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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 September 2021

Unprecedented Relationships

Unprecedented Relationships

(p.1) Introduction Unprecedented Relationships
Random Families

Rosanna Hertz

Margaret K. Nelson

Oxford University Press

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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