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ss triple helix - Christmas 2008,  Who am I? Experiences of Donor Conception

Who am I? Experiences of Donor Conception

Alexina McWhinnie
Idreos Education Trust 2006
£6.95 pb; 66pp
ASBN 09554031 0 3

Joanne, Christine and Louise were all conceived following donor insemination (DI) Having been aware early in life of this, Joanne experiences increasing 'genetic bewilderment'.

Christine's domineering mother used this secret knowledge as a weapon against here. The eighteen months after Louise learned the truth were the darkest of her life.

Social scientist Dr McWhinnie considers research into the lives of families in which children have been conceived by gamete donation. Around 90 published analyses confirm these three stories as being typical. When the pain of fractured identify and family strain becomes intense, a DI-conceived person may even feel angry they were ever born.

The issue of donor anonymity is another issue. Louise speaks for her co-contributors: 'The least harmful scenario … is one where the child is told the truth from an early age, and where identifying information is available about the donor'. Mc Whinnie concludes: 'It is more than time that the voices and experiences of DI offspring should be recognised and listened to … they carry for a lifetime the consequences of assisted reproductive technological intervention: intervention which they do not choose or consent to'. I couldn't agree more!

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