All about Born from the Same Stranger on ITV1)

Sarah Smith with her mother Shyra in Singapore on Born From The Same Stranger
Sarah Smith with her mother Shyra in Singapore
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New ITV1 series Born from the Same Stranger delves into the lives of individuals conceived through donors. It explores the complex web of relationships that emerge when these individuals discover the existence of numerous siblings they never knew they had.

Narrated by Davina McCall, Born from the Same Stranger chronicles the journey of various people as they embark on a quest to connect with their numerous siblings and, in some cases, to locate the anonymous donors who contributed to their conception.

These pursuits are aided by cutting-edge DNA technology, expert genealogists, and intermediaries. Furthermore, a unique social media community, comprising individuals who share the experience of being donor conceived, offers invaluable advice, support, and insight into their own search experiences.

The show follows the journey of individuals born before 2005, who are using DNA testing, genetic genealogy, and social media to trace their roots. Their quest is not without challenges, including ethical dilemmas and barriers in their search for identity.

When is Born from the Same Stranger on TV?

The show begins on Monday, 22 January at 9PM on ITV1. The series has four episodes which will air weekly. You can also watch online via ITVX.

Episodes

Episode 1

The journey begins with Liam Renouf, a Jersey-born individual raised by a single mother since 1995. Liam’s curiosity about his biological father is a poignant aspect of his story. The episode also introduces Sarah Smith, who unexpectedly learns of her donor conception four years ago, following her father’s demise.

Isobel (left) and Tom (right) with their mum Sarah (centre) in the second episode of the show
Isobel (left) and Tom (right) with their mum Sarah (centre) at their home in Wilmslow

Episode 2

This episode uncovers the unique stories of siblings Tom and Isabel, both conceived through different donor methods. Tom’s search leads him to one of his donors, while Isabel’s journey ventures into almost science-fictional territory as she discovers a genetic twin born years before her. The episode also follows Marco, a child of same-sex parents from the 1980s, as she navigates the challenges of tracing her origins with no official records, relying solely on commercial DNA databases.

Episode 3

When Corinne discovers that the female gynaecologist organising her conception back in 1959 used only a small number of donors to produce more than 300 children, she realises that she could be one of multiple half-siblings born to the same donor. This is a very real phenomenon for donor conceived people. Sam and his half-sister Emma already know of 21 half-siblings who’ve been “popping up like whack a mole” on the DNA databases and their search is not over yet.

Episode 4

What’s the effect of donor conceived people searching for their genetic identity on the parents who’ve raised them? We meet Amanda, who has put off searching until now because she’s worried about the impact on her mum and dad, and Adam, whose parents talk openly and honestly about why they were told to keep sperm donation a secret but who are 100% behind his search for answers.

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