Donor Family Matters: My Story of Raising a Profoundly Gifted Donor-Conceived Child, Redefining Family, and Building the Donor Sibling Registry

Donor Family Matters: My Story of Raising a Profoundly Gifted Donor-Conceived Child, Redefining Family, and Building the Donor Sibling Registry

by Wendy Kramer


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“Educate the child. Raise him or her without biases of any kind. Teach him or her to trust in others but to rely on self. Instill in him or her a sense of humor and the ability to enjoy life.”

Penned on a sperm bank intake form, these words of advice from Donor 1058 to the future recipients of his donations became a parental motto for one particular recipient, Wendy Kramer, who would go on to found the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR). With almost 75,000 members in 105 countries, the DSR is the world’s largest platform for sperm, egg, and embryo donors, donor-conceived children and adults, and their parents to connect and share information through mutual-consent contact. In her role with the DSR, Wendy has become a leading advocate for donor families and for reformation of the modern profit-driven donor conception industry.

This is the story of Wendy’s journey as the mother of a donor-conceived profoundly gifted child, Ryan, whose relentless curiosity—under the tenacious guidance and support of his mother—eventually led to his reunion against all odds not only with his biological father, Donor 1058, but also with 19 of his donor-conceived half-siblings scattered across the continent. Their experience—like the experience of so many of the Donor Sibling Registry’s members—illustrates how this brave new world of donor conception is stretching our understanding of the evolving nature and possibilities of “family.” This memoir, written with warmth and humor by Wendy herself, reminds us with story after story that there are few things more fundamental than the human need to know where we come from, nor more beautiful than the triumph of truth over shame.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“An intimate, inspiring, powerful, and well-written memoir. Wendy Kramer’s bravery and strength in raising a gifted child on her own, and in starting the Donor Sibling Registry, make her a force to be reckoned with. Essential reading for anyone connected to the world of sperm donation.” —Jacqueline Mroz, author of Scattered Seeds: In Search of Family and Identity in the Sperm Donor Generation

“Wendy Kramer’s memoir—like Wendy Kramer herself—is invaluable, lucid, engaging, and full of wisdom. This book is a gift.” —Dani Shapiro, donor-conceived offspring and author of Inheritance

“A powerful personal story, with relevance to anybody interested in or affected by donor conception, by someone whose work has been absolutely crucial to the ending of anonymity and secrecy and the shame, sorrow, and isolation that goes with them.” —Barry Stevens, donor-conceived offspring and filmmaker of Offspring

“Wendy Kramer works tirelessly to give voice to the needs and longings of donor-conceived people and their families. Kramer’s work has taken donor conception out of the dark realm of secrecy and shined a light on the emotional and social costs of anonymity.” —Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW, co-author of Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation

Donor Family Matters is much more than a memoir. It's a historical book documenting how one mother created the universe of donor-linked families. Beautifully written!” —Meredyth Capasso, mother to a donor child and blogger at

“The fascinating journey of Wendy Kramer and her gifted son Ryan, who set out to find his sperm donor—which led to the creation of what is now the world’s largest website for connecting half-siblings and their biological families. This is a thoughtful, honest, and heartwarming book.” —Jennifer P. Schneider, M.D., Ph.D., grandmother of donor-conceived children

“Wendy Kramer allows the reader into her personal life of marriage, infertility, divorce, and her quest to be the best single mom to her inquisitive donor-conceived son Ryan. She has provided all of us a chance to re-examine the rights of those searching and longing to know their biological family.” —Jennifer Lahl, founder and president, The Center for Bioethics and Culture

Donor Family Matters is a vulnerable and authentic traverse through the challenges and triumphs Wendy and her son Ryan experienced as she cultivated the Donor Sibling Registry. Wendy’s story offers a glimpse into the battle between sperm bank profits and the ethical dilemmas faced when profit is placed over people.” —Lauren Wolff, LMFT and mother to donor-conceived children

“With honesty and vulnerability, Wendy Kramer shares her story and her journey in becoming one of the most passionate and outspoken voices for the donor-conceived. This true account will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next.” —Ellen Trachman, columnist and co-host of the podcast I Want To Put A Baby In You

“Wendy and Ryan’s autobiography seamlessly integrates the uniqueness of their story, including the gifts and struggles associated with Ryan’s profound intellect and his experience in building a relationship with his donor. Wendy and Ryan have spearheaded the movement to reform existing standards for a new generation of donor-conceived families.” —Hilary Bertisch, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, DSR board member, and donor-conceived adult

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780578633374
Publisher: Donor Sibling Registry
Publication date: 01/30/2020
Pages: 100
Sales rank: 1,176,302
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.24(d)

Customer Reviews