DSR Books


The Donor Sibling Registry has published three books for all stakeholders in the donor family, including a book for children. You can purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Bookshop.

2020: Wendy Kramer's Memoir

Donor Family Matters: My Story of Raising a Profoundly Gifted Donor-Conceived Child, Redefining Family, and Building the Donor Sibling Registry

The story of Wendy Kramer and her donor-conceived child, Ryan, who eventually found his biological father and [now 21] half-siblings. Wendy and Ryan created the Donor Sibling Registry, the world’s largest platform for mutual-consent contact of sperm, egg, and embryo donors, donor-conceived children and adults, and their parents.

“Educate the child. Raise him or her without biases of any kind. Teach him or her to trust in others but to rely on self. Instill in him or her a sense of humor and the ability to enjoy life.”

Penned on a sperm bank intake form, these words of advice from Donor 1058 to the future recipients of his donations became a parental motto for one particular recipient, Wendy Kramer, who would go on to found the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR). With almost 75,000 members in 105 countries, the DSR is the world’s largest platform for sperm, egg, and embryo donors, donor-conceived children and adults, and their parents to connect and share information through mutual-consent contact. In her role with the DSR, Wendy has become a leading advocate for donor families and for reformation of the modern profit-driven donor conception industry.

This is the story of Wendy’s journey as the mother of a donor-conceived profoundly gifted child, Ryan, whose relentless curiosity — under the tenacious guidance and support of his mother — eventually led to his reunion against all odds not only with his biological father, Donor 1058, but also with 19 of his donor-conceived half-siblings scattered across the continent. Their experience — like the experience of so many of the Donor Sibling Registry’s members — illustrates how this brave new world of donor conception is stretching our understanding of the evolving nature and possibilities of “family.” This memoir, written with warmth and humor by Wendy herself, reminds us with story after story that there are few things more fundamental than the human need to know where we come from, nor more beautiful than the triumph of truth over shame.

2021 Review from the BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health Journal.

Conclusion: This book has demonstrated that mutually consenting contact between both donors and siblings can be a very positive and profound experience for many people. The DSR’s origins may not have been built on mutually consented contact, largely because it was a time when donor conception and infertility were taboo subjects and where a facility similar to the DSR did not exist. However, the DSR has now helped to tackle the stigma of such issues and bring more accountability into the assisted reproduction sector. Wendy’s book highlights her experience of the importance of genetic heritage in donor conception but does not minimise the value of parenting in the “verb” sense. While many are secure in knowing their genetic inheritance, this book helps the reader to have more empathy for those who do not and the impact that this has had on both Wendy, her son and other families affected by this.

Donor Family Matters Reviews

"Wendy Kramer tells an absolutely riveting story that only she could tell — one that documents a profound shift in the way we negotiate our biology ... and each other. Donor Family Matters captures what Kramer calls the 'difficult, messy, joyful, and rewarding endeavor' of raising a family in a way that will break your heart and then put it back together again." 
— Misha Angrist, Ph.D., author of Here is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics

"Wendy Kramer’s memoir — like Wendy Kramer herself — is invaluable, lucid, engaging, and full of wisdom. This book is a gift.” 
— Dani Shapiro, donor-conceived offspring and author of Inheritance

"I wanted to write as I have just put down your new book, read from cover to cover in one sitting. It’s excellent and I wanted to add my voice to the accolades already out there. I know that I will be recommending it to many, many people for years to come, perhaps especially to parents, clinic staff, regulators and policymakers. It’s such a valuable and unique addition to what is out there. Thank you!" 
— Dr. Marilyn Crawshaw, BSc (Soc) (London), CQSW & DipApplSocStudies (Sheffield), MA (Bradford), Ph.D. (York)

"This warm and highly enjoyable book gives the reader a real insight into the lives of Wendy and Ryan Kramer, founders of the Donor Sibling Registry. Wendy conceived Ryan by donor sperm when still part of a heterosexual marriage, but left her husband when she realised the impact his drinking was likely to have on Ryan. As a single parent Wendy worked to support her son who was soon recognised as being profoundly academically gifted. Whilst this is a problem we might all think we would want to have, Wendy makes clear that finding the right sort of education for him was a massive struggle. He was often bullied for his ‘difference’ and only really found himself able to fit in with others when he was in higher education. I met him when he was about 14 and can testify to the really kind, warm, and generous young man he was then and I know remains.

Ryan knew about being donor-conceived right from the start and began to show an interest in connecting with half-siblings around the age of eight. From a little Yahoo group started by Wendy as a very personal project to try to reach out to find genetic relatives for Ryan, The Donor Sibling Registry grew organically into the enormous, successful database that it is today. Wendy’s passion for openness was fuelled by the anger and sadness of an early connection with the mother of two of Ryan’s half-sisters who said to Wendy that her daughters would never be told about their origins. Ryan went on to find his donor, his paternal grandparents and slowly over the years 19 half-siblings. The story of the way Ryan and Wendy approached his donor and the huge care they took in establishing a relationship with him and his family is an educative and fascinating one. 

This is a book that should be read by all parents of donor-conceived children and indeed those contemplating becoming parents this way. Just 85 pages long it is a short but life-enhancing read." 
— Oliva Montuschi, Donor Conception Network, UK

"As a psychotherapist who works with families created by using a donor, I rarely find people who understand the psychological and emotional journeys couples and individuals go on when they decide on this family-building option. For years, using a donor was shrouded in secrecy. Parents were told no one has to know and so no one did, including the child. The family unit was underscored by dishonesty and secrecy. Not too healthy a way to build trust and security. Thank goodness today it’s different. Wendy Kramer was one of the leaders in helping to open up the discussion on whether or not a child has the right to know about his/her origins and this query inspired her to create the Donor Sibling Registry.

The DSR is now the site I can refer my clients to so that they and their child can get the most updated research and information on using a donor to have a family, as well as help people find their donor relatives. This is sometimes a complicated pursuit filled with ups and downs from fear to excitement.

Wendy is the mom of a son conceived through a donor and this book personalizes the process. She explains her story though parenting a donor-conceived child and always keeping her son’s best interest in her mind and heart. She walks the reader through the doubts she experienced before meeting the donor and his family. Ultimately she describes the satisfaction and love she and her son found after meeting the biological relatives that helped make him. It's a must-read for those beginning the path of using a donor because Wendy Kramer and others who work in this field truly believe that the best we can do for our clients is to always promote openness and honesty despite the outcome.

"I loved reading your and Ryan’s story and the origins and journey of the DSR. It made all the work I’ve seen you do through the past 20 years so real and personal. Ryan is a very special addition gifted person and the way you parented him with such love and respect was inspiring to say the least. I can’t wait to recommend this book to my donor-recipient couples and single women that want to become moms. Thank you for all you do for the community."  
— Harriette Rovner Ferguson, LCSWR 

2018: Children's Book

Published in 2018: Your Family: A Donor Kid's Story

How do you tell your child that they were conceived with the help of a donor and then address their curiosity about half-siblings and/or the donor?

Your Family: A Donor Kid’s Story is a sweet and light-hearted picture book that answers the question "Where did I come from?” and then gently introduces the concepts of half-siblings and donors in an open and honest way. The book starts with the parent’s desire to have a baby, introduces the use of a donor, and then broaches the topic of half-siblings and biological parents/donors. A perfect book for [the millions of] donor-conceived children to learn about how they were conceived and for understanding that being curious about their unknown genetic origins and relatives is natural.

(In English)

(In Spanish)

Your Family: A Donor Kid's Story Reviews

"A much-needed resource for parents and children in families created by donor conception. The author, Wendy Kramer, has a wealth of experience and a real understanding of the needs of donor conception families. This book will foster curiosity and inspire conversations in families where children want to learn more about their donor origins and connections." 
— Dr. Tabitha Freeman, Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge

"As a psychotherapist, I work with many LGBT parents of donor-conceived children who struggle to find the right language to speak to their children about the circumstance of their birth. They are also often afraid that learning about their donors and potential donor siblings will be upsetting or confusing to their children. Finally, I have a book to recommend to them! Your Family: A Donor Kid's Story is the perfect combination of honest, loving, and positive. I am keeping a pile of copies in my office." 
— Liz Margolies, LCSW, psychotherapist and mother of a donor-conceived child

"Your Family: A Donor Kid's Story is a wonderful book that affirms the experience of children who have been donor-conceived. It's important for families to have a book like this to read to their kids so that their children can understand who they are and where they came from. Wendy Kramer's book is long overdue!" 
— Jacqueline Mroz, author of Scattered Seeds: In Search of Family and Identity in the Sperm Donor Generation

"Your Family gives children born from egg or sperm donation a chance to see themselves reflected in a positive, informative, and accessible story. Most importantly, this book will help families who have used reproductive technology to explain complex concepts to their children while giving them vital information about themselves and how they came to be. Here’s a book that is relatable and will allow children to feel proud of their special story." 
— Susan Frankel, MFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and mother to a donor-conceived daughter

"A lovely book for children who were conceived with donor sperm or egg. Parents in all kinds of families will find it very helpful in explaining their child’s conception story in a gentle, simple, and positive way." 
— Jane Mattes, L.C.S.W., psychotherapist and Founder/Director of Single Mothers by Choice

"Your Family: A Donor Kid's Story fills a noticeable gap in LGBTQ family books. While others have discussed how we make our babies, Your Family: A Donor Kid's Story takes the next step in addressing what can often be an elephant in the room for our families. The existence of donor siblings, and how to navigate those relationships, is deeply personal and family-specific. For those who are looking for a way to help their children understand the breadth of their biological relationships, Your Family: A Donor Kid's Story does an incredible, age-appropriate job at laying the framework in an interactive, light-hearted way." 
— Amanda Hopping-Winn, Chief Program Officer, Family Equality Council

2014: Book for Donor-Conceived People and Their Families

Finding Our Families: A First-of-Its-Kind Book for Donor-Conceived People and Their Families

The first comprehensive book for children born through donor conception and their families. #1 on Amazon's Reproductive Medicine & Technology List!

Millions of people have been born with the help of donor sperm or eggs, including Wendy Kramer’s son. Realizing the unique concerns of being or parenting a donor-conceived child, Kramer launched what would become the world’s largest database for connecting donor-conceived people, the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR).

Finding Our Families provides additional support for this growing community. With compassion and insight, the authors draw on extensive research to address situations families face throughout a donor-conceived child’s development, including the search for a biological parent or half-sibling and how to forge a healthy self-image.



Penguin Random House

"Finding Our Families is a treasure trove of compassionate advice designed to help those raising the more than an estimated million people who were conceived using so-called donor* sperm, the tens of thousands whose lives began with eggs of contributors, and thousands who were "adopted" frozen embryos, as well as the donors.

The 258-page book compiled by Wendy Kramer, the mother of a donor-conceived son, and Naomi Cahn, family and reproductive law professor, helps blood-related kin navigate relationships unthought-of generations ago. The book offers how-to search assistance and suggests ways for the legal, social, and nurturing family to open their hearts and minds to those who contributed eggs, sperm, or embryos in addition to welcoming siblings who share the same or half genealogy." —March 2015 Huffington Post book review by Mirah Riben

"The book successfully honors its promise to deliver the tools necessary to help donor-conceived children discover and explore their genetic legacies.” —October 2013 Publishers Weekly review

Media Reviews

Finding Our Families Reviews