Monday, April 6, 2009

How I began : the story of donor insemination

How I began : the story of donor insemination 
by New South Wales Infertility Social Workers Group
edited by Julia Paul
illus. by Merri Spencer
Language: English 
Carlton, Vic. : Fertility Society of Australia, ©1988. 
[27] p. : ill. ; 21 x 26 cm.
ISBN: 0947285008; 9780947285005
My annotation: Published in 1988, this was the very first book ever written about donor insemination for children. It is clearly written and aims to be as comprehensive as possible beginning with the question, “Have you ever wondered where you came from?” and then stating, “This book answers just that question.” It is written in the voice of parents talking directly to their child as the ‘you’ pronoun is used throughout. It introduces children to the terms, “penis,” “vagina,” “testicles,” “uterus,” “sperm,” “egg,” “sexual intercourse,” “labour,” and all the realities of “lovemaking.” After explaining the basic details, it also talks about how Mummy and Daddy “had sexual intercourse lots of times” and “enjoyed it very much,” but that no baby grew inside Mummy. They visit a doctor who “did lots of tests to see why no baby was growing,” and the doctor concludes that Daddy’s sperm “wouldn’t make a baby.” There is another way, the doctor tells them, and here the book introduces children to the term and the concept of “donor insemination.” This book would seem to take a purely child-conception approach since the majority of the book discusses the special circumstances involved in the child’s conception but for the last sentence, which states, “So … now you know how you began and how you became part of your family!” It therefore takes a family-building approach as well. It employs the “nuts and bolts” script. Sepia-toned illustrations depict full-frontal nudity, a couple making love, and a baby being born. Recommended for children ages 5-8.
No longer available: Out of print.

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