This Week in Family
Sperm donation can look like a simple, practical solution for starting a family, but those who opt for the process are often surprised by its emotional consequences, Ashley Fetters reports. Some specialists argue that professional counseling is crucial to helping families untangle the messy emotional webs that the process can weave, and some countries legally require that sperm donors and recipients participate in counseling, but not the U.S.
One sperm donor’s wife told Fetters she wished she’d been better prepared for the struggles her husband would face: “I was just like, ‘Gosh, why hasn’t someone told us?’” she said. “Why was nobody saying, ‘This is a big deal, and it's going to test the limits of your relationship’?”
In the 1960s and ’70s, America was “at Peak Family Road Trip,” Ashley Fetters writes—a result of the combination of a developing interstate-highway system and a growing presence of cars in family life. But with the rise of reliable, cheaper air travel, road trips are no longer the staple of American life they once were.
Fetters spoke with Richard Ratay, the author of a new book called Don’t Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip, about how the family vacation has changed. “It sure felt back then a lot more like when you went on a family vacation, you were setting off into the wild frontier on a great adventure together,” Ratay said. “You as a family were going to have to overcome these challenges and find ways to deal with them. I don’t think it feels that way anymore.”