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Relative Strangers


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Proper Families? Cultural Expectations and Donor Conception 2. Uncharted Territories: Donor Conception in Personal Life 3. Ripples Through the Family 4. Keeping it Close: Sensitivities and Secrecy 5. Opening Up: Negotiating Disclosure 6. Donors: Strangers, Boundaries and Tantalising Knowledge 7. (Not) One of Us: Genes and Belonging in Family Life 8. Relative Strangers and the Paradoxes of Genetic Kinship

About the Author

Petra Nordqvist is Lecturer in Sociology in the Morgan Centre for the Study of Relationships and Personal Life at the University of Manchester, UK.

Carol Smart is Professor of Sociology in the Morgan Centre for the Study of Relationships and Personal Life at the University of Manchester, UK. Her recent publications include Personal Life and Same Sex Marriages (with B. Heaphy and A. Einarsdottir).


"This book isn't a dry academic tome ... it is accessible and can be read by anyone with an interest in donor conception. I would strongly recommend it to parents of donor-conceived children to whom it could be enormously reassuring." - Sarah Norcross, BioNews

"The insights gained in the in-depth interviews with members of lesbian and heterosexual couple families who have used donor conception are beyond anything I have ever come across before, and should be enormously helpful in re-assessing both the policy and practice of the range of support that needs to be in place at every stage of the donor conception family journey." - Olivia's View blog

"The book is very interesting and a good illustration of some of some of the changes, dynamics and fluidities of family life." - Network: Magazine of the British Sociological Association

"Intelligent and informed reflection on how the interviewees themselves have come to work on the relevant issues, how their own uses of metaphors relating to genes and the contribution of donor gametes have been shaped by their experiences, and how this work reflects on family life and kinship more widely." - Journal of Social Policy

'It is not often that an academic book can be described as truly delightful, but, in the case of Relative Strangers such a description is certainly appropriate.' Sociology of Health & Illness

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