Fiona Kelly is a Professor in the Law School at La Trobe University. She was previously an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Fiona’s research explores the intersection between family law and health law, with a particular focus on the legal regulation of assisted reproduction. She has published extensively in Australian and international journals on the legal treatment of lesbian and single mother by choice families, the legal regulation of parentage in the context of assisted reproduction, and the ethics of sperm donor anonymity. Her most recent research examines the experiences of single mothers by choice who participate in donor linking using statutory as well as informal methods to access donor information. Fiona has published two monographs, Transforming Law’s Family: The Legal Recognition of Planned Lesbian Families (UBC Press, 2011) and Autonomous Motherhood? A Socio-Legal Study of Choice and Constraint (University of Toronto Press, 2015) (with Susan Boyd, Dorothy Chunn & Wanda Wiegers). Fiona is the Deputy Director of the Law School’s Centre for Health Law and Society, and the Editor of the Australian Journal of Family Law.

Deborah Dempsey is an Associate Professor in Sociology in the School of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at Swinburne University of Technology. Deb has published widely on the social aspects of family formation through assisted reproductive technologies and is best known for her work on families created through donor conception and surrogacy in the LGBTI communities. Deb’s work has contributed to international debates about how legislators and policy makers globally should navigate gender and racial inequalities in surrogacy arrangements, as well as adjudicate the competing claims to relatedness and family raised by use of third party assisted conception and surrogacy. Publications include: Same-Sex Parented Families in Australia, published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies in 2013; Families, Relationships and Intimate Life, 2nd edition, (with Jo Lindsay) published by Oxford University Press in 2014; Qualitative Social Research: Contemporary Methods for the Digital Age (with Viv Waller and Karen Farquharson) published by Sage in 2016 and The History of Donor Conception Record Keeping in Victoria (with Fiona Kelly) published by the Victorian Assisted Reproduction Treatment Authority (VARTA) in 2018.

Dr Charlotte Frew is a Research Associate at Latrobe University Law School. She has previously been employed as a Research Officer at Parliament of Victoria and the Family Law Council. Her research has focused on the legal and social construction of the ‘family’, marriage law, and the role of law in shaping notions of kinship across time. Her research has been published in socio-legal and legal history journals including the Australian Journal of Family Law and, Law in Context: Current Trends in the Regulation of Same-Sex Relationships.

Cal Volks is completing an Australian Research Council funded PhD at La Trobe University Law School under the supervision of Prof. Fiona Kelly (La Trobe University) and Associate Prof. Deb Dempsey (Swinburne University). The PhD involves looking at experiences of Australian gamete donors who have been donor linked with donor-conceived persons under the age of 18. Cal was previously the Director of the University of Cape Town HIV/AIDS and inclusivity Unit in South Africa until 2017. She has been researching, managing and evaluating in the field of reproductive and sexual health, particularly around assisted reproduction and HIV/AIDS for the past 22 years.

Adrienne Byrt is a Research Assistant and Master by Research candidate at Swinburne University of Technology. Adrienne’s current interdisciplinary research in sociology and co-design intends to highlight the social pressures mothers of moderate-to-late preterm infants face during early parenthood, while also eliciting prospective design solutions for improved support services for this group.


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