Donor conception: An unfamiliar path to a normal family?

27 – 28th of August 2015
Ghent, Belgium


The symposium “Donor conception: An unfamiliar path to a normal family?” is organized by the research group on social and genetic parenthood from Ghent University (Belgium). This research group conducted interdisciplinary qualitative research combining bioethical and psychological viewpoints. The project was set up to investigate the meanings of social and genetic parenthood as constructed and experienced by people who are involved in medically assisted reproduction techniques. The central question was what it means to be a parent and to what extent this depends on the existence of a genetic link. Both the experiences and the normative reasoning of the participants were studied.

The symposium aims at providing an interdisciplinary event with presentations of the results of the study and contributions from seven international speakers who are experts in the field. 


  • The importance of the genetic link (Veerle Provoost, Ghent University; Petra Nordqvist, University of Manchester, United Kingdom)
  • Parent-child communication about donor conception (Hanna Van Parys, Ghent University and Lucy Blake, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
  • Donor selection (An Ravelingien, Ghent University and Ole Schou, Cryos International, Denmark)
  • Family building with anonymous versus identifiable sperm donors (Elia Wyverkens, Ghent University and Lucy Frith, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom)
  • Non-directive versus directive counselling (Inez Raes, Ghent University and Chris Verhaak, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
  • The patient in the middle (Sara Somers, Ghent University and Patricia Baetens, Free University of Brussels, Belgium)
  • Transgenderism (Isabelle Stuyver, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium and Jamie Lindemann Nelson, Michigan State University, United States)

You are invited to submit an abstract of 500 words maximum before the 1st of May 2015 to

Abstracts addressing the issues mentioned above will be favoured. The abstracts will be selected by the organizing committee. Authors are requested to indicate their preference for oral and/or poster presentation.

The official language of the symposium is English.

Combine this symposium with the conference on Ethics of Families on the 26th of August 2015!

Welcome to Ghent!