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Hum Reprod. 2001 Sep;16(9):1792-6.

Sharing information with donor insemination offspring. A child-conception versus a family-building approach.

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Department of Social Work, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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