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Biogenetic Kinship in Families Formed via Reciprocal IVF: ‘It Was [My Partner]’s Egg... But My Blood Flowed through Her’

Bower-Brown, S., Shaw, K., McConnachie, A. , Jadva, V. ORCID: 0000-0003-0922-0694, Ahuja, K. & Golombok, S. (2023). Biogenetic Kinship in Families Formed via Reciprocal IVF: ‘It Was [My Partner]’s Egg... But My Blood Flowed through Her’. Sociology, 58(3), pp. 735-752. doi: 10.1177/00380385231212398


Reciprocal IVF is a route to parenthood that, for the first time, allows cis two-mother families (and other couples in which both partners have a uterus and egg stores) to ‘share’ biological parenthood. This family form offers a valuable opportunity for researchers to examine experiences of gestational and genetic motherhood within the same family, and this article is the first to take a sociological approach to exploring kinship within this emerging family form. Drawing upon interview data with 14 two-mother families (28 mothers) who have conceived via reciprocal IVF, we show that mothers hold complex, creative and sometimes contradictory understandings of the ‘multiple motherhoods’ within their family (i.e. genetic, epigenetic and gestational motherhood). Overall, mothers took an active and strategic approach to constructing kinship within their family, and these findings have theoretical, empirical and clinical implications.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2023. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Publisher Keywords: assisted reproduction, geneticisation, genetic thinking, LGBTQ+, motherhood, reciprocal IVF
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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