Genetic connection and relationships in narratives of donor-assisted conception
Source TitleAustralian Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society
PublisherAustralian Centre for Emerging Technologies and Society
University of Melbourne Author/sKirkman, Maggie
AffiliationMedicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences: Key Centre for Women's Health in Society
Document TypeJournal (On-line/Unpaginated)
CitationsKirkman, M. (2004). Genetic connection and relationships in narratives of donor-assisted conception. Australian Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society, 2(1).
Access StatusThis item is currently not available from this repository
Copyright permission has been sought but has not been received, therefore this material will remain restricted.
Donor-assisted conception diverts genetic connection from parent and child to donor and offspring. This article examines ways in which the contributions of genes and relationships to the meaning of family are explained in the narratives of donors, recipients, and offspring of donated gametes and embryos. More than 80 people were interviewed and subsequently consulted about their narrative accounts, which reflect the canonical narrative of families based on genetic connection. Some parents concur with this narrative and struggle to accommodate the lack of genetic connection within their understanding of the family. Others emphasise relationships while simultaneously affirming the significance of genes by ensuring the same donor for each child. Simple categorisation is impossible. As donors, parents, and offspring construct narrative interpretations of donor-assisted conception, they reveal the complex interaction in the meaning of genes and relationships, and of negotiations between those whose lives include donor-assisted conception and their social context.
Keywordsdonor assisted conception; family relationships; narrative; genetic connection
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