Disclosure and Incest
This chapter first discusses the similarities and differences between adoption and assisted reproductive technology (ART). It then explains the legal and cultural aspects of secrecy in both the adoption and donor context. Finally, it turns to another family “secret”: incest. Incest has been problematic in adoption law; it is even more complicated in donor-conceived families, given the existence not only of secret biological connections but also of the possibility of dozens of related half-siblings. The chapter examines incest from biological, ethical, feminist, and other perspectives to show how donor-conceived families and their communities are both similar to, and different from, other kinds of families. Like the other issues discussed in this chapter relating to disclosure, incest serves as a dramatic illustration of the special nature of donor kinship.
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