Lucy Frith


Searching for Donor Half Siblings: Relations and Relatedness in an Age of Changing Technologies

With technological advances the possibility for finding linkages between people conceived by the same gamete donor, donor half siblings, is growing. This project, Searching for donor half-siblings, will examine these emerging linkages by investigating how the ideas of relatedness, relations and kinship are enacted in an environment of the increasing use of donor conception (those using gametes from third parties to form their family), and technological advances that enable both internet searching and DNA matching that can lead to linking donor half-siblings. These two technologies challenge the locatedness of knowledge by moving and removing narrative certainties from the family environment, challenging epistemologies of family life and documentary evidence (such as birth certificates), and opening up new conceptions of what it means to be ‘related’ and to have someone as your ‘relation’.

This project will examine the following questions:

  1. How do new technologies facilitate new forms of relatedness?
  2. How are these new forms of relatedness conceptualised?
  3. How should regulation in this area be approached?


Lucy Frith is a visiting fellow at CRASSH, Lent 2014. 

Lucy Frith is Senior Lecturer in Bioethics and Social Science at the University of Liverpool. She has a taught medical ethics to medical students and health care professionals for a number of years and has a particular interest in combining empirical methods with ethical analysis. Her research focuses on the social context of ethical and health-care decision-making and uses multi-disciplinary approaches to address complex ethical and social problems. She has carried out research in women's health, pregnancy and childbirth; reproductive technologies (gamete and embryo donation); the use of evidence in medical practice and organisational ethics. She is  empirical ethics section editor of the journal Clinical Ethics.


Visiting Fellow


November 2013 - March 2014


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