Rosanna Hertz and Margaret K. Nelson, Random Families: Genetic Strangers, Sperm Donor Siblings, and the Creation of New Kin
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Each year, tens of thousands of children are born in the United States through the use of donor eggs, sperm, or embryos, and experts estimate that there are already more than one million people born via these “donor gametes” worldwide. In the past, not only were donors assured of anonymity, but also parents were told not to tell anyone they had used donors.
That’s changed. In an era of advances in DNA testing, including direct-to-consumer kits, the ability to maintain secrecy about involvement in donor conception is, to say the least, questionable. Parents are no longer counseled not to tell their children that they are donor-conceived, donors often choose to provide gametes under conditions that permit their identity to be released when offspring turn 18, and parents who used the same donor, along with their offspring, are increasingly looking for, and finding, each other and their donors.
How do these newly connected individuals think about their origins and their relationships with...