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Random FamiliesGenetic Strangers, Sperm Donor Siblings, and the Creation of New Kin$
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Rosanna Hertz and Margaret K. Nelson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190888275

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190888275.001.0001

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Unprecedented Relationships

Unprecedented Relationships

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction Unprecedented Relationships
Source:
Random Families
Author(s):

Rosanna Hertz

Margaret K. Nelson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190888275.003.0001

This chapter introduces the concept of networks of strangers linked by reliance on the same sperm donor. It draws on participants’ use of the language of genes and the language of choice to explain how these networks develop. Because the relationships within these networks are unprecedented, the members have to decide for themselves naming conventions and social norms. The introduction suggests the importance of these relationships at a time when family size is shrinking. It includes a discussion of research methods, describing how the authors located respondents and the characteristics of respondents (212 parents and 154 donor-conceived children). It also explains how the authors chose to feature particular networks that reflected different eras, different age groups of children, and different internal dynamics.

Keywords:   donor conception, donor sibling, research method, gene, kinship, random families, incomplete institutionalization, Donor Sibling Registry, family by choice, network

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