This book is about the psychological experiences of women and men who have used donor conception to create their families. The authors offer diverse accounts of their clinical, research, and personal experiences. They describe the challenge of powerful conscious and unconscious fantasies that can be aroused and how these may reawaken early anxieties and developmental struggles. Whilst recipients of donated eggs or sperm may think they are simply acquiring a factor of reproduction, they are also receiving the genetic history of another family. The sensitive management of these relationships is considered in relation to establishing healthy and well-functioning families. The way these emotional challenges are negotiated is likely to be reflected in how parents talk with children about their donor origins.
'Infertility strikes indiscriminately, severely undermining one's sense of continuity and "generative identity". Fundamental axioms are undermined by reproductive innovations, such as asexual fertilisation. A couple's trust in their own baby-making capacities is shattered when their exclusive intimacy is invaded by fertility experts' intrusive investigations and treatments. Further complex emotions arise if the womb must offer hospitality to a stranger's embryo or gametes - an act that will divert the family's genetic line forever. This book breaks the silence surrounding donor conception, revealing some of the unconscious desires, psychological strategies and dilemmas experienced by members of the "DC kinship triad" (donors/recipients/offspring) when reproductive technologies provide new hope, yet challenge our previously held cherished beliefs about family formation.'- Professor Joan Raphael-Leff, UCL/Anna Freud Centre, London, and author of The Dark Side of the Womb
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ABOUT THE EDITOR AND CONTRIBUTORS STATEMENT OF CONFIDENTIALITY FOREWORD by James Rose PART I AN OVERVIEW OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES RELATED TO REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY CHAPTER ONE Introduction: how do we conceive the family? - Katherine Fine CHAPTER TWO Psychoanalysis and infertility: myths and realities - Roberta J. Apfel and Rheta G. Keylor CHAPTER THREE Scrambled eggs: psychological meanings of new reproductive choices for lesbians - Susan C. VaughanPART II DONOR CONCEPTION: AN EXPLORATION OF SOME OF THE ISSUES FACING INDIVIDUALS AND COUPLES CHAPTER FOUR Donor conception: family of choice? - Katherine Fine and Tamsin Mitchell CHAPTER FIVE 'It takes a second to be a father but a lifetime to be a daddy.' Men's experiences of infertility and donor conception - Amy Schofield CHAPTER SIX When baby makes three or four or more: attachment, individuation, and identity in assisted conception families - Diane EhrensaftPART III AN EXPLORATION OF THE IMPACT UPON CHILDREN OF KNOWING HOW THEY WERE CONCEIVED CHAPTER SEVEN Telling and talking: a family affair - Olivia Montuschi CHAPTER EIGHT Understanding and managing relationships in donor assisted families - Ken DanielsPART IV POSSIBLE IMPLICATIONS AND SPECULATIONS ABOUT THE FUTURE CHAPTER NINE Donor conception and the loss of old certainties - James RoseAPPENDIX Organisations and useful websitesINDEX