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Finding Our Families: A First-of-Its-Kind Book for Donor-Conceived People and Their Families Paperback – December 3, 2013

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Finding Our Families: A First-of-Its-Kind Book for Donor-Conceived People and Their Families + Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates: Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Wendy Kramer created the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) website with her son, Ryan, and is also its director. She lives in Nederland, Colorado.
Naomi Cahn is a family law professor and the Harold H. Greene Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Avery (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583335269
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583335260
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Co-Founder and Director, Donor Sibling Registry (DSR)

The DSR is a charity organization, founded in 2000 by Wendy Kramer and her donor conceived son Ryan, to assist individuals conceived as a result of sperm, egg or embryo donation that are seeking to make mutually desired contact with others with whom they share genetic ties. With more than 44,000 worldwide members, the DSR has helped to facilitate contact between more than 11,500 people with their half siblings and/or their donors (biological parents).

Without any outside support, the DSR has pioneered an international discussion about the donor conception industry and the families, with its research, speaking engagements and media appearances. Wendy has co-authored many published papers on donor conception, has reviewed abstracts for the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and has also been a peer reviewer for the journals Human Reproduction and RBM Online. Wendy and her son Ryan have appeared on 60 Minutes, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America and many other news shows and publications such as the NY Times, TIME and Newsweek.

Television
2011: Associate Producer on the Emmy nominated TV show "Sperm Donor".
2013: Associate Producer of MTV News & Docs 6 part series, "Generation Cryo"


Published Research
The following research has been presented at meetings and conferences around the world, including: ASRM, ESHRE, British Fertility Society, Australian Fertility Society, CRYO, Human Reproduction, ASPIRE and several sociology, family, mental health, genetics, gynecology and obstetrics, legal and LGBT conferences in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.


2013 Chapter published in book "Visions of the 21st Century Family: Transforming Structures and Identities": Making Sense of Donors and Donor Siblings: A Comparison of the Perceptions of Donor-Conceived Offspring in Lesbian-Parent and Heterosexual-Parent Families. Margaret Nelson, Rosanna Hertz and Wendy Kramer

2013 Reproductive BioMedicine Onine: A Survey of 1700 Recipients of Donor Sperm: the views of women who formed their families using donor spermatozoa. Neroli Sawyer, Eric Blyth, Wendy Kramer and Lucy Frith.

2013 Advances in Reproductive Sciences: Genetic and Health Issues Emerging from Sperm Donation: The Experiences and Views of Donors. Ken Daniels and Wendy Kramer.

2013 The Journal of Family Issues, A New Path to Grandparenthood: Parents of Egg and Sperm Donors. Authors: Diane Beeson, Patricia Jennings, Wendy Kramer

2013 Social Science and Medicine: Donor-Conceived Offspring Conceive of the Donor: The Relevance of Age, Awareness, and Family Form. Rosanna Hertz (Wellesley College), Margaret K. Nelson (Middlebury College), Wendy Kramer

2012 Reproductive BioMedicine Online: Semen donors who are open to contact with their offspring: issues and implications for them and their families. Authors: Ken Daniels, Wendy Kramer and Maria Perez-y-Perez.

2012 Reproductive BioMedicine Online: Perspectives, experiences and choices of parents of children conceived following oocyte donation. Authors: Eric Blyth, Wendy Kramer, and Jennifer Schneider.

2012 Asia Pacific Journal of Reproduction: Donor type and parental disclosure following oocyte donation. Authors: John Stephenson, Eric Blyth, Wendy Kramer, and Jennifer Schneider

2012 Reproductive BioMedicine Online: Forming a family with sperm donation: a survey of 244 non-biological parents. Authors: Lucy Frith, Neroli Sawyer, and Wendy Kramer.

2011 Human Reproduction: Offspring searching for their sperm donors: how family type shapes the process. Authors: Diane Beeson, Wendy Kramer, and Patricia K. Jennings.

2010 Human Reproduction: Sperm and oocyte donors' experiences of anonymous donation and subsequent contact with their donor offspring.* Authors: Tabitha Freeman, Vasanti Jadva, Wendy Kramer, Susan Golombok.

2010 Reproductive BioMedicine Online: Experiences of offspring searching for and contacting their donor siblings and donor.* Authors: Vasanti Jadva, Tabitha Freeman, Wendy Kramer, Susan Golombok. This paper was nominated for the 2011 Robert G. Edwards Prize Paper Award.

2009 Human Reproduction: The experiences of adolescents and adults conceived by sperm donation: comparisons by age of disclosure and family type.* Authors: Vasanti Jadva, Tabitha Freeman, Wendy Kramer, Susan Golombok.

2009 Human Reproduction: Gamete donation: parents' experiences of searching for their child's donor siblings and donor.* Authors: Tabitha Freeman, Vasanti Jadva, Wendy Kramer, Susan Golombok.

2009 Human Reproduction: US oocyte donors: a retrospective study of medical and psychosocial issues. Authors: Wendy Kramer; Jennifer Schneider and Natalie Schultz

*Partnership with the Family Centre, University of Cambridge, UK

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is full of the kind of information I wish I'd had while navigating the childhood of my donor conceived son. I don't think very many of us considered all of the issues and questions that would arise as our children got older. Even though my son is now 21 years old there were still many questions to be answered. After reading the book cover to cover I can honestly say that "Finding Our Families" provides answers to ALL of the questions our family has pondered over the years. It also includes helpful information about how and where to begin your search for your donor and/or a donor sibling. If for no other reason than to have access to any disease/genetic information that has come to light since the donor filled out his profile as a young and healthy college student. We registered with the DSR (Donor Sibling Registry) when it first began and my son has connected with one of his two donor sisters. Their relationship with each other has been a gift to both of them and they continue to text and/or talk daily even though they are in colleges on opposite coasts. One of the most important points that Wendy makes is that it's hypocritical for parents, who so strongly desired a biological connection to their child that they chose to use donor sperm/egg so the child would be biologically related to one of the parents, to expect that their child doesn't have the same desire and right to have that same biological connection with their donor or donor siblings. Although it has long been established that secrecy in adoptive families is emotionally devastating to the adopted child it hasn't been acknowledged or accepted (in the U.S.) that donor conceived children have the same issues. My hope is that everyone connected to the sperm/egg donor industry, including the donors, will read this book.Read more ›
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I had a REALLY hard time with this book. I may be wrong, but I got the feeling that the author who had a donor child, was a single mom by choice. It seemed to me that the book was written very much through that lens. Based on the reading I have done, the most common folks to seek donor sperm are single moms by choice, lesbian couples, and heterosexual couples. I have read that the children born in these different scenarios, will often have different tendencies regarding how interested they are in their donor. Typically, children born to single moms will have the most interest in their donor and children born to heterosexual couples (especially when they are close with their dad), will have the least interest in their donor. I have read accounts of teenagers and adults who are born into this last scenario, and their interest in their donor ranged from mild curiosity to indifference. However, in this book, nearly every donor child quoted, seem to have a passionate interest in meeting their sperm donor and was "thrilled" upon making contact with him. Perhaps, the donor children that contributed to this book were all from the Donor Sibling Registry. While I think the sibling registry is a valuable resource, I do not think that the feelings of the kids on the donor registry are representative of donor kids on the whole. By default, kids on the registry are going to have more interest in their donor connections.

I was also uncomfortable when the authors would start a sentence with "you need to". There are so many different types of families and situations and using a donor often has a lot of complexities. I do not find the "one-size-fits-all" approach to be helpful and I think it can even be hurtful.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. Burke on June 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this book has a lot to offer. I also think there is at least one aspect in which it misses the mark completely, which left me disappointed and frustrated. I suspect this is a good guide for most using sperm donation. For the egg donor camp, I felt the authors left much to be desired.

As anyone knows going through fertility challenges as well as donor conception exposes a large amount of insensitivity and naivety. This can be hurtful but for the most part, it probably is not intentional. It comes from a place of not having to be informed, of not being informed, and not understanding the important emotional piece that connects all of these issues in a large way. That emotional piece also makes the experience different for every person so perhaps not everyone using egg donation will agree with my perspective.

I suspect that anyone who has contributed a comment here cares very much about donor conception and for many it likely changed their lives in an immeasurably positive fashion. That is why I am disappointed. All parents want their children to have the best possible lives and part of that is being clear about where we come from as individuals and how this impacts the individual and the individual’s families. It is in our face even more so as donor conceived families. If I am regularly bothered by insensitive comments, I will not be the best parent to my donor child. If I do what I can in appropriate forums to educate those around me, I take my disappointment and turn it into learning opportunities not only for my child but for others so perhaps they will not be so insensitive or uninformed when they meet your donor child next week or another donor parent next month.

I wished when I was reading this that the authors would have been more accurate.
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