The Family Equality Council is recommending Finding our Families on their website and I will be doing a webinar with them on March 12th. Very exciting partnership!
From their website: Family Equality Council connects, supports, and represents the three million parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender in this country and their six million children.
AUTHOR IN THE SPOTLIGHT
WENDY KRAMER is the Director of the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR). The DSR is a charity organization, founded in 2000 by Wendy 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 almost 42,000 worldwide members, the DSR has helped to connect almost 11,000 people with their half-siblings and/or their donors. 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, and has also been a peer reviewer for the journals Human Reproduction and RBM Online. She was Associate Producer on the Style Network’s 2011 Emmy nominated show Sperm Donor and most recently on the MTV docu-series Generation Cryo. Wendy and her son Ryan have appeared on 60 Minutes, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America and many other news shows and publications. Wendy is co-author of the book Finding our Families: A first-of-a-kind Book for Donor Conceived People and Their Families
Wendy holds a B.A. from Long Island University.
What motivated you to write a book(s) that is specifically inclusive of LGBTQ families/issues?
The Donor Sibling Registry is made of many types of families, with around one third of the parents on our website in LGBTQ families. Writing a book for donor-conceived people was then very naturally inclusive of LGBTQ families.
What do you personally feel makes a family?
We’re used to hearing many definitions of family, and we see all of these actively defining family on the DSR. For instance: A group consisting of parents and children living together in a household, a group of people related to one another by blood or marriage, friends and family who provide support, a person or people related with a special loyalty or intimacy, and all the descendants of a common ancestor.
On the DSR we have people searching for their genetically related family, while also having family at home with whom they share no genetic ties- sometimes siblings and sometimes the parents who raise and love them. We’ve learned over the years that everyone defines “family” differently, and we actively support all definitions of family on the DSR. Personally, I never imagined that the people genetically related to my son via his (formerly anonymous) sperm donor would be viewed as family, but alas, they have become very much family to us- the donor, his parents and my son’s half sisters and their families. So we, like so many others, have had to revise and expand our own definition of family.
What does “equality” look like to you?
I think the DSR’s Non Discrimination Policy best explains our position on equality:
The Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) believes that diversity is a fundamental value. We believe that greater diversity will enhance the quality of all families and communities and enrich understandings between people. The DSR provides equal opportunity for all its members, volunteers, employees and applicants for employment regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran status, age, gender, marital status, height and weight. The DSR expects all of its members, volunteers and employees to join together to develop a community where everyone values individual and group differences, and respects the perspectives of others.
Whose books do you admire and why?
I am currently reading a fantastic book about parenting “exceptional” children by Andrew Solomon called Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search For Identity. The author tells stories that illustrate how diversity unites us all. We hear from parents dealing with all types of “exceptional” children, for example, parents with transgender, profoundly gifted, deaf and autistic children finding deep meaning in working through both their personal and their parenting challenges.
What’s coming up next for you?
The Donor Sibling Registry will continue to connect, support and educate all those in the “donor family”, the industry, and the public. We have an exciting research project in the works looking at the connections made amongst half-siblings on the DSR, and how these relationships are defined so differently by everyone. After the showing of Generation Cryo, our MTV docu-series that aired in December of 2013, we are now looking towards other projects that will highlight the diversities and issues of all those who utilize donor conception to create and expand their families.