Monday, May 31, 2010

"I just want more information about who I am" - New study

Below I have pasted the abstract to a new study on donor offspring. The full article is available at My story is under the pseudoname "Rose."


"I just want more information about who I am": the search experience of sperm-donor offspring, searching for information about their donors and genetic heritage"

Amber L. Cushing
School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Introduction. This paper discusses the findings of a qualitative study of sperm-donor offspring conceived in the United States who have searched for information about their donors and genetic heritage. It explores how these individuals search for information and the characteristics of such searches.

Method. Sixteen telephone interviews were conducted with sperm-donor offspring who had engaged in varying levels of search for varying amounts of time.

Analysis. Interview transcripts were coded with codes initially developed from the interview guide.

Results. Results indicate that sperm-donor offspring often begin their search by talking to their mother and then trying to contact their mother's doctor, very soon after being told that they were donor-conceived. Next, individuals use University yearbooks to find "look-alikes." Eventually, some donor offspring attempt to contact prospective donors.

Conclusions. Overall, this research demonstrates the sometimes intense, emotional and personally driven nature of search. Many participants engaged in search to gain a greater sense of their identity and self.