Is a donor conceived person 'half adopted'?
Adams, Damian Hedley
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Can a donor conceived person be classified as “half adopted"? A knee jerk response may typically be no. Either you are adopted or you aren’t. Either you have been the subject to adoption proceedings with the associated paperwork to show an adoption has occurred or you haven’t. However there are instances whereby people have been adopted without following proper formal procedures. There may also be instances whereby one biological parent has remarried, perhaps due to the death of their partner and the new partner has adopted the child as their own with formal documentation. In this instance it may be possible to view this child as being half adopted as they are only being adopted by one person and not two as one biological parent is still taking care of the child. This situation from a parental perspective is not unlike the use of donated gametes to conceive a child. There will be one biological parent and one non-biological parent who for all intents and purposes raise the child as their own. Many will argue that there are key differences between adoption and donor conception (DC) that make drawing analogies problematic. The purpose here is not to discuss these differences but rather to draw attention to some of the similarities between the two to hopefully give the reader an idea of how they are intertwined. Prefacing these analogies it must be stated just as in adoption, in donor conception too, there can be a whole range of emotions and outcomes for the child conceived this way, in that some are completely happy with what has happened to them and feel no loss whatsoever, and there are those at the other end of the spectrum that can be completely traumatised by it.