Contact Project : The experience of gamete donors contacted by their donor offspring

While the anonymity of sperm and egg donors was the organizing principle of assisted reproduction until the early 2000s in many countries, more and more people have spoken out in Canada and elsewhere to demand better access to their origins for donor-conceived people. In parallel, an entire market has developed around DNA tests that aim to identify people’s so-called “ethnic” origins and people who are related through genetic genealogy. Through these tests, many people have unexpectedly discovered that they were born thanks to gamete donation, while others have used these commercial databases to get around the anonymity rules that were in effect in their countries and identify their donor. What happens when people find the donor who made their birth possible? There is still very little empirical research on the subject.

The Contact project aims to examine situations in which a gamete donor is directly contacted by a donor offspring, whom they did not previously know. The study will help better understand the consequences of the progressive expansion of donor conceived people’s access to information about their origins. It will provide pathways for people working in the field of assisted reproduction with regard to supporting users and could be mobilized by lawmakers interested in the issue.

This project is led by principal researcher Anaïs Martin (UQO) with co-researcher Isabel Côté (UQO).

This project was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) [Canada Research Chair in Third-Party Reproduction and Family Ties, 2020–2025].

To participate to the Contact Project please contact Anaïs Martin (

Learn more about the Research Chair

To learn more about the mandate and the different research lines of the Chair, visit our Research lines section.