Who Counts as Family? Gamete donation and the construction of family forms in medical markets. By: Halcomb, Laura. Journal of Family Issues. Jun2020, Vol. 41 Issue 6, p831-852. 22p.

This paper examines how gender beliefs are embedded in the organizational practices of the reproductive market. Third party reproduction blurs boundaries between familial and non-familial members, making gamete banks and donation agencies important sites for studying the construction of family. Cultural beliefs about gender are implicated in the discourses and practices of these organizations, which shape and constrain the experiences and options for both gamete donors and recipient families. To evaluate this process, I conducted qualitative analyses on the recruitment materials of all of sperm banks, egg banks, and egg donation agencies in the United States. My analysis demonstrates that the reproductive market still relies on heteronormative assumptions of family. However, the extent to which these organizations facilitate participation in new, non-normative family forms breaks down along gendered lines, where sperm donors have more freedom, status, and potential to create relationships with recipient families than egg donors.