On sperm donors as fathers

…Rene Almeling, a sociologist at Yale, spent four years interviewing sperm and egg donors and the staff who work with them while researching her book Sex Cells: The Medical Market for Eggs and Sperm. She found that egg donors are often encouraged to think about their involvement as giving a gift to another women, while sperm donation is most often framed as an easy job. Most egg donors she spoke to said they didn’t think of themselves as mothers — but sperm donors did tend to think of themselves as fathers. This may be because we have some experience thinking of fatherhood as a distant, genetically defined role, but are less used to dissociating motherhood and pregnancy. Regardless, it’s an interesting window into the ways we reconcile the fertility industry with our notions of family.

–Brooke Jarvis, “Come and get it: how sperm became one of America’s hottest exports


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