Finding Our Families: A First-of-Its-Kind Book for Donor Conceived People and Their Families

 

The first comprehensive book for children born through donor conception and their families

An estimated more than one million people have been born in the U.S. through donor sperm or eggs, including Wendy Kramer’s son. Realizing the unique concerns of being or parenting a donor-conceived child, Kramer launched what would become the world’s largest database for connecting donor-conceived people, the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR).

Finding Our Families provides additional support for this growing community. With compassion and insight, the authors draw on extensive research to address situations families face throughout a donor-conceived child’s development, including the search for a biological parent or half-sibling, and how to forge a healthy self-image.

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If you are thinking about having a baby through donor conception, this book is for you. If you are a donor conceived person, this book is for you. If you are a parent raising a child who came to you through the help of an egg or sperm donor, this book is for you. If you are a medical or mental health professional, helping people build their families through donor conception, this book is for you…

With wise, compassionate, practical and innovative advice, Kramer and Cahn guide readers through the ever unfolding world of donor conception. They take on the challenges of identifying language to describe new definitions of family and address the complexities—and rewards—that come when people search for donors and other genetic connections. Finding Our Families is that rare book that you will read and return to again and again over time, appreciating and understanding it in different ways as you explore and discover new forms of kinship.  -Ellen Glazer LICSW, Co-Author, “Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation

Click here to read Ellen’s full book review!

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Finding Our Families isn’t just a good and important book – it’s a necessary one. -Adam Pertman, President of the Adoption Institute, Author, “Adoption Nation”

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This gem of a  book is based on the unique experience of the founder of the Donor Sibling Registry, Wendy Kramer, who has heard from members of thousands of families who owe their existence to donated sperm and/or eggs.  Kramer and Cahn have written a heartfelt, practical, easy-to-read, and step-by-step book that is indispensable for all members of such families. With the aid of numerous first-person accounts, the book describes what, when and how to tell your child about his or her genetic origin, how to accept and process the usual desire of offspring to learn about their roots, how to proceed with the search for biological relatives, how to reach out to the donors, and what happens afterwards.  Finding our Families includes empathetic and useful sections about meeting the donors, connecting with half-siblings and their families, recognizing the potential outcomes, and handing rejection of efforts to connect. A chapter written specifically for offspring is very useful.  This book is must reading for all members of the family.– Jennifer P. Schneider, M.D., Ph.D.

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Finding Our Families is a must read for anyone in any part of a process related to donor insemination.  Whether you’ve just opened the door to an idea about using donor sperm or your donor children are grown, this is a book for you. Comprehensive, thoughtful and full hearted, this book addresses the myriad of issues that can arise in donor families. 

It is an inclusive, sensitive map to guide anyone touched by the joys and complexities of donor insemination.  The authors pull from the amazing anecdotal work Kramer has done, as well as research she’s spearheaded in this arena.  Three cheers for this groundbreaking work and may it reach a professional audience, as well as the families they write about. -Susan Frankel, MFT

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This ground-breaking book affirms what donor-conceived people have been telling us (in media interviews, at seminars and support groups, on blogs and internet forums, etc): they want, need and deserve to be told the truth about their genetic origins and the right to decide for themselves whether to seek contact with their donor and/or half-siblings. And thanks to Wendy Kramer’s hard work, dedication and innovation in creating the Donor Sibling Registry, many donor-conceived people are now able to “find the other 50% of
the pieces of the puzzle that make up who I am”.

­ – Diane Allen, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Infertility Network, Canada

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Finding Our Families gently stretches us to consider the experiences of all those involved in helping make our families. As a psychotherapist, a lesbian, and the mother of a donor-conceived child, I finished this book as a more compassionate and forgiving person.  There is nothing more powerful than the truth. –Liz Margolies, Founder and Executive Director of the National LGBT Cancer Network

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Clearly written and well-organized, this is an indispensable guide for all those who are part of families formed with donated eggs or sperm. -Rene Almeling, Assistant professor of sociology at Yale University and the author of “Sex Cells: The Medical Market for Eggs and Sperm”.

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The definition of ‘family’ is rapidly changing and Wendy and Naomi’s book provides a clear and helpful guide through this uncharted territory. Their advice on communicating with children, by far the most challenging and important aspect of this journey, is compassionate and wise. Thank goodness for this wonderful and much-needed book! –Jane Mattes, LCSW, Founder and Director, Single Mothers by Choice.

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Wise, honest, informed and reassuring–and written by two deeply respected experts–Finding Our Families is the definitive guide for any parent or child who is part of a family formed with the help of donor conception. The insights are so profound and the guidance so clear-eyed that I would go further and say that the book is a definitive guide for anybody who has a family. An essential parenting book. – Liza Mundy, Fellow, New America Foundation, Author, “Everything Conceivable How the Science of Assisted Reproduction is Changing our World”

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An invaluable resource for anyone searching for their donor or donor siblings through the Donor Sibling Registry. -Susan Golombok, Ph.D., University of Cambridge

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You’ve written a wonderful and much needed book for donor conceived kids and their families! I am impressed with the depth of your insights and I really like the way you have cited the latest research in the field.
I also like the depth of detail you have gone into with regard to conducting searches for donors and half siblings through your registry.This kind of information, drawing on the experiences of
your members, goes a long way towards demystifying that process and will allay the fears of those who want to make contact with their donors and/or half siblings.
-KimKluger-Bell, LMFT, Author  of  “The Pea That Was Me” children’s book series for donor kids, www.booksfordonorkids.com

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Finding Our Families is a guide in how to deal with the practical, ethical, and social questions brought about by the changing landscape of donor reproduction.   The star of Finding Our Families is the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) founded by Wendy Kramer and her son, Ryan, in 2000 to assist donor-conceived children find their half-siblings and perhaps also their donors.  The DSR, along with the development of internet search engines and sophisticated genetic testing, have changed the rules of the “anonymity game” in gamete donation.   The DSR has facilitated thousands of matches with the resulting “donor families” connecting with one another and forging new relationships that we currently don’t have labels for.  Finding Our Families offers guidance in this uncharted territory to people thinking of using a donor, parents who have a donor child, donor-conceived people searching for half-sibs or donor parents, and the donors themselves.  Useful information for those personally touched by donor reproduction and for those interested in learning more about a field where science outpaces the current social, ethical, and legal constructs.
-Karen Gottlieb, PhD, JD, Privacy Advocate
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Your book is an invaluable resource for everyone involved in the field of third-party reproductive medicine.  It is informative for professionals and families alike, and condenses complex processes into manageable bites that are understandable and helpful.  It is beautifully written, cohesive in its organization, and captivating in its personal and sensitive style. I could not put it down, and can’t wait to order multiple copies for current and former clients who are considering or have conceived through sperm or egg donation.  Thanks for giving me the opportunity to read this.  It’s like a concluding paragraph to my passionate efforts to illuminate important, long term emotional issues hidden within the practice of anonymity and secrecy.
-Patricia P. Mahlstedt, Psychologist, Private Practice, Houston, Texas
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The one thing we as human beings deserve more than anything else is our own, personal truth. Wendy Kramer and Naomi Cahn have long fought for this right, even before it was fashionable to do so. These well-respected advocates for the donor-conceived and their families bring outspoken tenacity and audacious courage to the pages of this significant book.Corey Whelan, patient advocate and author, The American Fertility Association

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