Never before in the history of humankind has it been possible for a woman to give birth to an infant who is genetically unrelated to her.
Never before has it been possible for a woman to be the genetic parent of children to whom she has not given birth.
Never before has it been possible to bring children into the world in more than 30 ways.
Never before has it been possible that a child born can have more than two genetically related parents.
Never before has the issue of choice had such kaleidoscopic implications – particularly for the children born of these advancements in medical science.
So with that in mind let me paint a picture for you – it’s the 1960s in South Africa, when my next guest, Fiona Darroch’s parents - sought the assistance of gynaecologist/obstetrician, Dr Norman Walker, to start a family.
Dr Walker assured Fiona’s parents that by mixing sperm samples, it would help Fiona’s dad’s sperm to fertilise her mum’s eggs. But before you vigorously shake your heads with disbelief - remember, we’re talking about the 60’s, when Drs - let alone specialists - were Godlike… and their advice was gospel.
Dr Walker then told Fiona’s parents to go home, make love and forget it ever happened. And that’s exactly what they did.
37 years later, Fiona uncovered the truth about her conception.
Not only was the man who raised her not her biological father, but she also discovered that she and potentially HUNDREDS, yes HUNDREDS, of her siblings, were the outcome of what is known as fertility fraud.
Today, Fiona is a clinical psychologist who works with many adults who, like her, were Donor Conceived & are struggling through the avalanche of heartache & unanswered questions when they discover that the families who raised them are not the people who gave them life.
BUT BEFORE YOU GO…
Find out more about Fiona here:
Watch Fiona on SBS’s Insight Program here:
Find out more about Tam here:
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Creator, Host & Executive Producer: Tammi Faraday
With thanks to my special guest: Fiona Darroch
Audio Editor: Zoltan Fecso
With very special thanks to George Weinberg
BRAVE JOURNEYS acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land we record this podcast on, the Yaluk-ut Weelam Clan of the Boon Wurrung who are part of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respect to their Elders, both past, present and emerging and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.