Updated: Oct 14, 2020
In Random Families: Genetic Strangers, Sperm Donor Siblings, and the Creation of New Kin, sociologists Rosanna Hertz and Margaret Nelson ask what it means for children to be related to each other via a sperm donor. In their rendering, this is not merely a theoretical question up for philosophical debate. What is so brilliant about this book is that Hertz and Nelson actually ask the children themselves, as well as their parents: what does it mean (and not mean) to you to connect with those who were conceived via sperm from the same donor? How do you define and experience that relationship? The result is a nuanced exploration of the meaning and potential of a new form of kinship.