Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


The purpose of this research study was to explore if and how race impacts interracial lesbian couples' decision-making process of conceiving through donor insemination. This exploratory mixed-methods study aims to contribute to a growing body of literature on lesbian donor insemination, while focusing on a population-interracial lesbian couples-that has been largely excluded from the research. The study's main areas of focus were derived from reviewing the peripheral literature. These areas of question included: the couple's individual demographics and racial background; the couples' decision-making process around who would be the biological mother; the influence of the non-biological mother's racial background on donor choice; the experience of obtaining a donor; and, the impact of family of origin on the decision-making process. A total of 43 women in interracial lesbian relationships who were pregnant, planning to have, or already had children completed an online survey comprised of quantitative and qualitative (open-ended) questions. Participant narratives revealed the planning and emotions that go into the decision-making process when opting to conceive through donor insemination. The major findings revealed that race was important when choosing a donor. There was a direct attempt by participants to find a donor that matched the non-biological mother's racial background and characteristics. Many participants noted difficulties finding their desired donor, specifically donors of color. These findings were in accordance with the few studies on donor insemination that have included interracial lesbian couples. In response to these findings, suggestions for future research were given that may help professionals working within the medical and social service fields better serve this growing population.


Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2008. iii, 118 p. Includes bibliographical references (p. 102-106)