The question in the title of this piece is the one posed in research to be carried out this autumn by Rebecca Perna a counselling psychology doctoral student at the University of East London in the UK. Her thesis is that the long-term implications of donor conception, whereby lines of genetic inheritance are changed irrevocably for the future, may be felt more acutely by donor conceived people when they become parents themselves. This life transition encourages reflection in most thoughtful men and women. It is a time in many people’s lives when family history becomes more meaningful and alongside this, the meaning of ‘family’ is consolidated according to personal circumstances and life experiences. Taken altogether this might mean that a donor conceived person would feel more or less comfortable about their own identity and what they might be passing on to their children.
Very little significant research has taken place into the feelings and experiences of donor conceived adults. As far as I know no-one has ever asked parents who are donor conceived how they feel about themselves following having children, or the future of their family, so the results are likely to be of wide interest.
If you are a donor conceived adult who is also a parent – of young or much older children – do consider contacting Rebecca on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. Participants should ideally live in the UK, but a small proportion of interviews can be carried out via Skype. The research has been approved by the ethics committee of the university and by the research team at DC Network.