family

Severance Magazine by Katy Barbier-Greenland

It was my pleasure to be interviewed by the amazing journalist and editor BK Jackson for a new online magazine that launched last month called Severance Magazine. The magazine has been established as a platform to discuss issues and experiences faced by adoptees, NPEs (non-parent expected), donor-conceived people and others who have found themselves with unanticipated, misassigned or unknown parentage. In the piece, I talk about the psychological cost of keeping and discovering family secrets, and what kinds of impacts there can be on the parent and the child where one wants to be open and one wants to maintain the secret….such a complex scenario!

This was a great opportunity to share some of my thoughts and reflect on some of my research findings. Thinking through the subjectivities of it all - whose truth is the secret and how can we navigate when authenticity and privacy come into conflict? How much is our identity wrapped up in our family and ancestry, and how important is it to have access to our own biogenetic information? Openness, privacy, secrecy…all such important issues in families and in particular, for people in the adoptee, NPE and donor-conceived communities.

Follow Severance Magazine on Twitter and Facebook, and please do visit the Severance website which is in my opinion already one of the very best resources available in terms of information and links, and I am sure it will enable community for people who have been affected by these experiences as well. Loads of essays, articles, resources and links and more added all the time and I encourage you to read Telling Family Secrets: Proceed with Caution if you or someone you know has discovered a family secret.

Family Tree Live update by Katy Barbier-Greenland

Family Tree Live UK is really coming together…the organisers are busily organising blogs for all speakers which is going to be really fun in terms of updating and sharing news and ideas to a new audience. While my project is based in sociology and psychology, I’ve found that it has really strong resonance with family history, so I’m excited to give this talk to this new audience.

Actually, it’s the first time I will be able to draw on my background as a social worker as well as my PhD research to reflect on the impacts of family secret discoveries arising from genealogical research, and what on earth to do about them…how to prepare, how to support yourself and others. I hope the talk will compliment some of the more technical talks which are the ‘how to’, because this won’t give you tips on finding people but if you find something unexpected, it’ll help you with the ‘what next’.

Reshaping Families, Reshaping Identities by Katy Barbier-Greenland

I presented my paper Reshaping Families, Reshaping Identities on Thursday afternoon last week as part of the Reproductive Bodies and Identities stream at the Remaking Reproduction: Global Politics of Reproductive Technologies conference at Cambridge. What a fabulous conference - so many passionate and generous people there sharing cutting-edge, fascinating research.

Download the full conference brochure here and you can read more about the conference themes and purpose, as well as the Reproductive Sociology research institute, on the website. Please let me know if you'd like a copy of my talk!