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: 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.

now seeking participants! by Katy Barbier-Greenland

I've just announced another callout for participants! Would love to hear from you if you've got a family secret you're happy to share with me anonymously.

Perhaps you've come across your secret while exploring your family tree? Maybe you've discovered that you're adopted, or were conceived with the use of a donor? Perhaps something unexpected has come to light through DNA testing?

If so, I'd love to interview you about your family secret and the impacts on your life, and how it's changed the ways in which you think about your identity and family. 

Please feel free to contact me through the Call for Participants form or by emailing me directly: 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Genealogy conference announcements! by Katy Barbier-Greenland

Is it just me, or are there suddenly an abundance of fantastic family secret related events cropping up? Two conferences on family history were announced yesterday, both held in the UK next year. Of course I'm planning on attending both, and hopefully will get the chance to share some of my research findings. 

The first is The Genealogy Show, a conference held over two days in Birmingham in June 2019. Follow their FB page for the latest news. The second is Family Tree Live, held in London at the end of April. There isn't a whole heap of info as yet but it's early days so watch this space. Looking forward to both!

#familysecrets #familyhistory #genealogy #ancestry

European Sociological Association - Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives research network by Katy Barbier-Greenland

The European Sociological Association research network that I'm a part of, Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives, has just published a callout for my project in their Spring newsletter! It's only emailed out to members, not published anywhere online, so I haven't been able to link it.

This research network is all about family sociology and supports research in this area on a wide range of topics including family forms, marriage and cohabitation, multicultural and transnational families, same-sex couples and rainbow families, family planning and fertility, infertility and reproductive technologies, parenting, mothering and fathering practices, intergenerational relationships and kinship networks,  cultural understandings of family, theories and methodologies of research on families and many more.

As previously blogged, I'm going to be attending their 2018 conference, 'Families Known and Unknown', at the University of Kuopio in Finland in June, and will share updates on the presentations. 

Thanks ESA!

Federation of Family History Societies - callout in newsletter by Katy Barbier-Greenland

The Federation of Family History Societies has published my participant callout in their newsletter. This newsletter is released every two months, and if you're interested you can sign up here.

The FFHS is an educational charity with over 160 member societies throughout the world, focusing on topics related to ancestry, family history and genealogy. I think they have a special focus on the UK, but there are links to sister organisations worldwide, including the Australian equivalent. Loads of resources available through their site. 

Thanks FFHS!