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.
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