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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My So-Called Family by Courtney Scheinmel

One of my 10 yr old girls is an avid reader and picked this book up from the tween section at our library. She hasn't started reading it so I did. I'll recap and review here as I go. The inside cover says the girl in the book is Sperm Donor Conceived and searches for a donor sibling through their Sperm Bank Registry. Chapter One reveals that the girl is in seventh grade, daughter of a choice mom, she knows and understands the story of her conception. She has always lied to her friends that her father lives in Europe so that she wouldnt be ''different''. Word gets out about the Sperm Donor and the kids in school tease her, calling her ''science experiment''. She is happy to be relocating. My reaction-This will be my kids first encounter with negative attitudes about ivf or donor (the book doesnt say which part the kids are making fun of). Sad. We also used an anonymous donor, with no registry at our clinic. I joined the DSR but have not pursued trying to make any connections there. Sad not to have identifying info to give my kids. My feeling is that I am their mother, the donor is a "genetic other" to quote Diane Ehrensaft from "Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates". If my kids want to seek out this connection I dont have a problem with it but it did take me a long time to come to terms with it. Now I regret the anonymity altogether.

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