Research suggests that the quality of mother-child relationship may shape the perception children have re the donor more than the way mothers present the donor to their children.
New technologies, procedures, and developments in reproductive science such as egg freezing, mitochondrialdonation and genome editing have occupied many column inches, as well as much public and academic discussion in recent years. However, as evidenced by the fervent response to an article by Professor Guido Pennings recently published in BioNews 900, the topic of gamete donation remains an area of interest and continued site of controversy.
On 24 May, one day after presenting her work to the British Sociological Associations Human Reproduction Study Group, Dr Sophie Zadeh, research fellow at the University of Cambridge, shared some of her recent research findings at an invited lecture with members and guests of the Centre for Reproduction Research at De Montfort University.
The focus of many studies on donor conception, including those at the Centre for Family Research, has been to assess the psychological wellbeing and adjustment of donor conceived individuals. This includes examining family functioning, or intentions regarding disclosure. However, over the last six years and under the direction of Professor Susan Golombok, Dr Zadeh has undertaken a longitudinal study of solo mother families realised by sperm donation. In particular, her research has examined the way the media constructs and represents this group of women, and has explored the perspectives and experiences of mothers and children in families formed via sperm donation.