Recent research

Published findings of studies completed with the participation of DC Network members


Sample / Audience




Author detail


Anonymity and the move to openness

Donor conceived people


All families


Becoming Donor-Conceived:

The Transformation of Anonymity in Gamete Donation

While it has been argued that anonymity in gamete donation has been brought to an end by legal changes and technological developments, Amelie Baumann suggests that this is in fact still in transformation. By focusing on the narratives of those who were conceived with anonymously donated gametes in the UK and Germany, she examines this transformative process and the role which donor-conceived persons play in it.  Amelie Baumann

Download the PDF copy or purchase the book 


Unregulated sperm donation All 2019 The Experiences of Recipients and Donors in an Unregulated Sperm Donation Context Exploratory research to find out about incidences of ‘morally-challenging’ behaviour that might be occurring in the online sperm donation community.

Georgina Forshall

Leeds Becket

Summary of findings document

Project website - 


Solo mums, Lesbian couples


The Circumstances of Pregnancy questionnaire: ensuring its relevance and acceptability to today's generation of new mothers. 

Review of a questionnaire used in UK maternity services and the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles. The changes reflect the changing views and circumstances of pregnant women in the UK and further afield.

Geraldine Barret 


Barrett G, Nolan EM, Gürtin ZB, et al. J., Epidemiol Community Health 2020;74:765. 




A review of the Donor Conception Network's Our Story books

This study conducted a cross-sectional survey with DCN members and non-members to evaluate the use of the Our Story book range in terms of parent/s and children confidence in their donor conception story.

Ishaq Abdul, Prof. Joyce Harper


Short summary published in DCN journal (2019)


Heterosexual couples


Surrogacy men's experience in heterosexual  couples

A qualitative study of male partners in heterosexual couples experience becoming dads through surrogacy.

Christina Weis, Wendy Norton

De Montfort

Short summary published in DCN journal (2020)

Centre for Reproduction research blog




Curious Connections: The Impact of Donating Egg and Sperm on Donors' Everyday Life and relationships

This study explored how donating eggs or sperm impacts on the everyday lives and relationships of donors. It reviewed the UK policy context to donation and the rights and obligations of donors and their families.  It also looked at how egg and sperm donors negotiate donation within their everyday lives and relationships.

Leah Gilman, Petra Nordqvist

University of Manchester

Leaflet: Being an egg or sperm donor: balancing ‘being available’ with ‘knowing your place’?  

Online event (2020) Curious Connections: The social life of egg and sperm donation:

Session 1: Research from the Curious Connections project

Session 2: How well does current donor conception law and policy fit donors' needs and perspectives? (Panel discussion)

Solo parenthood

Solo mums


Single mothers by choice &  Social Change: An interdisciplinary and cross-national study 

The study analysed and compared the experiences and motivations of women in becoming single mothers by choice across the UK and Spain.

Anna Bravo-Moreno


Bravo-Moreno, A. (2019). Deconstructing “Single” Mothers by Choice: Transcending Blood, Genes, and the Biological Nuclear Family?  

Bravo-Moreno, A. (2019). Choice Mums and Children’s Education. Does Feminism Matter? A Qualitative Study

Bravo-Moreno, A. (2021). Reproductive agency, assisted reproductive technology & obstetric violenceHealth Care for Women International

Bravo-Moreno, Ana. 2021. "The Intersection of Reproductive, Work-Life Balance and Early-Education and Care Policies: ‘Solo’ Mothers by Choice in the UK and Spain" Sciences 10, no. 12: 458.





Egg donation in the UK, Belgium and Spain: An interdisciplinary study

This study (‘EDNA’ for short) explored the social, political, economic and moral configuration of
egg donation in the UK, Belgium and Spain, providing a more holistic understanding of how egg
donation is experienced, organised and regulated across the three countries.

Nicky Hudson

De Montfort University

EDNA project blog
Parenthood in non-heterosexual family types

Solo mums

Solo dads

Same-sex couples

2018 Marginalised families online: Exploring the role of digital media for parents in diverse family groups This study explored the experiences of single and/or LGB parents who have brought children in to their lives through donor conception or adoption and their use of digital media. 

Jai Mackenzie

University of Nottingham

Link to Jai Mackenzie's staff page and publications

See Jai's blog, regularly updated with publications and more. The film resulting from the project can be viewed here.

Health outcomes All 2018

Self-reported physical health status of donor sperm-conceived adults

This study compared the self-reported health outcomes for adults conceived through donor sperm (n=272) and those conceived naturally. There were higher reports of some health conditions in the donor-sperm conceived group, including for type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, acute bronchitis, allergies, sleep apnoea and having ear tubes/grommets surgically implanted.

Damian Adams

Flinders University, Australia

Adams, D.H., Gerace, A., Davies, M.J. & de Lacey, S. (2021) Self-reported mental health status of donor sperm-conceived adults. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, pp. 1 - 11.


Adams, D.H., Gerace, A., Davies, M., & de Lacey, S. (2020). Self-reported physical health status of donor sperm-conceived adults. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, 1-14.