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“Who do I look like?” Body, identity and relatedness for donor conceived adults in an anonymous context

By Anaïs Martin

Abstract

International audienceBodies are at the core of donor conceived families’ stories. More specifically, people conceived through an anonymous donation often question their appearance: “Who do I look like?”. On the basis of a social anthropology perspective, the paper examines the importance of the body in the experience of adults conceived in the French strictly anonymous context, focusing more specifically on the resemblance and transmission talk. It shows how the mention of the body is a medium to talk about their relations and their identity for donor offspring. The paper uses the data collected through face-to-face interviews with fifteen French sperm donor conceived adults. This study has shown how, by mentioning the body, the participants talk on the one hand about their bond with and affiliation to their father. On the other hand it allows them to address the impossible relationship with their absolutely anonymous donor – whom they do not consider as a father – and how genetic transmission has nevertheless an impact on their own identity. Their body thus simultaneously contains the evidence of their relationship with their father and of the donor’s existence. Through this analysis the mention of genetics and of the biological body is questioned

Topics: Body, donor conception, donor offspring, resemblance, relatedness, Corps, don d'engendrement, personnes conçues par don, ressemblance, [SHS.ANTHRO-SE]Humanities and Social Sciences/Social Anthropology and ethnology, [SHS.GENRE]Humanities and Social Sciences/Gender studies
Publisher: HAL CCSD
Year: 2018
OAI identifier: oai:HAL:hal-01796237v1
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