Donor, dad, or...? Young adults with lesbian parents' experiences with known donors
In this exploratory qualitative study of 11 young adults, ages 19-29 years, we examine how young people who were raised by lesbian parents make meaning out of and construct their relationships with known donors. In-depth interviews were conducted to examine how participants defined their family composition, how they perceived the role of their donors in their lives, and how they negotiated their relationships with their donors. Findings indicate that mothers typically chose known donors who were family friends, that the majority of participants always knew who their donors were, and that their contact with donors ranged from minimal to involved. Further, participants perceived their donors in one of three ways: as strictly donors and not members of their family; as extended family members but not as parents; and as fathers. The more limited role of donors in participants' construction of family relationships sheds light on how children raised in lesbian, gay, and bisexual families are contributing to the redefinition and reconstruction of complex kinship arrangements. Our findings hold implications for clinicians who work with lesbian-mother families, and suggest that young adulthood is an important developmental phase during which interest in and contact with the donor may shift, warranting a transfer of responsibility from mother to offspring in terms of managing the donor-child relationship. © FPI, Inc.
Goldberg, Abbie E. and Allen, Katherine R., "Donor, dad, or...? Young adults with lesbian parents' experiences with known donors" (2013). Psychology. 388.