While an increasing number of people are using gamete donation as a method of family building, research exploring public attitudes towards third party assisted conception is limited, especially in relation to the perceptions of members of minority ethnic communities. Members of British South Asian (Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian) communities may construct meanings about the experience of childlessness in particular ways and these understandings may shape ideas about the acceptability and appropriateness of different infertility treatments. ‘Public’ understandings of reproductive technologies are likely to have an impact on the experiences of childless couples and those seeking treatment. It is important, therefore, to have some understanding of how ‘publics’ perceive gamete donation.
The GAMDON study aimed to examine the public understandings of gamete donation amongst British South Asian communities and to explore issues regarding the willingness of South Asian women and men to consider donating or receiving gametes through altruistic or other means. The study was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Details of the grant, including publications and impact activity, can be found on the ESRC website.
The research team
Principal Investigator: Prof Lorraine Culley, De Montfort University, Leicester.
Study researcher: Dr Nicky Hudson, De Montfort University, Leicester.
Co-applicants: Prof Mark Johnson, De Montfort University, Leicester; Prof Frances Rapport, University of Swansea; Dr Adi Bharadwaj, University of Edinburgh.
The study included three key phases:
- An extensive review of the published academic literature on public perceptions of gamete donation and a review of UK published Asian (English language) newspaper and magazine items which discussed gamete donation.
- Focus groups with participants of South Asian origin designed to elicit their views on the ‘community’ discourses surrounding gamete donation, and interviews with key informants.
- A community engagement event entitled ‘Making Parents: Infertility Awareness and South Asian Communities’, attended by members of South Asian communities and representatives from stakeholder organisations, at which the team presented preliminary findings from the study and generated further data from a series of small group discussions.
A team of bi-lingual community facilitators were recruited to work with the core research team, and the study was overseen by an advisory group.
A report of the key findings is available here.
If you would like to find out more about the study, please contact:
Dr Nicky Hudson
School of Applied Social Sciences, Hawthorn Building,
De Montfort University,
Leicester, LE1 9BH
T: +44 (0)116 2078766