Nothing if not family? Genetic ties beyond the parent/child dyad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Internationally, there is considerable inconsistency in the recognition and regulation of children's genetic connections outside the family. In the context of gamete and embryo donation, challenges for regulation seem endless. In this paper, I review some of the paths that have been taken to manage children' being closely genetically related to people outside their families. I do so against the background of recognising the importance of children's interests as moral status holders. I look at recent qualitative research involving donor-conceived people and borrow their own words to make sense of a purported interest to know (of) their close genetic ties. I also review ways in which gamete donation may have facilitated new kinds of kinship, which are at the same time genetic and chosen. In short, in this paper, I explore what meaning there could be in genetic connections that is not about parenthood. Further, I argue that the focus on parenthood in previous work in this area may be detrimental to appreciating some of the goods that can be derived from close genetic connections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-770
Issue number8
Early online date2023 Aug 11
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Medical Ethics
  • Ethics
  • Philosophy

Free keywords

  • donor conception
  • diblings
  • genetic ties
  • moral status
  • parenthood


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