual parents experience identity-release donation when adult children have obtained information about their sperm donor? SUMMARY ANSWER Adult offspring’s receipt of identifying information about the sperm donor challenged the fathers’ role as a parent, which was reflected in how parents positioned the donor in relation to the family. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY An increasing number of countries provide access to treatment with identity-release or ‘open-identity’ donors. However, there is limited knowledge about how parents experience and manage the situation when adult offspring obtain identifying information about the donor and may even establish contact with him. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION This qualitative interview study included 23 parents whose offspring had obtained information about their sperm donor. Interviews were conducted from October 2018 to January 2019. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS A purposive sample of parents (15 mothers and 8 fathers) was recruited via adult offspring, who had requested identifying donor information at five Swedish University hospitals. All participating parents were part of a heterosexual couple who had conceived with sperm from an identity-release donor. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted face-to face or via telephone, and transcribed audio recordings were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE The parents expressed diverse experiences related to their parenthood and the presence of the donor after offspring had obtained information about him; these were described in two themes. The theme ‘Navigating (in)visible markers of parenthood’ describes parenthood as embedded with dichotomous meanings of nature and nurture that parents navigated in relation to social approval. The theme ‘Positioning the donor in a new landscape’ describes how parents managed the presence of the donor by positioning him at a distance or acknowledging him as a person or even as part of the family, while some struggled to position him, giving rise to ambivalent feelings. The absence of genetic connectedness challenged the father’s role as parent, which was reflected in parents’ positioning of the donor. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION The study was performed within the context of the Swedish legislation on identity-release donation and is based on experiences of heterosexual couples who had used sperm donation and had informed their offspring about their donor conception. This, together with the fact that parents’ accounts were predominantly represented by mothers, must be taken into consideration regarding transferability to other populations. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS Negotiations of social and genetic parenthood are still present among parents many years after treatment and may resurface when adult offspring obtain the donor’s identity. Access of the adult offspring to identifying information about the donor may have unexpected consequences for family relations, including expanding the family to include the donor. Challenges related to male infertility and family dynamics indicate that parents should have access to counseling and support to manage family life with varying genetic linkage within and outside the family unit. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S) Financial support was from The Swedish Research Council (Grant 2013-2712). There are no conflicts of interest to declare. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER N/A.
... Prior to 2000, no empirical studies had been published on donor-conceived people or parents' experiences of donor conception and from 2000 to 2011, 19 articles derived from empirical research on donor conception were published (Blyth et al., 2012). Studies employing quantitative methods to explore the experiences of donor families comprise most of the existing literature (Andreassen, 2017), and a large portion of that research has sourced participants from the US-based donor registry, Donor Sibling Register (see, e.g., Jadva et al., 2010) or UK-based DNA Link registry (see, e.g., Crawshaw & Marshall, 2008). ...
... Existing research has found that the majority of donor-conceived people view any information about their donors as important (Rodino et al., 2011), and most desire contact with their donor (Beeson et al., 2011) and/or donor siblings (Dempsey et al., 2019;Nelson et al., 2013). For those who do achieve contact, most consider it to have been a positive experience (Jadva et al., 2010). It is also worth noting that, since the topic has received more scholarly attention, research has largely focused on parents' attitudes towards the disclosure of donor-conceived status and towards connecting with other families who have used the same donor. ...
Chapter
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For qualitative researchers, reflexivity is always an important aspect of ethical practice. However, in research on donor conception, there is a particular need for greater attention to be paid to the ways in which researchers' positionality, experiences and attitudes influence the research process and findings. With the aim of 'doing reflexivity', in this chapter I explore three phases of becoming: becoming donor-conceived, becoming activist and becoming researcher. In 'becoming donor-conceived', I explore how connecting with other donor-conceived people online strongly influenced the way that I understood my own experiences and contributed to my own sense of belonging. Next, I describe how through 'becoming activist', I became more aware of the political value of donor-conceived people's voices and the need to privilege donor-conceived people's perspectives in research. Finally, I explore how I navigate my position as an 'insider' in my research including how I manage risk and reciprocity. People with lived experience bring different priorities and ways of thinking and doing research into the research process. I argue that it is vital that donor conception researchers engage with and empower donor-conceived people to influence policy and practice responses to this complex topic.
... However, we have only a limited understanding of how statutory donor linking is practised, in part because most jurisdictions do not yet have children old enough to apply for their donor's identity. There is a growing body of mostly quantitative research on non-statutory donor linking, such as via online mutual consent registers, clinic-based registers, and direct-to-consumer genetic testing services, and this research informs our analysis (Jadva et al, 2010;Beeson et al, 2011;Hertz et al, 2013). However, Victoria's comprehensive statutory approach to donor linking represents a unique and valuable case study. ...
... Consistent with other research in the field, all applicants indicated that the main driver behind their application was 'curiosity', both in a general sense and with regard to specific physical and personality traits (Freeman et al, 2009;Jadva et al, 2010;Hertz et al, 2013;Scheib et al, 2017). Almost all of the applicants who were applying for their donor's identity opened their SOR by stating that they were curious about who the donor was and what aspects of themselves may have come from him. ...
Article
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In June 2015, the state of Victoria, Australia retrospectively opened its sperm and egg donors’ records, becoming only the second jurisdiction in the world to do so and the first where substantial pre-legislative records are available and stored in a central register. The new legislation gave donor-conceived adults and donors who were conceived or donated under conditions of anonymity (ie prior to 1988) the right to apply to the state’s Central Register for each other’s identifying information, which is released to them if the subject of the application consents. Between the introduction of the law and its further amendment in March 2017, more than 100 applications were made. Through a thematic analysis of donor-conceived adults’ and donors’ Statements of Reasons – a written document applicants were required to complete when they applied – the article explores applicants’ motivations for applying, the information they sought, and their goals with regard to contact. The study found that most applicants were driven by curiosity and a desire for personal information about the other party. They also expressed a strong desire to meet and have an ongoing relationship with the subject of their application. The study also revealed an unanticipated desire on the part of previously anonymous donors for information about their offspring, suggesting future research could explore the emotional needs of donors in greater depth.
... Studies exploring the linking expectations of DCP and RP report that the most common type of information sought relates to the donor's characteristics such as appearance, likes, dislikes and aptitudes (Freeman et al., 2009;Frith et al., 2017;Hertz et al., 2013 ;Jadva et al., 2010 ;Scheib et al., 2017). A study of 256 DCP who applied to the Sperm Bank of California's open-identity program reported that almost 95% desired personal information about the donor (Scheib et al., 2017). ...
... A study of 256 DCP who applied to the Sperm Bank of California's open-identity program reported that almost 95% desired personal information about the donor (Scheib et al., 2017). Several studies have found that DCP believe this information is integral to their identity formation (Hertz et al., 2013;Jadva et al., 2010;Scheib et al., 2017). Parents who engage in information seeking on their child's behalf typically cite the importance of the child having a more secure sense of identity, medical reasons or a wish to thank the donor (Freeman et al., 2009). ...
Article
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Knowledge of genetic origins is widely believed to have consequences for health, family belonging and personal identity. Donor linking is the process by which donors, recipient parents (RP) and donor-conceived people (DCP) gain access to identifying information about each other. This paper reports on the information and contact sought by donor-linking applicants to the central and voluntary registers in the state of Victoria, Australia, which has one of the most comprehensive donor-linking legislative frameworks in the world. Applicants to the Victorian registers complete a statement of reasons (SOR), a written document that is given to the subject of the application, outlining their reasons for applying and their short- and long-term goals. SOR written by applicants between 29 June 2015 and 28 February 2017 who had agreed to be recontacted for research were analysed. Forty-two of 93 eligible applicants took part (45%). All applications pertained to donor sperm. RP were the largest applicant group (n = 19) followed by DCP (n = 17) and donors (n = 6). All applicants wanted personal information and most expressed a desire for contact. Single mothers of young children used the registers more than any other parent group, indicating that family structure may influence application patterns. While it is apparent that all applicants are eager for information and some form of interpersonal contact, further research is needed on how the legal and policy landscape of different jurisdictions influences expectations, as well as what happens after parties are linked.
... However, research on searching for and meeting same-donor offspring is very limited. Only four studies report on the experiences of donor-conceived people themselves (Blyth, 2012;Hertz & Nelson, 2019;Hertz et al., 2017;Jadva et al., 2010). These studies describe the formation of close bonds between families who share the same donor, with a search that was frequently initiated by curiosity leading to a sense of 'family connection' (Freeman et al., 2009). ...
... Participants often described being challenged by the size of the network and feeling torn between individual needs and the group's focus or pace. In this study donor-conceived people were generally in contact with multiple same-donor offspring (8 to 31) and met frequently in group settings rather than having individual contacts with some members of the network as described in previous studies (Blyth, 2012;Hertz et al., 2017;Jadva et al., 2010). Participants' geographical closeness also facilitated in-person group meetings. ...
Article
Debates regarding donor-conceived people’s rights to genetic information have caused some jurisdictions to abolish donor anonymity. Moreover, voluntary services have been established whose primary focus is providing possibilities to find information about the donor. A less discussed consequence is that donor-conceived people also find information about donor half-siblings: people conceived through the same donor. In the recent climate of openness and online DNA tests, there is an increased chance of finding multiple donor half-siblings. This study explored how donor-conceived people experience meeting multiple same-donor offspring in a group setting. Second, the study investigated donor-conceived people’s need for support when meeting multiple donor half-siblings. A qualitative approach was used. Nineteen donor-conceived offspring who participated in donor half-sibling network meetings were interviewed. Using a grounded theory approach three themes were identified regarding group aspects: (i) defining group membership; (ii) regulating closeness and distance; and (iii) managing group dynamics. Professional support needs in relation to these themes were also analysed. While establishing relationships between donor half-siblings are viewed as generally more beneficial than connecting with a donor, this study showed that these new relationships also come with their challenges, and counselling may need to be refined towards a more specific same donor-offspring relationships’ framework.
... Therefore, there is no way to know how family form or any other variable shapes the impulse to search (Hertz & Mattes, 2011;Hertz, Nelson, & Kramer, 2016). Research does suggest that the reason for (rather than the frequency of) searching does not fluctuate with family type (Jadva, Freeman, Kramer, & Golombok, 2010). ...
... in these books, some of those who search for the donor and all of those who search for donor siblings have always known they were donor conceived and have become more curious about their biogenetic origins as adolescents (Beeson, Jennings, & Kramer, 2011;Cushing, 2010;Hertz & Nelson, 2019;Jadva, Freeman, Kramer, & Golombok, 2010;. For a personal memoir about searching for a donor when an adult learns of donor conception, see Shapiro (2019). ...
Article
Using a thematic analysis, this study examines the presentation of donor conception in 30 books of fiction written for young adults. Most of the donor-conceived characters in these books live in single mother families, the majority are girls, and most have some kind of status as outsiders. Donor conception is presented differently depending on the type of family in which the teen lives. Children living with single mothers are most often endangered. Children living with lesbian-couple parents are most often marked as outsiders. Among children living with heterosexual-couple parents, donor conception is often presented as a significant issue that can unsettle family dynamics and lead to a search for the donor or donor siblings.
... That may change considerably, however, as the children grow up and form their own views. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that donor-conceived offspring may develop a strong curiosity about their donor siblings and donor (Jadva et al. 2010). ...
... Indeed, the Internet has already enabled the emergence of an online platform that connects donor and donor siblings, namely, the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) (e.g. Jadva et al. 2010). This is not to say that geographical space no longer structures relationships, but that analyses thereof will have to consider the impact on enhanced online connectivity (Andreassen 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
In recent decades, reproductive medicine has become a widespread global phenomenon. Within the field, donor conception, and the use of donated eggs, sperm or embryos from a third party, plays a key role. Despite the importance of those individuals who donate, there has been scant research exploring their experiences. Seeking to contribute to the growing, albeit still small, body of research on donors, this paper advocates bringing the process of donating into dialogue with a sociology of personal life. It suggests that important new insights about the donor experience can be achieved by utilising such a theoretical perspective. The paper applies a broad framework of a sociology of personal life to demonstrate that the decision to donate reverberates within donors’ everyday lives and relationships, and explores, primarily theoretically, how it is that acts of donation bring such issues into play. To this end, the paper examines in detail three ways in which donating interacts with dimensions that are integral to personal life: “living” genetic connectedness, relationality and the intimate body. Ultimately, the paper suggests that a sociology of personal life shows light on new, unexplored questions for this field that demand greater scholarly attention.
... Takođe, i većina roditelja podržava to traganje. Postoji istraživanje majki dece začete putem donora , i adolescenata i odraslih začetih putem donora (Jadva, Freeman, Kramer & Golombok, 2010), članova Donor Sibling Registra. Istraživači su želeli da saznaju zašto ljudi traže svoje donore i siblinge i šta se događa kada ih nađu. ...
... Traganje za siblinzima i donorom Kada je bilo reči o heteroseksualnim porodicama nastalim pomoću donora, rečeno je da ćemo prilog o traganju ostaviti za kasnije, jer se ovo pitanje provlači kroz više novih formi porodice. Sada ćemo kratko predstaviti istraživanje provedeno na korisnicima Donor Sibling Registry sajta (https://www.donorsiblingregistry.com ) o iskustvima osoba koje tragaju za donorom ili sublinzima (Jadva, V., Freeman, T., Kramer, W. & Golombok, S., (2010). Experiences of offsprings searching for and contacting their siblings and donor. ...
... Die Abwesenheit eines Vaters bedingt, dass diese Kinder in der Regel im Kindesalter Informationen über ihre Herkunft einfordern und im Vergleich zu Kindern aus heterosexuellen Partnerschaften sehr früh über die Umstände ihrer Entstehung informiert sind(Jadva et al. 2009;Beeson et al. 2011;Rupp/Dürnberger 2009). Spenderkinder, die mehr über ihren Spender und Halbgeschwister erfahren wollen, geben als Grund dafür zunächst eine allgemeine Neugierde an(Scheib et al. 2005;Jadva et al. 2010). Weiter berichten sie, an Ähnlichkeiten zwischen sich und dem Spender, an seinem Aussehen, seiner Art/Persönlichkeit und seiner Familie interessiert zu sein(Scheib et al. 2005). ...
... Weiter berichten sie, an Ähnlichkeiten zwischen sich und dem Spender, an seinem Aussehen, seiner Art/Persönlichkeit und seiner Familie interessiert zu sein(Scheib et al. 2005). Andere Kinder sind neugierig bezüglich der eigenen Genetik und Herkunftsgeschichte sowie bezüglich des Lebens der Halbgeschwister und deren Familien(Jadva et al. 2010). Knapp ein Viertel der Kinder will den Spender auch persönlich kennenlernen(Scheib et al. 2005). ...
Article
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http://www.bpb.de/gesellschaft/gender/homosexualitaet/269064/regenbogenfamilien
... Compared to those who were aware of their origins from an early age, those with later disclosure were significantly more interested in information about their heritage and medical background, and of contact with the donor's family. These findings partly support previous results of adolescents and adults conceived with sperm from predominantly anonymous donors (Jadva et al., 2010;Hertz et al., 2013). However, differences between studies with regard to participants' age range and family type, categorization of age at disclosure/study and confounding between these variables, makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions about the role of age at disclosure for DC individuals' motivation to search information about their donor. ...
... Of those who had obtained the donor's identity and contact information, about half had already contacted him or planned to do so and a third were unsure about potential contact. A desire to contact or even meet with the donor is common among DC individuals, irrespective of donor type and possibility to achieve such contact (Jadva et al., 2010;Hertz et al., 2013). Focusing on DC individuals with identityrelease donors, our results are in line with previous reports of wishes for donor contact before (Scheib et al., 2005;Bos and Gartrell, 2011) and after having obtained identifying information (Scheib et al., 2017). ...
Article
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STUDY QUESTION What characterizes the group of donor-conceived (DC) individuals who request information about their identity-release sperm donor in Sweden, and what are their experiences of disclosure, information receipt and donor contact? SUMMARY ANSWER Following three decades of identity-release donation in Sweden, few DC individuals have requested donor information with varying experiences of information receipt and donor contact. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY In 1985, Sweden was the first country worldwide to enact legislation that gave DC individuals the right to obtain identifying information about their donor. Since then, identity-release gamete donation has become available in many countries but there is limited knowledge about the individuals who request donor information. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION A nation-wide cross-sectional survey study was performed at all seven University hospitals that provided donation treatment in Sweden during 1985–2002. During this period only donor insemination to heterosexual couples was permitted. Inclusion criteria were being 18 years of age or older, conceived with donor sperm and having requested information about the donor by December 2020. Recruitment was performed during 2016–2020. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS A total of 60 individuals had requested information about their donor. Of these, 53 were approached and 40 individuals, representing 34 families, accepted study participation (75% response rate). Participants completed a postal survey with the WHO-10 well-being index and study-specific questions about experiences of disclosure, motivations for requesting donor information, receipt of information, as well as intentions and experiences of donor contact. Independent t-test and chi-square tests were used to compare ratings of participants with early and late disclosure. MAIN RESULTS AND ROLE OF CHANCE Of ∼900 DC individuals who had reached adult age, a total of 60 (≈7%) had requested information about the donor. Most of the 40 study participants (78%) made their requests within 2 years after reaching 18 years of age, or following disclosure at later ages (up to 32 years). Several participants had adult DC siblings in the family who had not requested any donor information. All except five participants received identifying information about the donor from the clinic. However, some donors had died or lacked contact information. Among those participants who were able to contact their donor, 41% had done so at the time of the study, while a third of the participants were unsure about potential contact. Several had met the donor in person and a few were in regular contact. About half of the participants had been informed about their donor conception in adolescence or adulthood (age 12–32), and there were significant differences between participants based on age at disclosure. Compared to those with early disclosure, participants with late disclosure were significantly more likely to be dissatisfied with the timing of their disclosure (P = 0.021), to react with negative emotions (P < 0.001), and to subsequently contact the donor (P = 0.047). LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION The limited population available for inclusion resulted in a small sample size, despite a high response rate. In addition, men’s lower participation rate must be taken into consideration when interpreting the results. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS The small number of individuals requesting information about their identity-release sperm donor is surprising. While not all DC individuals appear to be interested in donor information, it is reasonable to assume that some are unaware of their donor conception and thus unable to make informed decisions regarding their genetic origins. During the coming years, young women and men in many countries will become eligible to access identifying information about their donor. In order to meet the needs of these individuals, and to support positive outcomes for all involved parties, it is essential that adequate protocols and resources are developed. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST Financial support from The Swedish Research Council. There are no conflicts of interest to declare. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER N/A.
... 22 But relatives who are found might have mixed feelings about being contacted, and the person searching for them might also experience a range of emotions and consequences as a result of those contacts. 23,24 A number of studies have considered psychosocial and behavioral impacts of learning health-related [25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33] and ancestry [34][35][36][37] information from DTC genetic testing and concerns associated with participating in DTC genetic testing for those purposes. Divulging and learning about misattributed parenthood in clinical settings is also discussed in the literature. ...
... Motivations to participate in GRF services endorsed by respondents Selection all that apply, a N ¼23,196 Selection given total number of motivations selected b ...
Article
In recent decades, genetic genealogy has become popular as a result of direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing. Some DTC genetic testing companies offer genetic relative-finder (GRF) services that compare the DNA of consenting participants to identify genetic relatives among them and provide each participant a list of their relative matches. We surveyed a convenience sample of GRF service participants to understand the prevalence of discoveries and associated experiences. Almost half (46%) of the 23,196 respondents had participated in GRF services only for non-specific reasons that included interest in building family trees and general curiosity. However, most (82%) also learned the identity of at least one genetic relative. Separately, most respondents (61%) reported learning something new about themselves or their relatives, including potentially disruptive information such as that a person they believed to be their biological parent is in fact not or that they have a sibling they had not known about. Respondents generally reported that discovering this new information had a neutral or positive impact on their lives, and most had low regret regarding their decision to participate in GRF services. Yet some reported making life changes as a result of their discoveries. Compared to respondents making other types of discoveries, those who learned that they were donor conceived reported the highest decisional regret and represented the largest proportion reporting net-negative consequences for themselves. Our findings indicate that discoveries from GRF services may be common and that the consequences for individuals, while generally positive, can be far-reaching and complex.
... Una reciente investigación, realizada por la Universidad de Cambridge, sobre la opinión de los hijos e hijas nacidos a través de una inseminación con donación anónima, muestra que los hijos/as de monomarentales y bimarentales tenían muchas más probabilidades de que les hablaran de la donación de esperma antes de los tres años que los hijos de biparentales ( Jadva et al., 2010). ...
Thesis
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Esta tesis propone analizar el significado de la/s maternidad/es en una lógica de capitalismo de consumo. Para ello se lleva a cabo una revisión de las principales propuestas feministas, desde las visiones más esencialistas que definen la maternidad cómo una expresión del empoderamiento de las mujeres, hasta las posiciones más críticas que la interpretan como un instrumento de dominación y control de las mujeres. A lo largo de la investigación se utiliza el término de “nuevas maternidades” para hacer referencia a aquellas mujeres que acceden a la maternidad a través de los mercados reproductivos, esto es, la adopción y la técnicas de reproducción asistida. A través del trabajo empírico, se analiza cómo los grupos de mujeres que tradicionalmente quedaban fuera del mandato maternal: infértiles, solteras y lesbianas, son ahora integradas en una lógica que iguala mujer y maternidad. En el estudio empírico, se analiza cómo la ideología de consumo, basada en la idealización, la competencia y el narcisismo individualizado, actúa sobre un pensamiento maternal profundamente mitificado
... In tegenstelling tot het gebrek aan openheid van heteroseksuele ouders over de manier van conceptie van hun met donorsperma verwekte kinderen (Beeson, Jennings, & Kramer, 2011;Greil, Slason-Blevins, & McQuillan, 2010;Jadva, Freeman, Kramer, & Golombok, 2009;Miall, 1986Miall, , 1994, vertellen lesbische moeders hun kinderen over de donorverwekking op een jonge leeftijd. Dit geldt zowel voor moeders die een bekende (een kennis, vriend of familielid) als identiteit-geregistreerde of anonieme donor hebben gebruikt (Agigian, 2004;Jadva, Freeman, Kramer, & Golombok, 2010;Scheib, Riordan, & Ruben, 2005). Daarnaast blijkt dat wanneer deze kinderen de adolescentie hebben bereikt, zij zich net zo hebben ontwikkeld als hun leeftijdsgenoten met heteroseksuele ouders en dat de adolescenten met lesbische moeders meer sociale, academische en totale competenties hebben (Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, 2013;Van Rijn-van Gelderen, Bos, & Gartrell, 2015;Goldberg, 2010). ...
Article
Self-esteem and problem behavior in Dutch adolescents conceived through sperm donation in planned lesbian-mother families: Is donor type of importance? Until 2004, Dutch women seeking donor insemination through medical facilities could opt for open-identity or anonymous donors. Currently, Dutch medical facilities are only allowed to use sperm from open-identity donors. Focusing on adolescents who were born before 2004, the present study provides a unique opportunity to compare the well-being of those conceived through different donor types: known, open-identity, or anonymous. The present study is based on 67 Dutch adolescents (mean age =16.04) conceived through sperm donation in lesbian-mother families. Participating adolescents were asked to complete the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the Youth Self-Report, and to answer questions about their donor. Thirty-three adolescents were conceived through known, 22 through open-identity, and 12 through anonymous donors. No significant differences were found on self-esteem or problem behavior among adolescents conceived through the three donor types. Likewise, no significant differences were found on these variables for adolescents with known donors who indicated that these men did or did not play important roles in their lives. Feeling uncomfortable about not knowing one’s donor was associated with lower levels of self-esteem and more externalizing problem behavior. That donor type has no bearing on adolescent self-esteem and problem behavior may help in guiding the donor choices of prospective lesbian parents.
... Moreover, the relative absence of and confusion about the donor in teachers' awareness raises questions about how society looks at donor-conceived families: as an end result of a technology or as a number of parties (parents, children and donors) that are continuously involved with each other? This is especially significant as in recent years donor-conceiving families seem to include the donor more in their narratives (Jadva et al, 2010;Van den Akker et al, 2015). Diverging views between donor-conceived families and society could increase misunderstanding. ...
Article
Full-text available
Research regarding donor-conceived families has mainly focused on processes within the family unit. Research on social factors affecting the family from outside is rare. Focusing on individuals’ difficulties without acknowledging external social factors is, however, misleading when the subjects studied belong to a stigmatised group. As openness about donor conception is increasingly encouraged, donor-conceived families will interact more with their social networks. Yet uncertainty around the societal perceptions of their family building, alongside fear of stigma, can make parents insecure about disclosure. This survey study assessed awareness, knowledge, attitudes and behaviour regarding donor-conceived families among 151 Belgian and 67 Swedish school teachers. Teachers had a basic awareness of donor-conceived families, yet limited understanding of the implications of donor conception for the families. While an open attitude towards donor-conceived families existed, the value of privacy affected interactions. Differences were observed in relation to the different forms of donor-conceived families. Implications for practice are discussed.
... The majority of our participants were women. This might reflect a greater willingness of women to participate in such studies and/or a greater level of interest in their biographical origins, as found in studies on adoptees and sperm donor-conceived offspring (Finkler 2000;Jadva et al. 2010;Blyth et al. 2012). Yet, this might also be context-dependent. ...
Article
Full-text available
Existing empirical research often do not explain which concepts about genetics underlie the assumption that genetic information is deemed important for donor-conceived offspring. This study focused on how donor-conceived individuals following anonymous sperm donation give meaning to and make sense of genes and genetics. Analysis is based on focus groups and interviews with adult donor-conceived offspring. Findings suggest that genes are part of their specific context of being donor-conceived but also play a role in daily life. Genes make sense on an individual level and a relational level, both on parent-child as sibling-level. On an individual level they were perceived as (1) a biological starting package, (2) their own unique combination and (3) as a reference point. On a relational level, genes were seen as (1) "person-al", (2) connecting and (3) locating individuals. This information is essential for those supporting/counseling donor conceived offspring and families as well as for policy-members.
... Some believe that even when disclosure has occurred, anonymity can harm family relationships. Evidence shows that at least some donor-conceived people are likely to want to know the identity of the donor (Clark 2006;Jadva et al. 2010;Beeson, Jennings, and Kramer 2011;Blyth et al. 2012;Goldberg and Allen 2013;Hertz, 1 Identification happens when the donor-conceived individual reaches 16 or 18 years of age, depending upon the jurisdiction, and only if they request it. opponents, because anonymity can impede access to the identity of at least one genetic progenitor, it can undermine the ability of donor-conceived people to forge healthy identities (Somerville 2011;Velleman 2005;Cahn 2009;Cowden 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Anonymity remains the more common practice in gamete donations, but legislation prohibiting anonymity with a goal of protecting donor-conceived children's right to know their genetic origins is becoming more common. However, given the dearth of research investigating the function of anonymity for donors and recipients, it is unclear whether these policies will accomplish their goals. The aim of this study was to explore experiences with anonymity among oocyte donors and recipients who participated in an anonymous donor oocyte program and to understand the ways in which anonymity functions for them. Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 50 women: 28 oocyte donors and 22 recipients who were recruited from an academic center for reproductive medicine in the United States. Results: Donors and recipients view anonymity both as a mechanism to protect the interests of all parties (recipients, donors, and donor-conceived children) and as a point of conflict. Specifically, three key areas were identified where both donors and recipients saw anonymity as having an important role: relieving anxieties about family structures and obligations; protecting their interests and those of donor-conceived children (while acknowledging where interests conflict); and managing the future. Conclusion: As gamete donation increasingly moves away from the practice of anonymity, examining why anonymity matters to stakeholders will be helpful in devising strategies to successfully implement identity-release options.
... Con relación a ello, las familias monoparentales y homoparentales muestran una mayor inclinación a esta comunicación (y a iniciarla a edades más tempranas de los niños) que las heteroparentales (Jociles 2016). Sin embargo, las investigaciones que plantean una mayor apertura en las familias monoparentales y homoparentales, se ocupan mayoritariamente de familias que han concebido a sus hijos mediante reproducción asistida con donante (Brewaeys 2001;Freeman et al. 2009;Jadva et al. 2009Jadva et al. , 2010Beeson et al. 2011;Hertz et al. 2013), existiendo escasos estudios que aborden esta dimensión en las familias monoparentales conformadas a través de la adopción 2 . Golberg et al. (2011) realizaron un estudio cualitativo longitudinal en USA con 45 parejas (15 de mujeres lesbianas, 15 de hombres gays y otras 15 heterosexuales) reclutadas cuando esperaban para una "adopción abierta" de carácter doméstico, documentando que las parejas heterosexuales perciben a menudo este tipo de adopción como la única opción viable dado que pocas agencias privadas ofrecen adopciones cerradas, mientras que las parejas compuestas por minorías sexuales "aprecian la filosofía de la apertura" por cuanto no les obliga "a mentir sobre su orientación sexual para poder adoptar" 3 (Golberg et al. 2011: 502). ...
Article
Full-text available
"Discourse-dependent" families (Galvin 2006), such as adoptive families, are made up of four practices: naming (designating family members by giving them a place in the family), discussing (talking about the family situation), narrating (drawing up an adoption story for the children) and ritualizing (recognizing adoption with celebrations and daily activities). In this article, we analyze the first three practices in Spanish and Chilean single-parent adoptive families. Among the most outstanding results, these adoptive configurations show attitudes and communicative openness practices, in which they tell their children early about the circumstances surrounding their adoption and talk about their mothers and fathers of origin, making efforts to decriminalize and empathize with these images, even adding them as part of their extended families from a pluriparental perspective.
... Amongst parents who have used anonymous donors, it has been argued that disclosure is unnecessary or may even be frustrating for offspring, who remain unable to access identifying information (Daniels et al., 1995;Golombok et al., 2006;Lalos et al., 2007;Lycett et al., 2005;Sälevaara et al., 2013). It is, however, worth noting that some donor-conceived offspring do search for their anonymous donor (Beeson et al., 2011;Hertz et al., 2013;Jadva et al., 2009Jadva et al., , 2010Klotz, 2016;Mahlstedt et al., 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
Gamete donation in Europe is not characterised by a common legal framework. In different countries, different laws exist regarding gamete donors’ anonymity or identifiability, and their remuneration or non-remuneration. Despite public and parliamentary debate in 2011, the French context of gamete donation is characterised by a stable legal framework (anonymous and non-remunerated donation). However, there is little evidence concerning recipients’ views and experiences of gamete donation in this context. This article describes findings from a questionnaire administered individually to 714 heterosexual couple members undergoing a donor conception procedure during their visit to one of 20 national fertility centres in France. Participants were invited to report their attitudes towards the French legal framework, their perceptions of the anonymous donor, and their intentions to disclose the donor conception to their child and to other people. The vast majority of respondents (93%) approved of the current legal framework. Participants indicated that they thought about the sperm donor in ways that simultaneously emphasised his act of donation without describing him as a specific individual. The majority (71%) stated that they intended to tell their children about their donor conception. Given that this is the largest nationwide study of French recipients of donor sperm, the findings are an important contribution to the research evidence currently available about prospective parents’ perspectives in the increasingly uncommon context of donor anonymity in Europe.
... Changing attitudes towards telling children about their donor conception has resulted in an increasing number of donor-conceived people who know about their origin, and who wish to trace their donor and donor siblings, i.e. genetically related half-siblings born from the same donor who have grown up in different families. In order to investigate the motivations and experiences of those who search for their donor relations, we collaborated with the Donor Sibling Registry on a survey (Freeman, et al., 2009;Jadva, et al., 2010). Those who took part were curious about similarities in appearance and personality with their donor, and they wanted to gain a greater understanding of their ancestry and of themselves. ...
Article
Our understanding of what makes a family has changed dramatically in recent decades due to advances in reproductive technology accompanied by changing social attitudes. But what has the impact been on children? This article presents a summary of research on parent–child relationships and the psychological adjustment of children in families created by assisted reproduction. The findings show that families with lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and single mothers by choice, and families created by donor conception and surrogacy, are just as likely to flourish as traditional families, and sometimes more so, although the children from these families will sometimes face prejudiced attitudes from others. It is concluded that the quality of family relationships and the wider social environment matter more for children's psychological wellbeing than the number, gender, sexual orientation, or biological relatedness of their parents.
... The sample size obtained for this study was larger than several previous studies investigating donor-conceived people, [75][76][77][78][79] but smaller than some others. [80][81][82] However, unlike the present study, the larger previous studies all involved children and or adolescents in addition to adults, rather than adults alone. ...
Article
Donor-conceived neonates have poorer birth outcomes, including low birth weight and preterm delivery that are associated with poorer long-term health in adulthood through the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) theory. The aim of this study was to conduct the first investigation of the adult health outcomes of donor-conceived people. An online health survey was completed by 272 donor sperm-conceived adults and 877 spontaneously conceived adults from around the world. Donor and spontaneously conceived groups were matched for age, sex, height, smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise, own fertility and maternal smoking. Donor sperm-conceived adults had significantly higher reports of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes ( P = 0.031), thyroid disease ( P = 0.031), acute bronchitis ( P = 0.008), environmental allergies ( P = 0.046), sleep apnoea ( P = 0.037) and having ear tubes/grommets surgically implanted ( P = 0.046). This is the first study to investigate the health outcomes of adult donor sperm-conceived people. Donor sperm-conceived adults self-reported elevated frequencies of various health conditions. The outcomes are consistent with birth defect data from donor sperm treatment and are consistent with the DOHaD linking perturbed early growth and chronic disease in adulthood.
... They concluded that the majority of offspring who had found their donor relations reported positive experiences and remained in regular contact with them. 33 Conversely, a study highlighting the benefits of nurturing a relationship with both sets of parents examined depression and externalizing problems of children in foster care (n= 362). Findings indicated that more frequent contact with the biological mother was marginally associated with lower levels of depression and significantly associated with lower externalizing problem behaviours. ...
Article
This paper is a preliminary study on the expectedimplications of some chosen biomedical developments on the loss of descent (nasab), its psychological effects on children and parents, and sociological effects generally. In the first part, this paper elaborates the meaning and importance of nasab(descent) in Islamic law, under consideration of the Higher Objectives of Shari’a, and explanation of some related legal rules. The second part investigates psychological impacts of unknown descent and reviews existing research in the field. The third and final part, presents five chosen scenarios i) human cloning through somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT); ii) surrogate motherhood; iii) IVF with sperm or egg donors; iv) anonymous milk banks;and v) mitochondria (mt) transplantation; in the light of the Islamic objective of nasab, its existence or non-existence, and possible consequences.
... When men and women wish to embark on donor sperm treatment (DST) for procreation and do not organize this with a donor known to them, they look for medical assistance in a fertility clinic (ESHRE task force on Ethics and Law, 2002). The decision of intended parents to apply for donor-conception may entail wideranging and long-lasting psychosocial implications for themselves and their future children; the social parent and the child do not have a genetic tie, there is a third party in the family and parents and children need to cope with reactions from their wider family and social environment (Blyth, 2012;Culley, Hudson, & Rapport, 2013;Grace, Daniels, & Gillett, 2008;Jadva, Freeman, Kramer, & Golombok, 2010). Families with children after DST have to deal with anxiety about the lack of genetic ties and with non-disclosure or disclosing the genetic origins of their child Haimes, 1998;Indekeu, D'Hooghe, Daniels, Dierckx, & Rober, 2014;Kirkman, 2003;McWhinnie, 2000). ...
Article
Full-text available
When intended parents choose to have donor sperm treatment (DST), this may entail wide-ranging and long-lasting psychosocial implications related to the social parent not having a genetic tie with the child, how to disclose donor-conception and future donor contact. Counselling by qualified professionals is recommended to help intended parents cope with these implications. The objective of this study is to present findings and insights about how counsellors execute their counselling practices. We performed a qualitative study that included 13 counsellors working in the 11 clinics offering DST in the Netherlands. We held a focus group discussion and individual face-to-face semi-structured interviews, which were fully transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. The counsellors combined screening for eligibility and guidance within one session. They acted according to their individual knowledge and clinical experience and had different opinions on the issues they discussed with intended parents, which resulted in large practice variations. The counsellors were dependent on the admission policies of the clinics, which were mainly limited to regulating access to psychosocial counselling, which also lead to a variety of counselling practices. This means that evidence-based guidelines on counselling in DST need to be developed to provide consistent counselling with less practice variation.
... This is particularly important as fathers continue to be underrepresented in family-based research (60). All of the studies recruited their samples through fertility clinics or hospitals and as such are likely to be more representative of assisted reproduction families than studies recruiting through support groups or online registries (61). ...
Article
This review examines the literature on the long-term outcomes for children and parents in families created through egg donation, focusing on child psychological adjustment, parental psychological health, and parent-child relationship quality. Where possible, outcomes were examined according to family disclosure status (i.e., whether or not the parents intended to tell/had told the child about their method of conception). The small body of empirical literature indicates that children and parents function well throughout childhood and into early adolescence, although there appear to be subtle differences in mother-child relationship quality. None of the differences found in relationship quality indicate problems in the mother-child relationship and instead reflect differences within the normal range.
... They concluded that the majority of offspring who had found their donor relations reported positive experiences and remained in regular contact with them. 33 Conversely, a study highlighting the benefits of nurturing a relationship with both sets of parents examined depression and externalizing problems of children in foster care (n= 362). Findings indicated that more frequent contact with the biological mother was marginally associated with lower levels of depression and significantly associated with lower externalizing problem behaviours. ...
Article
This paper is a preliminary study on the expected implications of some chosen biomedical developments on the loss of descent (nasab), its psychological effects on children and parents, and sociological effects generally. In the first part, this paper elaborates the meaning and importance of nasab (descent) in Islamic law, under consideration of the Higher Objectives of Shari’a, and explanation of some related legal rules. The second part investigates psychological impacts of unknown descent and reviews existing research in the field. The third and final part, presents five chosen scenarios i) human cloning through somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT); ii) surrogate motherhood; iii) IVF with sperm or egg donors; iv) anonymous milk banks; and v) mitochondria (mt) transplantation; in the light of the Islamic objective of nasab, its existence or non-existence, and possible consequences.
... Analogamente a quanto già evidenziato per la rappresentazione, i soggetti che sono stati informati tardivamente del dono di gameti tendono a mostrare un interesse risolutamente più spiccato tanto verso la conoscenza dell'identità del donatore, quanto verso la possibilità di poterlo effettivamente incontrare 33 . Le ragioni più ricorrenti all'origine della ricerca del donatore, o della donatrice, riguardano la volontà di conoscere l'aspetto fisico della persona, la storia genealogica e genetica, informazioni proficue dal punto di vista sanitario e, infine, la semplice curiosità 34 . Inoltre, nella maggior parte dei casi, la volontà di conoscere l'identità del donatore sorge in coincidenza con eventi di transizione biografica, come un lutto, la creazione di una nuova famiglia o l'ingresso nell'adolescenza 35 . ...
... But others search for information on the Internet. In investigations of motivations, adolescents and young adults who searched for their sperm donor and donor siblings were curious about resemblances in physical and personality characteristics, wanted to learn about their ancestry, and wished for a more complete story of how they were born (Canzi, Accordini, & Facchin, 2019;Jadva, Freeman, Kramer, & Golombok, 2010;Scheib, McCormick, Benward, & Ruby, 2020;Scheib, Ruby, & Benward, 2017). In many cases, these youth were more interested in their donor siblings than in their donors; they wanted information about their donor, and some wanted to meet him, but they usually did not see him as their father, and they were more likely to develop enduring connections with their donor siblings. ...
Article
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Ever since the birth of the first baby born through in vitro fertilization in 1978, advances in reproductive technologies have raised new concerns about the outcomes for children. In this article, I summarize research on children born through assisted reproduction involving a third party, that is, children born through egg donation, sperm donation, and surrogacy, with particular attention to the findings of a longitudinal study of children born to heterosexual couples in the United Kingdom. The assisted reproduction families generally showed high levels of family functioning and children's adjustment from early childhood through to adolescence, suggesting that biological relatedness is less important than positive parent–child relationships for the well‐being of children conceived by third‐party assisted reproduction. Similarly, studies of families created by third‐party reproduction with two mothers, single mothers, two fathers, and single fathers have shown that these families function well.
... Takođe, i većina roditelja podržava to traganje. Postoji istraživanje majki dece začete putem donora (Freeman, Jadva, Kramer & Golombok, 2009), i adolescenata i odraslih začetih putem donora (Jadva, Freeman, Kramer & Golombok, 2010), članova Donor Sibling Registra. Istraživači su želeli da saznaju zašto ljudi traže svoje donore i siblinge i šta se događa kada ih nađu. ...
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Praktikum „Izazovi savremene porodice“, nastao je zajedničkim radom autora Jelene Opsenice Kostić, Jelisavete Todorović i Ivane Janković za potrebe nastavnog predmeta „Porodica i porodični odnosi“, koji je počeo da se realizuje 2016. godine na Departmanu za socijalnu politiku i socijalni rad Filozofskog fakulteta u Nišu. Cilj priručnika je da posluži u realizaciji programa vežbi na ovom predmetu i tako je koncipiran da se nakon određenih celina, koje su obrađene u publikaciji, navode pitanja i teme za grupni i individualni rad studenata. Ono što ovaj rukopis čini posebno vrednim su aktuelne teme u vezi sa novim formama porodice, koje nastaju iz potrebe roditelja da imaju decu, a pri tom ne postoji dovoljno fizioloških uslova da se to ostvari. Ovim problemom iscrpno se bavi prvi autor doc. dr Jelena Opsenica Kostic. Zatim, slede teme iz oblasti procene funkcionalnosti porodice, što opet predstavlja delikatno pitanje za praktičare koji rade u sistemu socijalne zaštite sa pojedincima koji potiču iz razorenih i disfunkcionalnih porodica i porodicama u kojima su odnosi narušeni i preti im razvod. Ovim problemom se bavi prof.dr Jelisaveta Todorović, iz ugla porodične sistemske psihoterapije. Najteži vid disfunkcionalnosti porodičnih odnosa svakako jeste nasilje u porodici. O ovoj temi piše doc. dr Ivana Janković, baveći se kako žrtvama nasilja tako i počiniocima. Posebno je važno naglasiti da u ovom delu autor nudi razumevanje društveno istorijskog konteksta nastajanja i održavanja nasilja. iz predgovora prof. dr Jelisavete Todorović
... In our study participants were generally in contact with multiple donor halfsiblings (between eight and thirty-one) and met frequently in group settings rather than having individual (online) contacts with some, as described in previous studies (Blyth 2012;Hertz et al. 2017;Jadva et al. 2010). Hertz et al. (2017) analyzed how donor half-siblings and their parents interpreted these relationships with genetic relatives. ...
Article
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This article explores how Dutch people conceived via sperm donation attempted to make or unmake kinship with donor half-siblings, ‘strangers’ who are recently found to be ‘relatives.’ Research participants tried to gain a sense of agency in their kinship situation through DNA testing, but were challenged by how many unforeseen kin could emerge in this process. We examined how genetic ties were turned into social kinship and how they were unmade. In this work of kinship we differentiate three different phases: (1) searching for kin, (2) meeting half-siblings, and (3) kinning, de-kinning and/or being de-kinned. Our analysis shows that, while kinning and de-kinning in phase 1 and 2 was at first mainly determined by physical resemblances, as the contact intensified in phase 3, shared values and social similarities became increasingly important. We discuss the female overrepresentation in the search for donor kinship, which indicates that kinwork is mostly women’s work.
... In particular, donor-conceived youth have rarely been asked their views on the implications of their newly found relatedness (for recent exceptions see [17,21,22]). Overall, those studies that focus on donor conceived individuals report mostly positive experiences especially around contributing to a sense of identity [23][24][25]. The biggest research insights have had to do with the proliferation and differentiation of networks of donor-linked offspring and a sense of "family connection" [10,17,26]. ...
Article
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A fundamental part of the adolescent self is formed through interaction with intimates, usually family members whose roles are reasonably well-defined. However, donor siblings—children who share a sperm donor—lack social scripts for interacting with one another, particularly when they are raised in different households. Moreover, they are often challenged to figure out their relationship to newly discovered genetic relatives. This article examines how donor-conceived teens and young adults navigate relationships with their half siblings and form intimate relationships. Drawing on Garfinkel’s concept of indexing, or the use of familiar categories to make sense of new situations, these youth rely upon their personal knowledge of friends and family to figure out what kinds of relationship they can develop with donor siblings. Based on interviews with 62 youth aged 14–28, who had their own social media accounts and who had chosen to establish contact with their donor siblings, the articles discusses the three stages most donor siblings go through—“anticipation”, “first contact”, and “relationship building”—and the way those stages shape individual identity formation. In the course of the analysis, the article also explores whether interaction with donor siblings affected individual’s sense of identity and whether feelings of closeness with donor siblings differ for youth raised as solo children versus those who have siblings with whom they share a household. For those who report feeling close, youth describe how intimacy is sustained and negotiated at a distance. Finally, as much as youth pick and choose intimates from their larger network, the article also argues that their collective identity as related-kin members remains.
... Research on children born from gamete donation shows that many of them wish to know the identity of their biological parents. [36][37][38] Thus, the committee concluded that the creation of filius nullius (a child without biological parents) is not a desirable situation from the outset and constitutes harm to the fundamental interests of children. ...
Article
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The posthumous retrieval and use of gametes is socially, ethically, and legally controversial. In the countries that do not prohibit the practice, posthumous assisted reproduction is usually permitted only at the request of the surviving spouse and only when the deceased left written consent. This paper presents the recommendations of an ethics committee established by the Israeli Fertility Association. In its discussions, the committee addressed the ethical considerations of posthumous use of sperm-even in the absence of written consent from the deceased-at the request of either the spouse or the deceased's parents who wish to become the offspring's parents or grandparents. It is concluded that under certain conditions, a request by the deceased's parents to posthumously use the deceased's sperm is justified and should be granted.
Article
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España es el primer país europeo en número de ciclos de reproducción asistida y el tercero a escala mundial detrás de Estados Unidos y Japón. En cuanto al tipo de tratamiento específico, ocupa el primer lugar en Europa en donación de ovocitos. Sin embargo, pese a la potencialidad que representa España en la industria reproductiva y, especialmente, en la donación de gametos, apenas se conoce la versión de los/as donantes, las familias receptoras y la descendencia concebida a través de donación reproductiva. El objetivo de este texto es revisar y contrastar la escasa bibliografía existente en España sobre los actores protagonistas de un fenómeno cuyo volumen alcanza ya cifras llamativas, con la bibliografía internacional mucho más abundante.
Chapter
This chapter considers two new areas provoking debate in the UK that carry international implications. The growth of commercial ‘direct-to-consumer’ DNA testing companies is rapidly shifting the power balance towards those seeking genetic ‘relatives’ and allowing them to more readily determine for themselves what meaning this holds. But it is also producing unanticipated challenges. Emerging surrogacy practices are creating a ticking timebomb in relation to partial genetic secrecy aided by the combined dominance of commercial interests and those of medical science. Viewing these developments with the human rights of donor-conceived and surrogate-born persons at their core and contextualising them within the history of donor conception and a family formation continuum allows a different exploration to that driven by those advocating the ‘right to parent’ or focussing only on the exploitation of surrogates.
Chapter
This article reports on a systematic review of all (19) English language research reports published in peer-reviewed journals up to 2011 exploring donor-conceived people’s experiences and perceptions of donor conception. Most research concerned individuals conceived through sperm donation conducted under a regime promoting anonymity and nondisclosure. Correspondingly, little research considered other forms of collaborative reproduction or experiences in regimes where early parental disclosure was advocated or donors were potentially identifiable. Consistent findings were that most donor-conceived people have an interest in securing information about their genetic and biographical heritage. Although the research has methodological limitations, we concluded that the evidence is sufficiently robust to advocate policies and practices that promote transparency and openness in collaborative reproduction, thus maximising donor-conceived people’s future choices and opportunities.
Article
Objective To study how adult offspring in planned lesbian-parent families relate to their unknown or known donors. Design Qualitative analyses of the sixth wave of online surveys from a longitudinal study of adult offspring in planned lesbian families, enrolled at conception. Setting Community-based United States national study. Patient(s) The 76 participants were 25-year-old donor insemination (DI) offspring whose lesbian parent(s) enrolled in a prospective longitudinal study when these offspring were conceived. Intervention(s) None. Main Outcome Measure(s) Offspring were asked about donor type, feelings about permanently unknown donor, satisfaction with and role of known donor, whether relationship with known donor was ongoing, and age of meeting open-identity donor. Result(s) This cohort (n = 76) of DI offspring with lesbian parents was among the first generation to reach adulthood. Thirty participants had permanently unknown donors and most participants felt comfortable about not knowing them. Sixteen participants had open-identity donors they had not met. Thirty had currently known donors—met in childhood (n = 22) or after open-identity donor disclosure (n = 8)—of whom two thirds had ongoing relationships with donors, half considered their donors as acquaintances, and nearly half had good feelings about their relationship, although a minority expressed conflicted feelings. Conclusion(s) This study of adult DI offspring from planned lesbian families shows that those who knew their donors mainly felt positively about these relationships. Qualitative analyses offered insight into offspring-donor relationships, whose numbers are increasing due to historical and demographic trends.
Article
The structure of families has changed significantly over the last 40 years due to changes in legislation, technology, and societal attitudes. This article examines parenting and child development in new family forms, i.e., family forms that did not exist or were not visible until the latter part of the twentieth century. First, we give an overview of the historical and current context of new family forms. Then, we discuss parenting and child development in six new family types: families with lesbian mothers, families with gay fathers, intentional single-mother families, donor conception families, surrogacy families, and families with trans parents. Next, we discuss how research on the impact of new family forms on parenting and child development can inform our understanding of the relative influence of family processes and family structure on child development and parenting. We conclude with directions for future research. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Developmental Psychology, Volume 2 is December 15, 2020. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
Chapter
Third-party reproduction refers to assisted reproductive treatments involving the use of donor gametes or surrogacy. Children born through surrogacy or gamete donation may form strong familial relationships with other children raised in separate families with whom they share a genetic or gestational connection, using terms such as brother, sister, or half-brother, half-sister to describe these sibling-like relationships. Some families who have used surrogacy to conceive their child continue to see the surrogate after the birth and maintain close relationships as the child grows up. The children in these families therefore also grow up knowing each other and can form close relationships to one another. The chapter will draw from interview data carried out with 36 children of surrogates. They were aged 12–25 years and differed in terms of whether they had contact with the children their mothers had given birth to. In addition some surrogates had used their own egg for the pregnancy (traditional surrogacy) which meant their children were genetically related to the surrogacy born child. The chapter will explore how surrogates’ own children defined these relationships and how these relationships developed over-time. It will compare these findings to studies of individuals born through sperm donation who seek out others conceived using the same donor. The chapter will thus highlight the individual variation in the significance of these genetic or gestational connections. It will also discuss the limitations of our understanding of these new relationships as well as the limitations of the terminology used for defining these new connections.
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FULL TEXT available at: https://doi.org/10.1093/hropen/hoaa057 STUDY QUESTION: What interests and experiences do donor-conceived adults have with respect to same-donor peers/siblings, when they share an open-identity sperm donor? SUMMARY ANSWER: Donor-conceived young adults report considerable interest in, and primarily positive experiences with, their same-donor peers, with some finding ‘people like me’. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Through mutual-consent contact registries, director-to-consumer DNA testing and other means, donor- conceived people with anonymous (i.e. closed-identity) sperm donors are gaining identity- information from, and establishing relationships with, people who share their donor. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: Semi-structured, in depth telephone and Skype interviews with 47 donor-conceived young adults were carried out over a 31-month period. Inclusion criteria were being one of the first adults for each donor to obtain their identity and being at least 1-year post donor-information release. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Participants (aged 19–29 years, 68.1% women) were born to female same-sex couple parents (46.8%), a single mother (29.8%) or heterosexual couple parents (23.4%); all parents had conceived through the same US open-identity sperm donation program. The dataset was analyzed thematically and included interviews from only one participant per family. Each participant had a different donor. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Interest in, and experiences with, same-donor peers suggested that they occupy a unique position in the lives of donor-conceived young adults who share their open-identity donor. Contact can provide identity-relevant information and support through the availability of relationships (whether actualized or potential), shared experiences, and easier relationships than with their donor. Most donor-conceived young adults felt positively about their contact experiences. Of those not yet linked, almost all expressed an interest to do so. Some had met the children raised by their donor. When asked, all expressed an interest in doing so. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Interviews were conducted with donor-conceived young adults who were uncommon in their generation in terms of: having an open-identity sperm donor; the majority knowing about their family’s origins from childhood; and having parents that accessed at the time one of the only open-identity sperm donation programs. Further research is needed to assess applicability to all donor-conceived adults; findings may be more relevant to the growing number of people who have an open-identity donor and learned in childhood about their family’s origins. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Participants were among the first generation of donor-conceived adults with an open-identity sperm donor. Their experiences and perspectives can provide essential guidance to programs and others with similar origins. Early disclosure of family origins and identifying the donor did not diminish the young adults’ interest in their same-donor peers. Positive experiences suggest that the benefits of contact include not only identity-relevant information (through shared traits and experiences), but also relationships with and support from people who understand the uncommon experience of being donor conceived. Implications include the need to educate families and intended parents about the potential benefits of knowing others who are donor conceived, and the risk of unexpected linking across families by donors, regardless of donor-conceived person or family interest.
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This paper draws upon data from an online survey with closed- and open-ended questions completed by 168 identity-release sperm donors who had all donated in the UK between 2010 and 2016. Paying particular attention to the qualitative data obtained from the donors’ responses to the open-ended questions, this paper explores the sperm donors’ thoughts and feelings about being an identity-release donor and about future information exchange and contact with offspring conceived with their gametes. It shows that the majority of donors regarded identity-release donation as their preferred method of donation, supported the removal of anonymity, did not have concerns about being an identity-release donor and indeed saw positives for both the donor-conceived offspring and themselves. However, it also highlights that the donors’ thoughts and feelings about being an identity-release sperm donor, how they saw themselves in relation to the individual conceived with their donation, and their preferences for information exchange and contact, varied greatly. The paper explores how identity-release donation is surrounding by many unknowns and consequentially sperm donors struggle to conceptualize what it means to be an identity-release sperm donor. As well as adding to the literature on donor conception, relatedness and kinship, by giving voice to sperm donors’ own views and experience of the identity-release regulatory context, and their thoughts and feelings about future information exchange, this paper will help policy makers and clinicians prepare for the imminent time when donor-conceived individuals in the UK can start requesting their donor’s identity.
Article
Research Framework: New figures are emerging within the connections created by donor conception: same-donor-offspring. Objectives: Based on an anthropological study with sperm donor conceived adults in the United Kingdom and France, the article analyzes the distinctions that they establish between same-donor-offspring, siblings and the donor’s children in order to better understand what is involved in sharing “origins” when people have been conceived using the same donor. Methodology: The article draws on an empirical study through in-depth semi-directive interviews conducted between October 2017 and December 2019 with 17 sperm donor conceived adults in the United Kingdom and in France. Results: In the light of the relationships with siblings, the connections between same-donor offspring appear first as a paradoxical bodily bond that is materialized by a sharing of genes between strangers. The distinctions between children of the donor and donor conceived people then emphasize that, beyond genetics, it is the donation that specifies the links between same-donor-offspring. More than a progenitor, they share the circumstances of their conception, from which arise a shared narrative and common experiences that specify their bond. Finally, although the concrete relationships that are formed are characterized by their flexibility and their elective dimension, they nonetheless give rise to new norms and hierarchies. Conclusions: The study of the connections between same-donor-offspring suggests the constitution of a new relational category at the edges of kinship. Contribution: The article addresses donor conception through the collateral connections it produces. It contributes to the reflection on the content of the relations created by “origins”.
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Response representativeness is more important than response rate in survey research. However, response rate is important if it bears on representativeness. The present meta-analysis explores factors associated with higher response rates in electronic surveys reported in both published and unpublished research. The number of contacts, personalized contacts, and precontacts are the factors most associated with higher response rates in the Web studies that are analyzed.
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4 studies investigated the broad claim that preschoolers understand biological inheritance. In Study 1, 4–7-year-old children were told a story in which a boy was born to one man and adopted by another. The biological father was described as having one set of features (e.g., green eyes) and the adoptive father as having another (e.g., brown eyes). Subjects were asked which man the boy would resemble when he grew up. Preschoolers showed little understanding that selective chains of processes mediate resemblance to parents. It was not until age 7 that children substantially associated the boy with his biological father on physical features and his adoptive father on beliefs. That is, it was not until age 7 that children demonstrated that they understood birth as part of a process selectively mediating the acquisition of physical traits and learning or nurturance as mediating the acquisition of beliefs. In Study 2, subjects were asked whether, as a boy grew up, various of his features could change. Children generally shared our adult intuitions, indicating that their failure in Study 1 was not due to their having a different sense of what features can change. Studies 3 and 4 replicated Study 1, with stories involving mothers instead of fathers and with lessened task demands. Taken together, the results of the 4 studies refute the claim that preschoolers understand biological inheritance. The findings are discussed in terms of whether children understand biology as an autonomous cognitive domain.
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Donor insemination programs can include 'open-identity' sperm donors, who are willing to release their identities to adult offspring. We report findings from adolescent offspring who have open-identity donors. Using mail-back questionnaires, youths from 29 households (41.4% headed by lesbian couples, 37.9% by single women, 20.7% by heterosexual couples) reported their experience growing up knowing how they were conceived and their interest in the donor's identity. Most youths (75.9%) reported always knowing, and were somewhat to very comfortable with their conception origins. All but one felt knowing had a neutral to positive impact on their relationship with their birth mother and, separately, co-parent. The youths' top question about the donor was, 'What's he like?' and >80% felt at least moderately likely to request his identity and pursue contact. Finally, of those who might contact the donor, 82.8% would do so to learn more about him, with many believing it would help them learn more about themselves. No youth reported wanting money and few (6.9%) wanted a father/child relationship. We also discuss differences found among youths from different household types. The majority of the youths felt comfortable with their origins and planned to obtain their donor's identity, although not necessarily at age 18.
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Donor-assisted conception diverts genetic connection from parent and child to donor and offspring. This article examines ways in which the contributions of genes and relationships to the meaning of family are explained in the narratives of donors, recipients, and offspring of donated gametes and embryos. More than 80 people were interviewed and subsequently consulted about their narrative accounts, which reflect the canonical narrative of families based on genetic connection. Some parents concur with this narrative and struggle to accommodate the lack of genetic connection within their understanding of the family. Others emphasise relationships while simultaneously affirming the significance of genes by ensuring the same donor for each child. Simple categorisation is impossible. As donors, parents, and offspring construct narrative interpretations of donor-assisted conception, they reveal the complex interaction in the meaning of genes and relationships, and of negotiations between those whose lives include donor-assisted conception and their social context.
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This study presents findings from a large sample of donor offspring who are aware of the nature of their conception. Importantly, this is one of the first studies to compare the views of offspring told of their origins during childhood to those who found out during adulthood. Online questionnaires were completed anonymously by donor offspring who were members of the Donor Sibling Registry, a US-based worldwide registry that helps donor-conceived individuals search for and contact their donor and donor siblings (i.e. half-siblings). Data were obtained on offspring's feelings about being donor conceived and their feelings towards their parents. Offspring of single mothers and lesbian couples learnt of their donor origins earlier than offspring of heterosexual couples. Those told later in life reported more negative feelings regarding their donor conception than those told earlier. Offspring's feelings towards their parents were less clear, with some of those told later reporting more positive feelings and others reporting more negative feelings. Offspring from heterosexual-couple families were more likely to feel angry at being lied to by their mothers than by their fathers. The most common feeling towards fathers was 'sympathetic'. Age of disclosure is important in determining donor offspring's feelings about their donor conception. It appears it is less detrimental for children to be told about their donor conception at an early age.
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This study investigates the new phenomenon of parents of donor offspring searching for and contacting their child's 'donor siblings' (i.e. donor offspring conceived by the same donor) and donor. Online questionnaires were completed by 791 parents (39% lone-mother, 35% lesbian-couple, 21% heterosexual-couple, 5% non-specified) recruited via the Donor Sibling Registry; a US-based international registry that facilitates contact between donor conception families who share the same donor. Data were collected on parents' reasons for searching for their child's donor siblings and/or donor, the outcome of these searches and parents' and their child's experiences of any resulting contact. Parents' principal motivation for searching for their child's donor siblings was curiosity and for their donor, enhancing their child's sense of identity. Some parents had discovered large numbers of donor siblings (maximum = 55). Most parents reported positive experiences of contacting and meeting their child's donor siblings and donor. This study highlights that having access to information about a child's donor origins is important for some parents and has potentially positive consequences. These findings have wider implications because the removal of donor anonymity in the UK and elsewhere means that increasing numbers of donor offspring are likely to seek contact with their donor relations in the future.
Article
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4 studies investigated the broad claim that preschoolers understand biological inheritance. In Study 1, 4-7-year-old children were told a story in which a boy was born to one man and adopted by another. The biological father was described as having one set of features (e.g., green eyes) and the adoptive father as having another (e.g., brown eyes). Subjects were asked which man the boy would resemble when he grew up. Preschoolers showed little understanding that selective chains of processes mediate resemblance to parents. It was not until age 7 that children substantially associated the boy with his biological father on physical features and his adoptive father on beliefs. That is, it was not until age 7 that children demonstrated that they understood birth as part of a process selectively mediating the acquisition of physical traits and learning or nurturance as mediating the acquisition of beliefs. In Study 2, subjects were asked whether, as a boy grew up, various of his features could change. Children generally shared our adult intuitions, indicating that their failure in Study 1 was not due to their having a different sense of what features can change. Studies 3 and 4 replicated Study 1, with stories involving mothers instead of fathers and with lessened task demands. Taken together, the results of the 4 studies refute the claim that preschoolers understand biological inheritance. The findings are discussed in terms of whether children understand biology as an autonomous cognitive domain.
Article
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Findings are presented of a European study (conducted in the UK, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands) of family relationships and the social and emotional development of children in families created as a result of the two most widely used reproductive technologies, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and donor insemination (DI), in comparison with control groups of families with a naturally conceived child and adoptive families. Mothers of children conceived by assisted reproduction expressed greater warmth towards their child, were more emotionally involved with their child, interacted more with their child and reported less stress associated with parenting than mothers who conceived their child naturally. Similarly, assisted reproduction fathers were found to interact more with their child and to contribute more to parenting than fathers with a naturally conceived child. With respect to the children themselves, no group differences were found for either the presence of psychological disorder or for children's perceptions of the quality of family relationships. The findings relating to the quality of parenting and the socio-emotional development of the children were similar in each of the four countries studied.
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Although there is no evidence that any one policy is the best solution, clinics as well as legislators tend to impose one position about donor anonymity on all participants. The most evident alternative policy is to let the parties decide for themselves. Donors may choose between anonymity or identification and recipients can opt for an anonymous or identifiable donor. This 'double track' policy for anonymity represents the best attempt to balance the rights of donors, recipients and donor offspring. The procedure reflects the plurality of visions and the absence of an independent standard to decide which one is best.
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In the absence of research with adult donor offspring, this study begins to bridge that gap by asking individuals about their experiences as donor offspring and considering the implications for psychotherapeutic and counselling practice. Sixteen participants (13 male, three female, age range 26–55 years) recruited through donor insemination support networks in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, were sent semi-structured questionnaires by E-mail and post. Using identity process theory as a framework for understanding participants' accounts, the data were qualitatively analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Participants consistently reported mistrust within the family, negative distinctiveness, lack of genetic continuity, frustration in being thwarted in the search for their biological fathers and a need to talk to a significant other (i.e. someone who would understand). These experiences could be postulated as being indicative of a struggle to assimilate, accommodate and evaluate information about their new identities as donor offspring. Psychotherapists and counsellors need to be aware of these identity issues if they are to meet the needs of donor offspring within therapeutic practice.
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This paper suggests an innovative approach to the sharing of information between parents and their donor-conceived offspring. The `family-building' approach is offered in the hope that it will stimulate discussion and development. Traditionally, the emphasis has been on telling the child about his/her donor conception. This has the potential to unintentionally separate the child from the parents. The family-building approach presents donor conception as an issue concerning all members of the family, thus encouraging the child to see him/herself as an integral part of this family's history. Within this approach, the semen provider is acknowledged for his contribution and for having an ongoing significance in the family. It is important, however, to clearly differentiate between him as the genitor and the child's father as the loving and nurturing male in the family. Implications for professionals include the need to acknowledge that donor insemination does not only enable a woman to become pregnant but that it creates a family with a past, present and future. Therefore it will be helpful to provide information about and explore attitudes towards this type of family-building before couples start treatment.
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A growing number of donor insemination (DI) programmes offer 'open-identity' sperm donors, who are willing to have their identity released to adult offspring. We report findings from parents who chose such donors and whose children are now adolescents. Using mail-back questionnaires, parents from 45 households (40% headed by lesbian couples, 38% by single women, 22% by heterosexual couples) reported their experience with using an open-identity donor and disclosure about it, as well as their child's plans for donor identity-release(sm). Almost no parents regretted using an open-identity donor. Almost all parents had told their child about his or her DI conception early on and reported a neutral to moderately positive impact. Finally, of those who had told, almost all expected their child to obtain the donor's identity. We also discuss differences found between birth mothers and co-parents and among single women, lesbian couples, and heterosexual couples. Families were relatively open and positive about their use of DI and that their child could obtain the donor's identity. Disclosure did not appear to have a negative impact on the families, regardless of parental sexual orientation and relationship status.
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The purpose of this study was to compare anonymous and known donor mothers' demographics, knowledge about the donor, and disclosure attitudes. Cross-sectional survey of oocyte donation parents. Academic medical centers. Women having a child through oocyte donation in the past 12 years. Subjects completed a survey regarding their oocyte donation experience. Donor characteristics and disclosure behavior. Questionnaires were sent to 524 individuals (262 couples); 157 (92 women and 65 men) were returned yielding a response rate of 31.4% (157/500). The average age of the women was 44.7 years and the average age of the child was 2.89 years. Seventy women used anonymous donors and 20 women used known donors. Significantly more known recipients knew their donors' religion, number of children, hobbies, profession, and photograph. Eighty percent of both groups told others about using a donor to conceive. Regarding telling the child, there were also no significant differences with approximately 10% who have told, 49% plan to tell, 31% are not telling, and 10% are unsure. Contrary to conventional wisdom we found no differences in plans to inform the child based on the use of a known or an anonymous donor.
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To compare the quality of family relationships and children's socioemotional adjustment in families created by donor insemination where parents tended either toward disclosure or nondisclosure. A study of 46 families with a child aged 4-8 years who was conceived through donor insemination. The study used standardized interview data from mothers and fathers, teachers, and the children themselves. An assisted conception unit endorsing openness. Parents and their 4- to 8-year-old child conceived through donor insemination. Parents were interviewed, and children were administered psychological tests. Interviews and questionnaires assessing the quality of the marital relationship, parent-child relationships, and child psychological adjustment. Mothers from disclosing families reported significantly less frequent and less severe arguments with their children and considered their children to show a lower level of conduct problems and to be less of a strain. The disclosing parents viewed themselves as more competent at parenting. The differences that were identified indicated more positive parent-child relationships in the disclosing than in the nondisclosing families. However, this did not represent dysfunctional relationships in the nondisclosing families but instead reflected particularly positive ratings in the disclosing group.
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A major concern in relation to donor insemination (DI) is whether children should be told about their genetic origins. This study compared the thoughts, feelings and experiences of DI parents who were inclined towards openness with those who were inclined towards non-disclosure. Forty-six families with a 4- to 8-year-old DI-conceived child were interviewed about their decision, their reasons and subsequent concerns regarding disclosure. Thirty-nine percent of parents were inclined towards disclosure whilst the remaining 61% were not. The two main reasons for favouring disclosure were to avoid accidental discovery and a desire for openness. Non-disclosing parents felt that there was no reason to tell and wished to protect family members. The children who had been told reacted with either curiosity or disinterest. In spite of donor anonymity, parents who were intending to tell their child in the future had optimistic expectations of their child's reaction. Parents who had already told their child generally described the telling experience as a positive one.
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In 2004 a law was introduced in The Netherlands, which gives offspring conceived by semen or oocyte donation the right to know the identity of the donor. The law also regulates the provision of other information concerning the donor to the offspring, their parents or their general practitioner. With the introduction of this law, a choice has been made in which the wish of offspring prevails above others involved. Donors can no longer claim absolute anonymity; they are anonymous at the time of donation, but if a child aged ≥16 years requests information the donor may now be traced. During 15 years of debate on the abolition of donor anonymity the number of donors decreased by >70% and the number of semen banks by 50%. We describe the debate which led to the law, the characteristics of the law itself and note some of the probable and possible consequences for donor offspring, parents, donors and semen banks.
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To describe how parents envision, plan, and enact disclosing to their children that they were conceived with donor gametes. In-depth ethnographic interviews. Participants were recruited from 11 medical infertility practices and 1 sperm bank in Northern California. A total of 141 married couples who had conceived a child using donor gametes (62 with donor sperm and 79 with donor oocytes). Husbands and wives were interviewed together and separately. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts. Disclosing parents predominantly subscribed to one of two disclosure strategies: the conviction that early disclosure is of paramount importance so that the child "always knows," or the belief that later disclosure is preferable after family routines have been established and the child has the maturity to understand biologic concepts and has developed a sense of discretion. No parent regretted disclosing, and many expressed relief. Parents choosing early disclosure were more at ease with the disclosure process, whereas parents choosing later disclosure reported greater uncertainty about how and when to disclose. Parents wished for more peer and/or professional support and guidance to assist them with disclosure, not only initially but continuing long after their children were born.
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Information about US donor insemination programs was reviewed to determine whether an increasing number are offering open-identity donation. Results indicate that indeed, numbers are rising and that the ratio of open-identity to anonymous sperm donors in a program increases the longer that the program has offered an open-identity option.
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While a move away from non-disclosure and secrecy toward more openness is demonstrated in the changing practices of donor insemination worldwide, scholars and practitioners continue to debate the effects of disclosure versus secrecy. This study examines if an association exists between adult donor offspring's perceptions of their parents' use of topic avoidance to maintain secrecy, and their perceptions of their family's functioning. Using a cross-sectional design, a convenience sample of 69 young adult donor offspring completed a demographic questionnaire, a topic avoidance scale relative to each of their rearing parents, and the Beavers Self Report Family Instrument. There was a moderate significant inverse correlation between family functioning and topic avoidance in general, as well as for donor insemination-related topics, for both mothers (r = -0.55, r = -0.40, respectively, P <or= 0.01) and fathers (r = -0.53, r = -0.50, respectively, P <or= 0.01), even after controlling for demographic variables. Disclosure by both parents jointly was associated with higher family functioning than disclosure under other circumstances. While this study is limited by the convenience sampling, the correlational design and measuring offspring's subjective perceptions, findings suggest that the information about donor conception should not be held secret from offspring and that the parents should disclose jointly.
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To describe parents' disclosure decision-making process. In-depth ethnographic interviews. Participants were recruited from 11 medical infertility practices and 1 sperm bank in Northern California. One hundred forty-one married couples who had conceived a child using donor gametes (62 with donor sperm, 79 with donor oocytes). Husbands and wives were interviewed together and separately. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts. Ninety-five percent of couples came to a united disclosure decision, some "intuitively," but most after discussions influenced by the couples' local sociopolitical environment, professional opinion, counseling, religious and cultural background, family relationships, and individual personal, psychological, and ethical beliefs. Couples who were not initially in agreement ultimately came to a decision after one partner deferred to the wishes or opinions of the other. Deferral could reflect the result of a prior agreement, one partner's recognition of the other's experiential or emotional expertise, or direct persuasion. In disclosing couples, men frequently deferred to their wives, whereas, in nondisclosing couples, women always deferred to their husbands. Although the majority of couples were in initial agreement about disclosure, for many the disclosure decision was a complex, negotiated process reflecting a wide range of influences and contexts.
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To examine the experience of contact among families who share the same sperm donor and the purpose served by contact. Study 1: retrospective survey; study 2: archival data analysis. Donor insemination (DI) program. Study 1: 14 parents from the first cohort of matched families; study 2: Archival data about 515 families from the DI program. Study 1: Interview of parents via anonymous mail-back survey; study 2: none. Study 1: Survey questions focused on the family, contact experience, and relationship to the matched family. Study 2: Comparison of families in the matching service to DI program families on family structure, parity, and type of donor (anonymous or open-identity). Study 1: Single women and lesbian couples headed most families. Parents reported positive experiences with contact. Reasons for contact focused on creating family for the child and addressing questions about the donor. Study 2: Families with open-identity donors and those headed by single women were overrepresented in the matching service; heterosexual couple-headed families were underrepresented. Findings indicate positive outcomes for contact among families who share the same donor. Contact appears to serve the purpose of creating extended family for the child and may also help answer questions about the donor.
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A committee appointed by the New Zealand Government to inquire into developments in assisted human reproduction recommended in their 1994 report that all offspring born following the donation of embryos or gametes should have access to identifying donor information. This paper presents the Committee's conclusions, along with a description of current attitudes and practices in New Zealand. Sweden and New Zealand have, until recently, been the only two countries in the world that have adopted the ‘openness’ approach. Some brief comparisons are made between the approaches followed in these two countries.
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Compared disclosures by 45 families with a child conceived by donor insemination (DI) to those of 55 families with adopted children and 41 families with children conceived by in vitro fertilization. None of the DI parents had told their child. The factors found to create the greatest difficulties for disclosure were the father's infertility, the timing and method of telling, and the lack of genetic information for the child. The DI parents had also received little or no advice, and no support in relation to disclosure, and were uncertain about whether, when, and what a child should be told.
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This article describes a study which provides data about the long-term issues experienced by parents rearing children from in vitro fertilization and donor insemination programmes. Fifty-four families bringing up a total of 101 children, 74 of whom were the result of assisted conception interventions, were interviewed. The methodology was such as to secure a representative cross-section of participants. The findings presented in this article relevant to medicine and law relate to: (1) The consequences where 50% of the genetic history of a child created by the use of donated gametes is unknown to the parents and the child. (2) The impact of male infertility, as a largely taboo subject, on family relationships, and the consequent deception of the child. (3) The dilemmas of maintaining a secret for a lifetime from much loved children, all relatives and friends.
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The purpose of our study was to examine the disclosure decision by parents of children conceived by donor insemination. A qualitative component of a self-administered questionnaire mailed to 184 couples who had become parents by donor insemination encouraged respondents to volunteer their written comments, concerns, or opinions about their disclosure decision. A total of 70 men and 86 women submitted written comments indicating that 54% did not plan to disclose the donor insemination treatment (nondisclosers), 30% indicated they would (disclosers), and 16% remained undecided. The only significant relationship between the disclosure decision and expressed concern was with regard to confidentiality and honesty (chi2 = 99.9, p < 0.05). Whether parents viewed the disclosure issue as one of honesty (disclosers) or confidentiality (nondisclosers) was the major determinant in the decision of whether to tell children about their donor insemination origin. There was no association between disclosure status or gender and expressed concerns about parenting, children, or family relations.
Article
This study documents experiences of parents who chose to disclose, and intended to disclose to their children, information about the donor involvement, and children's responses when they received this information. Of the 181 parents who responded, 30% (n = 54) gave their children information about their conception (34 families). Couples chose to tell when `it just seemed right' or when they believed their children could understand their stories. The stories shared concerned the parents' inability to have children together, and the need for spermatozoa and specialist attention, and the families reading a book about donor insemination. There appeared to be an advantage in giving children this information at a young age, at which the information was processed in a factual, non-emotional way. Any questions asked by the children related to practical issues. These parents reported that it gave them opportunities gradually to introduce information as the children's understanding progressed. Of the parents who had not told (n = 127), 77% (n = 98) intended to disclose information in the future. This group gave their child's age and inability to understand as their main reasons for choosing to wait. Some 17% (n = 22) of parents who had not told chose not to disclose. There were no significant differences between the responses of mothers and fathers.
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By investigating egg donation families, donor insemination families, adoptive families, and families created by in vitro fertilization, the aim of the present study was to examine parents' emotional well-being, the quality of parenting, and childrens' socioemotional development in families with a child who is genetically unrelated to the mother or the father. The differences that were found to exist between families according to the presence or absence of genetic ties between parents and their children reflected greater psychological well-being among mothers and fathers in families where there was no genetic link between the mother and the child. The families did not differ with respect to the quality of parenting or the psychological adjustment of the child.
Article
The question whether or not parents of children conceived after donor insemination (DI) tell their offspring about its biological background was addressed. Swedish legislation from 1985 gives the child born after DI the right, when grown up, to receive identifying information about the sperm donor. Until now no information about compliance with the law has been available. All parents who gave birth to a child by DI after the new legislation in two major Swedish fertility centres (Stockholm and Umeå) received a questionnaire containing questions about the issue of informing the child. The response rate was 80%. The majority of parents (89%) had not informed their children, whereas 59% had told someone else. As a response to an open question, 105/132 parents chose to comment on their answer about not having informed their child. Of these families, 61 intended to tell their child later, 16 were not sure and 28 were not going to inform the child. Compliance with the law must be regarded as low since only 52% of the parents had told or intended to tell their child. In addition, concern is raised about the children who run the risk of being informed by someone other than their parents.
Article
Pioneering legislation regarding donor insemination was introduced in Sweden in 1985. The law gives the child, upon reaching sufficient maturity, the right to obtain information about the donor and his identity. One hundred and forty-eight Swedish couples with children conceived through donor insemination after the law was introduced have answered questions about disclosure and donation in a questionnaire. This article addresses the reasoning employed by individual couples in their decision whether or not to inform the children about their origin. Parental reflections on their decision and the children's reactions to receiving this information are also presented. Five categories of parental arguments are reported. These included 'reasons to tell', 'reasons not to tell', 'reasons why the question about telling or not would not be answered at all', 'inconclusive types of reasoning, that can still influence the fundamental decision' and 'context-dependent reasons associated with actual circumstances'. Through this meta-classification of arguments it was possible to identify clues to how professionals could facilitate parental decision-making and promote disclosure. Parents who had informed their children did not regret their decision. All of the parents who responded to the question of whether it had been beneficial to the child to tell answered 'yes'.
Article
The present article reviews the empirical research regarding the parent-child relationships and the development of children in donor insemination (DI) families. Over the years, follow-up studies have appeared sporadically and, despite the varying quality of the research methods, preliminary findings have emerged. Heterosexual DI parents were psychologically well adjusted and had stable marital relationships. DI parents showed a similar or higher quality of parent-child interaction and a greater emotional involvement with their children compared with naturally conceived families. The majority of studies which investigated several aspects of child development found that, overall, DI children were doing well. Findings with regard to emotional/behavioural development, however, were divergent in that some studies identified an increase of such problems while others did not. A steadily growing group within the DI population is lesbian mother families. More recently, follow-up studies have been carried out among DI children who were raised from birth by two mothers. Despite many concerns about the well-being of these children, no adverse effects of this alternative family structure on child development could be identified. As the DI children in all investigations were still young, our knowledge about the long-term effects of DI remains incomplete.
Article
This study examined the effects of normal aging on real-life-type problem-solving performance, using problems that had previously been found to be sensitive to lesions involving the frontal lobes. Executive skills assessed on abstract neuropsychological tests tend to decrease with normal aging. The effects of aging on tasks reliant on everyday knowledge and experience are less well understood. In the present study, groups of healthy older and younger people were compared on ability to solve real-life-type problems covering a range of everyday interpersonal situations. Performance was also examined on a range of standardized neuropsychological tests involving executive skills. Older people were similar to younger people in most aspects of everyday problem-solving performance, although the older group appeared to use a different strategy to the younger group in generating potential problem solutions. Both groups performed normally for their age on the executive tests. Comparisons based on raw scores rather than age-adjusted scores showed the younger group to perform better on the executive tests, but not on the problem-solving task. The possible contribution of knowledge and experience to problem solving on the current task is discussed. The greater life experience of the older group is likely to be the biggest contributory factor in maintaining problem-solving performance.