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Jadva V.,University of Cambridge | Freeman T.,University of Cambridge | Kramer W.,Donor Sibling Registry | Golombok S.,University of Cambridge
Reproductive BioMedicine Online | Year: 2010

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. © 2010, Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Stephenson J.,University of Huddersfield | Blyth E.,University of Huddersfield | Kramer W.,Donor Sibling Registry
Asian Pacific Journal of Reproduction | Year: 2012

Objective: To ascertain the perspectives of parents of children conceived via oocyte donation regarding donor anonymity and disclosure of the nature of their conception to their children. Methods: Information was gathered by means of an anonymous online survey initiated by the Donor Sibling Registry, in which 108 parents with 143 children conceived following oocyte donation and aged between one year and 15 years participated. Results: Parental use of an anonymous or open-identity donor-and regardless of parental choice of donor-makes very little difference to the timing of parental disclosure to their donor-conceived child about their conception. The median age of children at disclosure is about 3.5 years; UK/Australian parents seem more ready to tell their children at an early stage (median age around two years) than North American parents (median age around 4.5 years), although about three quarters of all children have been told by the age of six years. Considerable ambiguity among parents who intend to disclose to their children as to the optimal age of disclosure is evidenced. Conclusions: Parents' experiences of disclosure to children at different ages need to be more thoroughly examined in order to establish a coherent body of knowledge that may facilitate improved evidence-based parental decision making. © 2012 Hainan Medical College.

Beeson D.R.,California State University, East Bay | Jennings P.K.,California State University, East Bay | Kramer W.,Donor Sibling Registry
Human Reproduction | Year: 2011

Background This study examines the findings from the largest survey to date of donor-inseminated (DI) offspring and focuses on respondents' learning of the method of their conception and their desire to contact their donor. Methods Online questionnaires were completed by 741 DI offspring, of whom 61.8 have heterosexual parents and 38.2 have lesbian parents. Respondents were recruited via the Donor Sibling Registry, a non-profit US-based international registry that facilitates communication between donor-conceived offspring and their non-biological and biological relatives. Data were collected on family composition, offsprings feelings regarding the method of their conception, communication within families, donor anonymity and their search for their donors. This investigation focuses on the relationship between family type (single or dual-parent and lesbian or heterosexual parent/s) and offsprings reactions to learning of their DI conception. Results Offspring of lesbian parents learned of their DI origins at earlier ages than offspring of heterosexual parents. In the latter families, disclosure tended to occur earlier in single-parent than in dual-parent families. Disclosure was most likely to be confusing to offspring of heterosexual parents, particularly when it occurred at an older age. The vast majority of offspring in all types of families desired contact with their donor; however, comfort in expressing curiosity regarding ones donor was lowest in dual-parent heterosexual families, with about one-quarter reporting an inability to discuss their origins with their social father. Conclusions Although the findings are not based on a random sample, the desire among offspring surveyed here is for greater openness and contact with their donor. A variety of strategies are needed for offspring of heterosexual couples to benefit optimally from the general trend toward openness in gamete donation. © 2011 The Author.

Slutsky J.,The New School | Jadva V.,University of Cambridge | Freeman T.,University of Cambridge | Persaud S.,The New School | And 4 more authors.
Fertility and Sterility | Year: 2016

Objective: To study the processes by which donor-conceived children incorporate donor conception into their subjective sense of identity. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Family homes. Patient(s): Nineteen donor-conceived adolescents. Intervention(s): Administration of an interview and questionnaire. Main Outcome Measure(s): The mother-child relationship was assessed through the Friends and Family Interview, a semistructured interview designed to assess adolescents' security of attachment in terms of secure-autonomous, insecure-dismissive, insecure-preoccupied, and insecure-disorganized attachment patterns. The Donor Conception Identity Questionnaire assessed adolescents' thoughts and feelings about donor conception, yielding two factors: [1] curiosity about donor conception and [2] avoidance of donor conception. Result(s): Statistically significant associations were found between the Curiosity scale and the secure-autonomous and insecure-dismissing attachment ratings. Adolescents with secure-autonomous attachment patterns were more interested in exploring donor conception whereas those with insecure-dismissing patterns were less likely to express curiosity. Insecure-disorganized attachment ratings were statistically significantly correlated with the Avoidance scale, indicating higher levels of negative feelings about donor conception. Conclusion(s): The results of this study of the influence of parent-child relationships on thoughts and feelings about donor conception in adolescence suggest that the valence of the parent-child relationship influences adolescents' appraisal of their donor conception within the context of their growing sense of identity. © 2016 The Authors.

Sawyer N.,University of Ballarat | Blyth E.,University of Huddersfield | Kramer W.,Donor Sibling Registry | Frith L.,University of Liverpool
Reproductive BioMedicine Online | Year: 2013

This paper reports the results of an online survey of 1700 recipients of donor spermatozoa conducted by the Donor Sibling Registry, aiming to understand the perspectives of respondents who had used donor spermatozoa. The survey examined: choice of sperm bank and donor; reporting of births and genetic disorders; disclosure; contact with donor and half-siblings; regulation of sperm donor activity and genetic testing; and access to medical information. The respondents formed three groups: single women; women in a same-sex relationship; and women in a heterosexual relationship. Some differences between the three cohorts were observed: preinsemination counselling; acceptance of donors without medical records or with chronic or late-onset diseases; awareness of choice of bank and type of donor; and views on the right of offspring to know their genetic origins. However, important areas of common ground were identified: the wish by those who had used an anonymous donor that they had used an open-identity donor; support for, and willingness to pay for, comprehensive genetic testing of donors; and desire for access to their donor's family health information. The implications of these results for policies concerning the use and management of donor spermatozoa will be discussed. © 2013, Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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