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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: 06 December 2021

Connected Soul Mates

Connected Soul Mates

Emotional Ties

(p.159) 8 Connected Soul Mates
Random Families

Rosanna Hertz

Margaret K. Nelson

Oxford University Press

The Soul Mates network is distinctive on two counts. First, it is a large network with over twenty-two children. Second, it represents a turning point in network creation: the initial group formed when all of the children were toddlers. The children in this network thus have known about donor siblings for as long as they can remember. Among the members of this network one finds neither group cohesion nor bland disinterest. Rather the network provides opportunities for pairs of parents and pairs of children to find particular meaning in their relationships with each other. The fact that there is a medical issue of autism spectrum disorder (which might come from the donor) running through some offspring complicates—and sometimes intensifies —these relationships. Born between 2003 and 2006, the children interviewed are eleven- and twelve-year-olds.

Keywords:   donor sibling, sperm donor, registry, autism spectrum disorder, single-mother family, two-mother family, lesbian family, sperm sibling, group formation, technology

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