How to Contact Your Sperm Donor

If you created your family like I did, using an unknown sperm donor, what do you do if your child one day says she or he wants to contact him? The authors of a new book for donor-conceived people and their families offer some helpful hints.

Wendy Kramer, founder of the Donor Sibling Registry, and Naomi Cahn, a professor of law at George Washington University and a senior fellow at the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, wrote in the New York Times last week about “Emailing a Sperm Donor: ‘You May Want to Sit Down.’” They give some suggestions for how to contact a donor in a way that respects all of the people involved — go have a read.

Their advice comes from their new book, Finding Our Families: A First-of-Its-Kind Book for Donor-Conceived People and Their Families. It’s LGBT inclusive but not exclusive, offering detailed and sensitive advice for parents and teen/grown children on both practical and emotional issues, such as telling your children about their donor, what to do when told (for offspring), choosing to search for a donor and how, and what happens when you locate him. I love that the authors see the similarities between LGBT donor-conceived families and others. Ultimately, we have much in common, and an opportunity to build bridges. At the same time, they address areas where LGBT families might have particular concerns—noting, for example, that fears of an unknown donor making a legal claim to the children may be greater for LGBT parents than for others.

Stay tuned for a longer list of LGBT parenting books I liked this year, including two others that, like Finding Our Families, also place LGBT parents in the context of non-LGBT parents with whom they have similarities.

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