“Doppiamente madre”. La fecondazione eterologa tra genitorialità biologica e sociale: uno studio di caso singolo

Giancarlo Tamanza, Federica Facchin, Federica Francini, Silvia Ravani, Marialuisa Gennari


“Doubly Mother”. Heterologous Artificial Insemination between Biological and Social Parenthood: a Single Case Study

In heterologous artificial insemination, the donation of gametes (either sperm or eggs) from a third person allows infertile and same sex couples to become parents. Therefore, the child is genetically related to one parent, while the other parent is referred to as the social mother or father. The current single case study aimed at investigating this double access to parenthood in a lesbian couple who had two children after heterologous artificial insemination. In this couple, both women delivered one of the two children, such that each partner is either a biological or a social mother. The Clinical Generational Interview was used to assess the quality of family relationships, with a specific focus on three dimensions: the origins of each partner, the constitution of the couple, and the generational passage. Paper and pencil textual analysis was conducted following the principles of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and led to the identification of six dominant themes (and subthemes): (1) the relationship with the family of origin; (2) the couple relationship; (3) the generational passage; (4) heterologous artificial insemination and “double motherhood”; (5) the donor/biological father; (6) children’s identity and the disclosure of their origin. This study findings revealed the importance of using research techniques aimed at in-depth exploration of this phenomenon, consistently with the specificities of the new forms of filiation. The adoption of a transgenerational perspective allows to articulate conception coordinates with the history of the couple and the origins of each partner.


heterologous artificial insemination, genetic parenthood, social parenthood, generational passage

Full Text

PDF Articolo

Riferimenti bibliografici

Accordini, M., Browning, S., Gennari, M., McCarthy, K., Margola, D. (2017). Till the ocean do us part: Italian and American therapists representations of stepfamilies in treatment. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 20(3) doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2017.271

Almeling, R. (2017). The business of egg and sperm donation. Contexts, 16, 68-70.

Butler, J. (1991). Imitation and gender insubordination, in D. Fuss (a cura di), In-side/out. Lesbian theories, gay theories. New York-London: Routledge, pp. 13-31.

Becker, G., Butler, A., & Nachtigall, R. D. (2005). Resemblance talk: A challenge for parents whose children were conceived with donor gametes in the US. Social Science & Medicine, 61, 1300-309.

Beeson, D.R., Jennings, P.K., & Kramer, W. (2011). Offspring searching for their sperm donors: How family type shapes the process. Human Reproduction, 26, 2415-2424.

Chan, R. W., Brooks, R. C., Raboy, B., & Patterson, C. J. (1998). Division of labor among lesbian and heterosexual parents: Associations with children’s adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology, 12, 402-419.

Chandra, A., Copen, C.E., Stephen, E.H. (2013). Infertility and impaired fecundity in the United States, 1982-2010: Data from the National Survey of Family Growth. National Health Statistics Reports, 67. Retrieved March 15, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr067.pdfDaniels, Golden, 2004

Cigoli, V. (2016), La fragilità del bene. Cosa ci offre la ricerca clinica famigliare? Psicologia clinica dello sviluppo, 1, 3-25.

Cigoli, V. & Scabini, E. (2014). Sacro e tragico famigliare: il caso delle omogenitorialità. In Cattaneo, E. (a cura di). Omogenitorialità: le differenze tra gli uguali, Quaderni de “Gli Argonauti”, 27, 17-32.

Corbett K. (2001). Nontraditional family romance. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 70 (3), 599-624.

Gennari M., Tamanza G. (2017). Alienazione Genitoriale (PAS) e procedimenti di Consulenza Tecnica d’Ufficio: evidenze cliniche dall’analisi di alcune valutazioni in Maltrattamento e Abuso all’Infanzia, 1, pp. 13-27, DOI:10.3280/MAL2017-001002

Gennari M., Tamanza G., Molgora S., (2018). Intimate partner violence and chid cus-tody evaluation: a model for preliminary clinical intervention, Frontiers in Psy-chology, Aug 17;9:1471, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01471. eCollection

Goldberg, A.E., Downing, J. B., & Sauck, C. C. (2008). Perceptions of children’s pa-rental preferences in lesbian two-mother households. Journal of Marriage and Family, 70, 419-434.

Goldberg A.E. (2010). Lesbian and gay parents and their children: Research on the family life cycle. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Goldberg, A.E., Gartrell, N.K., & Gates, G., 2014. Research report on LGB-Parent families. Los Angeles, CA: Williams Institute. Retrieved March 15, 2018, from http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/lgb-parent-families-july-2014.pdf

Grace, V.M., Daniels, K.R., & Gillett, W. (2008). The donor, the father, and the imaginary constitution of the family: parents’ constructions in the case of donor insemination. Social Science & Medicine, 66, 301-314.

Hargreaves, K. (2006). Constructing families and kinship through donor insemination. Sociology of Health & Illness, 28, 261-283.

Harrigan, M.M., Dieter, S., Leinwohl, J., & Marrin, L. (2015). “It’s just who I am … I have brown hair. I have a mysterious father”: An exploration of donor-conceived offspring’s identity construction. Journal of Family Communication, 15, 75-93.

Indekeu, A., D’Hooghe, T, Daniels, K.R., Dierickx, K., & Rober, P. (2014a). ‘Of course he’s our child’: transitions in social parenthood in donor sperm recipient families. Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 28, 106-115.

Indekeu, A., D’Hooghe, T, Daniels, K.R., Dierickx, K., & Rober, P. (2014b). When ‘sperm’ becomes ‘donor’: transitions in parents’ views of the sperm donor. Human Fertility, 17, 269-277.

Jadva, V., Freeman, T., Kramer, W., & Golombok, S. (2009). The experiences of adolescents and adults conceived by sperm donation: Comparisons by age of disclosure and family type. Human Reproduction, 24, 1909-1919.

Kirkman, M. (2003). Parents’ contributions to the narrative identity of offspring of donor-assisted conception. Social Science & Medicine, 57, 2229-2242.

Lingiardi, V., Carone, N., Morelli, M., & Baiocco, R. (2016). ‘It’s a bit too much fa-thering this seed’: the meaning-making of the sperm donor in Italian lesbian mother families. Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 33, 412-424.

Mac Dougall, K., Becker, G., Scheib J.E., & Nachtigall R.D. (2007). Strategies for disclosure: How parents approach telling their children that they were conceived with donor gametes. Fertility and Sterility, 87, 524-533.

Pelka, S. (2009). Sharing motherhood: maternal jealousy among lesbian co-mothers. Journal of Homosexuality, 56, 195-217.

Provoost, V., Bernaerdt, J., Van Parys, H., Buysse, A., De Sutter, P., & Pennings, G. (2017). “No daddy”, “A kind of daddy”: Words used by donor conceived children and (aspiring) parents to refer to the sperm donor. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 24, 1-16.

Raes, I., Van Parys, H., Provoost, V., Buysse, A., De Sutter, P., & Pennings, G. (2014). Parental (in)equality and the genetic link in lesbian families. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 32, 457-468.

Ranieri S., Molgora S., Tamanza G., Emery R. (2016). Promoting Coparenting after divorce: a relational perspective on child custody evaluation in Italy. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 57, 361-373.

Scabini, E., Rossi, G. (1999) (a cura di). Famiglia “generativa” o famiglia “riproduttiva?”Il dilemma etico nella tecnologie di fecondazione di assistita. Milano: Vita e Pensiero.

Scabini, E., Rossi G. (2017) (a cura di). La natura dell’umana generazione. Milano: Vita e Pensiero.

Smith, J., Flowers, P., Larkin, M. (2009). Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. London: Sage.

Slutsky, J., Jadva, V., Freeman, T., Persaud, S., Steele, M., Steele, H., Golombok, S. (2016). Integrating donor conception into identity development: Adolescents in fatherless families. Fertility and Sterility, 106, 51-282.

Tamanza G., Gozzoli C., Gennari M. (2016): Revealing the Difference: Between Conflict Mediation and Law Enforcement—Living and Working Together as a Conceptual and Methodological Turning Point to Activate Transformation in a Juvenile Criminal Media-tion Service, World Futures, DOI: 10.1080/02604027.2016.1245536

Tallandini, M.A., Zanchettin, L., Gronchi, G., & Morsan, V. (2016). Parental disclo-sure of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) conception to their chil-dren: A systematic and meta-analytic review. Hum Reproduction, 31, 1275-1287.

Tonellato L. (2011). Coppie omosessuali con figli: analisi di una generatività nuova e “inusuale”. Storie e Geografie Familiari, n. 6, pp. 53-71.

Wyverkens, E., Provoost, V., Ravelingien, A., De Sutter, P., Pennings, G., & Buysse, A. (2014). Beyond sperm cells: A qualitative study on constructed meanings of the sperm donor in lesbian families. Human Reproduction, 29, 1248-1254.

Zadeh, S., Ilioi, E.C., Jadva, V., & Golombok, S. (2018). The perspectives of adoles-cents conceived using surrogacy, egg or sperm donation. Hum Reprod, 33, 1099-1106.


  • Non ci sono refbacks, per ora.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Utilizziamo i cookie per essere sicuri che tu possa avere la migliore esperienza sul nostro sito. Se continui ad utilizzare questo sito noi assumiamo che tu sia d'accordo con i cookie da noi utilizzati. Per maggiori informazioni clicca qui: Privacy policy e cookie


Editore: Giuseppe Licari dal 2013 - piazza Lodi 4, 26100 Cremona

Rivista scientifica ISSN: 2281-8960 - registrata presso il Tribunale di Cremona: registro stampa n° 323/2013.