Donor families are unique, yet are also becoming substantially more common with the exponential advancements being made in the field of reproductive medicine, and with the wider acceptance of LGBTQ+ and single-parent families utilizing donor gametes in recent decades. The accessibility of commercial DNA testing is also helping to expand these families, as many people are finding out by surprise that they are part of a sometimes quite large donor family. Individuals connected to donor families are therefore much more likely to be seen across a variety of mental health and medical settings for a range of presenting problems, either related to or separate from this part of their background. Regardless of the presenting issue, for these individuals the challenges of forming and redefining family as they explore their own or their child's new biological connections can seem overwhelming and are therefore very likely to surface as a topic of discussion in treatment.
Given the greatly increased probability of encountering a client connected to a donor family in their practices across settings, and the specific challenges this presents, clinicians must be well-informed about all perspectives in order to address such issues in a knowledgeable and sensitive manner. Counseling Donor Family Members provides clinicians and mental health professionals with guidance on the unique issues that can present for egg and sperm donors, parents of donor-conceived children, and donor-conceived people. They will be better prepared for many of the issues that donor family members might present in regards to their family of origin and with their new donor family relationships.
Counseling Donor Family Members is both a resource for mental health and medical professionals in any setting, and a useful reference book for researchers, and donor family members themselves. It presents evolving ideas, recommendations, and talking points, that can be used in counseling everyone in the donor family. Because each stakeholder is deeply connected to the others, understanding all viewpoints is important for a successful counseling experience with any parent, egg and sperm donor, or donor-conceived person.