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The New KinshipConstructing Donor-Conceived Families$
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Naomi R. Cahn

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814772034

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814772034.001.0001

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(p.107) 6 Law, Adoption, and Family Secrets

(p.107) 6 Law, Adoption, and Family Secrets

Disclosure and Incest

Chapter:
(p.107) 6 Law, Adoption, and Family Secrets
Source:
The New Kinship
Author(s):

Naomi Cahn

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814772034.003.0007

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.

Keywords:   family law, adoption, assisted reproductive technology, secrecy, incest, family, confidentiality, half siblings, donor kinship

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