Monday, November 21, 2005

Is this what Sister Sledge meant?

I refer, of course, to the 70s disco hit (and frequent wedding reception boogie tune) "We Are Family." Yesterday's NYT ran a front-page article on the phenomenon of "family reunions" between half-sibs "fathered" by the same anonymous sperm donor.

Novel family arrangements aren't unprecedented--certainly, adoption, divorce, remarriage, same-sex parents, and other arrangements have been around for a while now.

But what's interesting to me is this question: to what extent do genes make family?

1 comment:

Karama said...

I'm not surprised, and I do think your question about what constitutes family is a good one. When knowledge of family, existing or ancestral, is missing (or perceived to be missing), some folks will do everything they can to fill the gap. I'm reminded of the numerous African-Americans and others in the Diaspora who are using genetic technology to find their ancestral ethnic affiliations. I know folks who, upon learning the name of one of their ancestral ethnic groups, began to seek out contemporaries of the group and learn the language and culture associated with the ethnic group.