Relative Strangers book

'Relative strangers' explores how family life is affected when children are conceived using a donor.

The insights gained in the in-depth interviews... are beyond anything I have ever come across before.

Olivia Montuschi / Co-founder of Donor Conception Network

Petra Nordqvist and Carol Smart have written a book called, Relative Strangers: Family life, genes and donor conception based on their research.

What does it mean to have a child born through donor conception? Does it mean different things for heterosexual parents and lesbian parents? What is it like for the 'non-genetic' parent? How do grandparents feel about having a grandchild who is conceived with the help of an egg, sperm or embryo donor? Since 1991 more than 35,000 children have been born in the UK as a result of donor conception. This means that more and more families are facing the issue of incorporating 'relative strangers' into their families.

How to order

Order a copy of Relative Strangers from the publishers, Palgrave Macmillan, by 31 May 2015 and get 20% off the full paperback price (so you pay £16).

You can read the introductory chapter (opens in new window) free on the Palgrave website. Some libraries have copies of the book, or you can recommend it to your librarian, again via the Palgrave website. 


Olivia Montuschi, co-founder of Donor Conception Network says Relative Strangers is a 'must read'.

'The insights gained in the in-depth interviews with members of lesbian and heterosexual couple families who have used donor conception are beyond anything I have ever come across before and should be enormously helpful in re-assessing both the policy and practice of the range of support that needs to be in place at every stage of the donor conception family journey… particularly before treatment takes place.'

Sarah Norcross, Director of Progress Educational Trust and Commissioning Editor of BioNews says:

'This book isn't a dry academic tome ... it is accessible and can be read by anyone with an interest in donor conception. I would strongly recommend it to parents of donor-conceived children to whom it could be enormously reassuring.'