The Meaning of the Sperm Donor for Heterosexual Couples: Confirming the Position of the Father.

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  • Additional Information
    • Affiliation:
      Department of Experimental ‐ Clinical and Health Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent Belgium
      Department of Philosophy, Bioethics Institute Ghent, Ghent University, Gent Belgium
      Department of Reproductive Medicine, Ghent University Hospital, Gent Belgium
    • Subject Terms:
    • Subject Terms:
    • Abstract:
      In the literature, relatively little attention has been paid to the meaning of donor involvement in the intimate couple dyad. The current study aimed to enrich our understanding of couples' meaning-making regarding the anonymous sperm donor and how they dealt with the donor involvement. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine couples, who had at least one child conceived through sperm donation. Our thematic analysis showed that the donor conception was seen as a different path to create a normal family. Once the family was formed, most couples avoided talking about the donor because it was perceived as disrupting men's growing confidence in their position as father. Participants tried to confirm the position of the father to protect the family relationships. Uncertainties about how they were perceived as parents showed the continuing dominance of genetic ties within our social discourse. Participants also dealt with reminders of the donor in their daily life. Overall, they tried to manage the space taken up by the donor and to protect the position of the father. We relate our findings to literature on topic avoidance and shared obliviousness in families. For counseling practice, it could be useful to explore couples' meaning-making about the donor as this seemed to serve family functioning.
      En la bibliografía se ha prestado relativamente escasa atención al significado de la participación del donante en la díada de la pareja íntima. El presente estudio tuvo como objetivo ampliar nuestro conocimiento sobre la construcción de significado por parte de las parejas con respecto al donante de esperma anónimo y sobre cómo trataron la participación del donante. Se realizaron entrevistas semiestructuradas con nueve parejas, las cuales tenían por lo menos un hijo concebido mediante la donación de esperma. Nuestro análisis temático demostró que la concepción por medio de un donante se consideró una vía distinta para formar una familia normal. Una vez que la familia se formó, la mayoría de las parejas evitó hablar acerca del donante porque se percibía como un factor que alteraba la seguridad creciente de los hombres en su lugar de padres. Los participantes intentaron confirmar el lugar del padre a fin de proteger las relaciones familiares. Las dudas acerca de cómo eran percibidos como padres demostraron el dominio continuado de los lazos genéticos de nuestro discurso social. Los participantes también lidiaron con los recuerdos del donante en su vida diaria. En general, intentaron controlar el espacio ocupado por el donante y proteger el lugar del padre. Relacionamos nuestros hallazgos con la bibliografía sobre la evasión de temas y la indiferencia compartida en las familias. Para la práctica de la terapia, podría ser útil analizar la construcción de significado acerca del donante por parte de las parejas ya que esto pareció ser favorable para el funcionamiento familiar.
      在文献中,亲密伴侣二元组合中精子捐献者参与的意义很少被关注。该项研究旨在丰富我们关于伴侣们如何理解匿名精子捐献者以及他们如何处理捐献者的参与。我们对9对伴侣进行了半结构式访谈,他们都至少有一个孩子是通过精子捐献的方式受孕。我们的主题分析显示捐献受孕被看做是一种不同的创造一个正常家庭的途径。一旦组成家庭,大多数伴侣会回避讨论捐献者问题,因为这被认为会影响男人对于自己作为父亲角色的信心。参与者试图确认自己作为父亲的位置以保护家庭关系。他们对于自己作为家长是如何被看待的不确定反应了基因联系在我们社会话语中的持续统治地位。参与者还会在日常生活中不断被提醒捐献者的存在。总之,他们试图控制捐献者在他们生活中占据的空间并保护父亲的位置。我们将我们的研究结果和关于家庭中话题回避和共同忽视的文献联系到一起。对于咨询实践来说,这有利于探讨伴侣如何理解捐献者对于家庭功能的贡献。
    • Journal Subset:
      Biomedical; Blind Peer Reviewed; Expert Peer Reviewed; Peer Reviewed; USA
    • ISSN:
      0014-7370
    • MEDLINE Info:
      NLM UID: 0400666
    • Publication Date:
      20170306
    • Publication Date:
      20180815
    • DOI:
      10.1111/famp.12156
    • Accession Number:
      121502139
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      WYVERKENS, E. et al. The Meaning of the Sperm Donor for Heterosexual Couples: Confirming the Position of the Father. Family Process, [s. l.], v. 56, n. 1, p. 203–216, 2017. DOI 10.1111/famp.12156. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=rzh&AN=121502139. Acesso em: 24 nov. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Wyverkens E, Provoost V, Ravelingien A, Pennings G, De Sutter P, Buysse A. The Meaning of the Sperm Donor for Heterosexual Couples: Confirming the Position of the Father. Family Process. 2017;56(1):203-216. doi:10.1111/famp.12156
    • APA:
      Wyverkens, E., Provoost, V., Ravelingien, A., Pennings, G., De Sutter, P., & Buysse, A. (2017). The Meaning of the Sperm Donor for Heterosexual Couples: Confirming the Position of the Father. Family Process, 56(1), 203–216. https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12156
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Wyverkens, Elia, Veerle Provoost, An Ravelingien, Guido Pennings, Petra De Sutter, and Ann Buysse. 2017. “The Meaning of the Sperm Donor for Heterosexual Couples: Confirming the Position of the Father.” Family Process 56 (1): 203–16. doi:10.1111/famp.12156.
    • Harvard:
      Wyverkens, E. et al. (2017) ‘The Meaning of the Sperm Donor for Heterosexual Couples: Confirming the Position of the Father’, Family Process, 56(1), pp. 203–216. doi: 10.1111/famp.12156.
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Wyverkens, E, Provoost, V, Ravelingien, A, Pennings, G, De Sutter, P & Buysse, A 2017, ‘The Meaning of the Sperm Donor for Heterosexual Couples: Confirming the Position of the Father’, Family Process, vol. 56, no. 1, pp. 203–216, viewed 24 November 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Wyverkens, Elia, et al. “The Meaning of the Sperm Donor for Heterosexual Couples: Confirming the Position of the Father.” Family Process, vol. 56, no. 1, Mar. 2017, pp. 203–216. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/famp.12156.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Wyverkens, Elia, Veerle Provoost, An Ravelingien, Guido Pennings, Petra De Sutter, and Ann Buysse. “The Meaning of the Sperm Donor for Heterosexual Couples: Confirming the Position of the Father.” Family Process 56, no. 1 (March 2017): 203–16. doi:10.1111/famp.12156.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Wyverkens E, Provoost V, Ravelingien A, Pennings G, De Sutter P, Buysse A. The Meaning of the Sperm Donor for Heterosexual Couples: Confirming the Position of the Father. Family Process [Internet]. 2017 Mar [cited 2020 Nov 24];56(1):203–16. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=rzh&AN=121502139