Telling the truth about donor insemination

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A new book based on 27 years of research work emphasises the importance of families who use donor insemination being open and honest with their children about their origins.

The book, written by University of Canterbury social work researcher Associate Professor Ken Daniels, comes ahead of legislation changes in New Zealand which will require that children be informed if they were born as a result of donor insemination (previously known as artificial insemination).

The new legislation will also require donor details to be kept and made available to offspring once they turn 18.

Professor Daniels believes the legislation is unlikely to change donor insemination practises in New Zealand which, he says, are already transparent and an example which health professionals and parents throughout the world could learn from.

His book, Building a Family with the assistance of donor insemination, includes the stories of families who have used this form of assisted human reproduction and dealt with the stigma and shame sometimes associated with it.

Professor Daniels says the stories these families have to tell provide insights into the benefits of openness and honesty. Until now, little information has been available for parents who are unsure how much information they should share with children conceived through donor insemination.

His extensive interviews with parents and his long involvement in preparing prospective parents allow him to present an informed case for transparency.

“The personal stories, together with the academic and professional work I have been involved in, show that love is stronger than fear, and that love is also the basis for building healthy, honest and open communication within families.

“Fear only leads to stigma, shame and secrecy, which have an adverse effect on the well-being and healthy functioning of children and families.”

For further information please contact:

John MacDonald
Communications Manager
University of Canterbury

Tel: +64-3-364 2910
Fax: +64-3-364 2679
Mob: +64-27-441 7280
[email protected]


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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