BRAVE NEW FAMILY
Sperm donation has proven to be a Pandora’s Box. Some donor dads want to be found. Others do not. Their children are seeking and, in some cases, finding dad and half-siblings in the process. Science journalist Alison Motluk explores the complex portrait of the brave new family.
‘Ideas’, CBC Radio One, 9:05-10:00pm. (9:30 NT), http://www.cbc.ca/ideas Heard throughout Canada and the northern United States on the 402 radio stations and transmitters of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada’s public broadcaster.
Listen online: http://www.cbc.ca/listen/index.html. Also, these programs may also be available via podcast. Check at http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/podcast.html
Part 1: Mon, Oct 15, 2007.
Explores the search for biological family. It follows Kathleen LaBounty, a woman in Houston, who is currently trying to track down her donor. We hear responses from men she has contacted, both former donors and non-donors, and follow her through a paternity test. She and others explain why there is this need to search. Wendy Kramer, founder of http://www.DonorSiblingRegistry.com talks about the website and why so few donors have signed on. Laura Shanner, a bioethicist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, addresses why the word “donor” is misleading.
Part 2: Mon, Oct 22, 2007. 9:05-10:00pm
Explores the creation of new types of families as a result of donor insemination. Natalie Fokes, a single Vancouver woman, discusses how she chose her donor and why she longs to be a mother. We hear from a group of women who are spread out across the US but who all share the same donor. They tell us what a comfort it has been to connect with their children’s half-siblings and their moms, and to know their children are not alone in the world. Danielle Pagano, from New York, describes finding and bonding with several half-siblings and her donor dad. A former sperm donor, Kirk Maxey, talks about meeting two of his donor-conceived offspring and explains the complications to donors’ families of doing so. Laura Shanner and others discuss anonymity.
‘Ideas’ is CBC Radio’s premier program of contemporary thought, with an audience of approximately 400,000 listeners. It explores social issues, culture and the arts, geopolitics, history, biography, science and technology, and the humanities. Most of the programs are documentaries in which thoughts are gathered, contexts explored, and connections made.