If you are an academic / researcher: 

If you are an academic researcher interested in carrying out a study relating to donor conception and would like to find out about recruiting through DCN membership, please visit this page.

If you are interested in taking part in current research:

New research requests are posted here when we are approached by researchers in the field. Your views and contribution to research can help build a body of information which can benefit individuals and families such as yours. 

DCN has a research committee which reviews all the research requests to the Network to ensure that it is conducted appropriately and fits in with our members. Contact DCN if you have any questions on the procedure by emailing

Current opportunities


Who can participate

Further details


The project will explore the unique strengths and challenges that from the adult child's perspective - are part of being donor conceived.

If you are a donor-conceived person aged 18-30, for now looking for sperm-donor conceived in any family configuration.

Find out more about the study in the video here

See recruitment flyers here: Flyer1 Flyer2 Flyer 3


Dr Sophie Zadeh 

Exploring Solo Mothers’ Experiences, Demographics, Networks and Sources of Support All solo mothers- pregnant and with children, who conceived through donor sperm or sperm and egg.  Link to the study here


Dr Suzy Buckley

and Sining Ren

Counselling and the Donor Linking Process

Donor Conceived Adults who have engaged with counselling before contacting any donor links they have discovered (either through a donor linking service, the HFEA, or a commercial DNA testing).

You must:

  • Must be over the age of 18
  • Must be donor conceived and have been conceived in the UK.
  • Must be based in the UK.
  • Must have accessed counselling prior to deciding whether to initiate contact with a donor link (sibling or donor).
  • Must be English-speaking
This research is being undertaken by Melanie Molloy a master’s student of Clinical Counselling at Chester University.

If you are interested in taking part in this research or would like more information please contact:

Melanie Molloy

Research carried out in recent years in DC Network includes the following studies:


Sample / Audience




Author detail



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




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.