Families of Strangers

Families of Strangers? The Socio-legal Implications of Donor Linking by Katy Barbier-Greenland

My primary supervisor A/Prof Deb Dempsey and her colleague A/Prof Fiona Kelly recently launched their website for their Australian Research Council funded program of work called Families of Strangers? The Socio-legal Implications of Donor Linking. This project investigates the impact of donor linking – the process whereby donor-conceived people, donors and recipient parents access each other’s identity – on individual and familial identities and relationships. It builds on a lot of previous work that both Deb and Fiona have done, bringing their own unique lens as a lawyer and sociologist to these issues which are at the nexus of sociology, law, ethics, reproduction, rights and identity.

This project will uncover important insights about:

  • How donor linking frameworks are implemented, who is making applications, and their motivations for doing so

  • How reproductive technology professionals are engaged in the
    management and disclosure of identifying and non-identifying information in clinical

  • How and why individuals engage in statutory and non-statutory donor linking

  • How they perceive its impact on family relationships and identities

Outcomes will shed light on how familial identities and relationships are managed, transformed or disrupted by statutory and non-statutory forms of donor linking, and will create insights and evidence for policy, services and law on donor-linking. You can follow the project on Facebook and Twitter too.

They’re currently calling for interview participants so if you’d like to share your story of donor-conception and making contact with a donor relative, then do get in touch with Charlotte who is working alongside Deb and Fiona, on: donor.linking@latrobe.edu.au You might be eligible to take part if you’re a donor-conceived adult, donor, or parent of a donor-conceived child and you’ve made contact. Charlotte will give you more info about the project.