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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: 16 October 2021

Michael’s Clan

Michael’s Clan

The Arrival of the Father

(p.81) 5 Michael’s Clan
Random Families

Rosanna Hertz

Margaret K. Nelson

Oxford University Press

The same-sex couples highlighted in this narrative are members of the “families of choice” cohorts that arose during the 1980s. Although they were establishing a new family form, the mothers in a two-mother family told their child that he had a sperm donor “father” whom he could meet when he turned eighteen. When the meeting occurred, the two formed a limited father-child bond. The donor provides emotional support, but he does not offer any material support. When other offspring from the same donor contact him, the donor introduced the donor siblings to each other. The members of this network reconsider ideas about the relative influence of nature and nurture. Yet ideas about chosen families remain central to the manner in which the members relate to one another. Born between 1986 and 1990, the kids in this network were between twenty-four and twenty-eight years old at the time of the interviews.

Keywords:   family of choice, chosen family, sperm donor, nature versus nurture, donor sibling, lesbian family, two-mother family, random families

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