This paper aims to gain in-depth understanding of why some donor-conceived offspring want to know Donors looking offspring sperm identity of their sperm donor. Step-by-step inductive thematic analysis was performed on first-hand quotes from donor-conceived offspring selected from a wide range of sources including empirical studies and donor conception networks, registries and support groups.
The analysis shows that there is Donors looking offspring sperm variance among identity-seekers in the weight they attribute to wanting to know their donor. In carrying over these arguments to the context of donor conception, a central claim is that being denied access to donor-identifying information goes against the rights and needs of DC offspring to establish their own identity Frith, For one, the analogy between adoption and donor conception is contested Horowitz et al.
In academic discussions on donor anonymity, little or no effort is made to explain what the identity problems of DC offspring encompass and whether the genealogical bewilderment of adoptees is in fact readily transmissible to their Donors looking offspring sperm. Most often, identity issues are invoked in general, abstract words and the comparison with adoption is assumed to be convincing enough Chestney, ; Daniels, ; Cahn, Given this, it seems helpful to consult the personal experiences of DC offspring themselves in order to have a better understanding of the interests at stake.
However, the collection of reliable and generalizable data has proven to be Donors looking offspring sperm challenging. This is due to the fact that many DC offspring cannot be consulted as they have not been told about their conception status. Moreover, the research participants are typically recruited from support networks, which in itself carries a risk of selection bias Ravitsky and Scheib, There is nonetheless empirical evidence that at least some DC offspring would like to obtain identifying information about their donor Hewitt, ; Scheib et al.
The main motivation of donor-identity seekers appears to be curiosity Beeson et al. In a survey of DC offspring conducted by Jadva et al. In a study of adolescent offspring with open-identity donors, Scheib et al. The authors conclude, as do Jadva et al.
In a survey of Australian recipients, donors and DC offspring, Rodino et al. Their reasons for having chosen certain items as most important included: To some offspring, however, their donor conception status is not important Vanfraussen et al. This study is an attempt to complement the empirical research Donors looking offspring sperm already. In particular, the aim is to gain a better, in-depth understanding of why some DC offspring want to know the identity of their sperm donor and what exactly they hope to gain from this.
First-hand quotes from DC offspring were selected from a broad range of sources academic and popular, published and unpublishedusing Google searches. The inclusion criteria for our material were: Due to the amount of material available, we excluded individual blogs, interviews and focused on iii sources which present points of view of multiple DC offspring. In order to obtain a rich data set, two different searches were conducted. A first search involved listing the online platforms where DC offspring generally seek information and communicate or discuss their views about their donor conception: Only forums that were publicly accessible which required no login were selected.
We chose to do this for ethical reasons: Through this search, we identified 9 online sources which contained quotes that fulfilled our criteria: While such studies have preselected personal accounts in function of Donors looking offspring sperm own research questions, they remain a rich source of material.
Through this search, 21 studies were identified which fulfilled our Donors looking offspring sperm Beeson et al.
Within the data corpus, a particular data set was analysed where the respondents referred to the search for their donor or their wish to know more about him. Step-by-step inductive thematic analysis was performed, resulting in themes that are grounded in the data.
All phases of the analysis were followed by discussions with the co-authors. What else is hidden there?
Another common concern is that, not knowing who their donor is, puts them at risk of consanguineous relationships with other offspring of the same donor. Donor-identity seekers share a similar interest in knowing more about the donor, his background and motives:.
Donors looking offspring sperm some, these stories need a more historical perspective and should include knowledge about his ancestry and social and cultural background:. Where does he come from? Where do his parents and grandparents come from? For many DC offspring, a rich family narrative is important, not only for them but for their children and future generations as well. Because they ground, bind and root us to people and history.
We Donors looking offspring sperm our stories from theirs and pass them on to our own children. Some donor-identity seekers are not only interested in the story behind their donor, they also seek a deeper connection with him. DC offspring often refer to the meaning they attach to the fact that they share a genetic or blood tie. This is often viewed as more than merely biological relatedness, it conveys a meaningful bond of some sort. One interpretation of why this genetic tie matter is the fact that the donor lies at the origin of their very existence.
Some DC offspring therefore feel a need to trace their donor so to thank him for having made their conception possible:. You hunt them down to thank them for such a wonderful present, for the lovely intention, for giving. The donor is therefore sometimes sought in the hope of creating a sense of true belonging:.
I would be curious to know where I fit in, in a sense. There really is no such thing as a donor in relation to his offspring. This sense of family belonging is often fed by the perceived importance of physical resemblance between family members:.
I would knock on his door - it would be a shiny brass knocker and the paint work would be green.
The door would open and his round, placid face would break into a delighted smile Another need felt by some donor-identity seekers is to explore and assess their likeness with their donor.
In a Donors looking offspring sperm sense, many DC offspring seem to be curious about physical, temperamental and behavioural similarities with the donor.
What does he do? What are his hobbies? I am the only one in my family who is left-handed. These people tend to stress the genetic contribution to their physical and mental make-up. It does however often stem from the experience of incongruities of their physical and personality features within their families:.
For some DC offspring, ideas about inheritance are far-reaching. Now I realized that I am actually half Jewish, and half from Russia. That totally makes sense to me. It totally explains a lot of things to me.
While some donor-identity seekers want to identify the origin of certain assumed genetically inherited traits to better understand why they are a certain way, others feel they need a genetic reference point to find out who they are or who they can become.
The hope is that insight in the genetic similarities and differences with the donor Donors looking offspring sperm help discover or affirm defining aspect of oneself.
Without such a reference point, some donor-identity seekers claim to experience difficulties in validating their interests and capacities:. For them, the lack of information about one genetic parent implies that they are completely left in the dark about half of their identity:.
I thought it was hysterical. I guess it changed my view of my identity. It changed it in a positive way. Instead of being the child of this terrible Donors looking offspring sperm [her social father], I was probably the daughter of a doctor [the donor].
Many donor-identity seekers are driven by a sense of entitlement to information about their donor.