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Experiences and motives of Australian single mothers by choice who make early contact with their child's donor relatives

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posted on 21.11.2022, 03:41 authored by Fiona KellyFiona Kelly, Deborah DempseyDeborah Dempsey
An increasing number of Australian parents of donor-conceived children are making contact with their child's donor relatives prior to their child reaching the age of majority. This process, of ten referred to as 'donor linking', can be achieved in Australia through either formal or informal mechanisms. Formal mechanisms exist in three states, each of which has legislation enabling donor linking in certain circumstances. Donor linking may also be achieved through informal mechanisms, such as online donor registries, social media searches, direct-to-consumer genetic testing, and fertility clinics which act as intermediaries between donors and recipients. Drawing on qualitative interview data, this article explores the donor linking practices of twenty-five single women who conceived using donated gametes. The findings suggest that early contact with donors is extremely popular among single women and that, even when formal legislative mechanisms are available, informal linking remains common.


Publication Date



Medical Law Review






20p. (p. 571-590)


Oxford University Press



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© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact