IMPORTANT PROJECT INFORMATION

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE PROJECT ABOUT?

  • The project aims to find out about the lived experiences of online sperm recipients and to shed light on their experiences: from the beginning of their search for a donor, to pregnancy and postpartum. 

  • The research has been informed by women who have been through the process of obtaining sperm online: they have been consulted throughout the planning of this project to ensure that the research is led by those who it is for.

  • The research aims to engage with potential research participants through this website, whilst simultaneously providing an internet platform for recipients of online sperm to share their stories – whatever their experience - with each other.

  • This forms part of a PhD research project at Leeds Beckett University and may feed into other ongoing research into this area.

WHO CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE WEBSITE OR PARTICIPATE IN THE INTERVIEW-BASED RESEARCH?

People who are seeking or have sought donor-assisted conception using online connection websites or social media are invited to post their stories on the website. To date, very little research has been conducted on the experiences of recipients who use online sperm donation platforms. In repsonse to this, we are also looking for U.K residents over the age of 18 who have just started, or are about to start looking for a sperm donor using websites or social media. Participants will be interviewed three times over the course of a year- the interviewer will travel to their area to complete these. There is also the option to participate in a private online group with the other research participants; where experiences, resources and messages of support can be shared.

ARE THERE ANY BENEFITS OR RISKS TO TAKING PART IN THE RESEARCH?

It is hoped that you may benefit from the study on a personal level by having the opportunity to tell your story. This has been shown to have a positive impact on wellbeing and mental health. Broadly speaking, taking part in this research will help to build greater awareness about any potential forms of difficulties or harm that recipients experience.


Taking part in this study is not expected to cause any discomfort or distress, but if such feelings do arise as a consequence of taking part, you can access information on support or advice here

WHO CAN I CONTACT FOR FURTHER INFORMATION?

If you have any further questions, please feel free to direct any queries via the Contact Box, found here, or you can email SpermDonationProject@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

HOW WILL THE INFORMATION PROVIDED TO THE WEBSITE BE USED?

The contributions to this website may be used as part of a PhD thesis or subsequent ongoing research undertaken at Leeds Beckett University. This may include the use of anonymized quotations taken from website posts. The website has no fixed end date, but a statement will be placed on the website one month before the website is closed so that users are aware of it in advance. The people who might read the thesis in an official capacity are the project supervisors, other members of the psychology staff and external examiners. Additionally, the information may be published in academic journals, presented at academic conferences, or used for teaching purposes.  Although the information may be used for these purposes, you will not be identifiable in any way through these activities. The website will not ask you for any personal information and posts will be moderated to remove any personal or identifying information about the contributor or a third party.

ONCE I HAVE SUBMITTED MY STORY TO THE WEBSITE, CAN I MAKE CHANGES TO IT OR REQUEST THAT IT IS DELETED?

As stories are submitted anonymously, once they have been sent through to our moderators, it is not possible to request that changes be made or that the post be deleted. This is because we have no way of connecting the identity of the person who wrote the story with the person making the request for changes or removal. All posts will be moderated to remove personal information or abusive content and will be available for public view. The website has no fixed end date but a statement will be placed on the website one month before the website is closed so that users are aware of it in advance.

WILL INFORMATION PROVIDED TO THE WEBSITE BE CONFIDENTIAL?

Information that you provide to the website will be published on the site and will be available for public view. All posts will be moderated in advance to remove any personal or identifying information and abusive content will be removed.

IF I'D LIKE TO 'GET INVOLVED' IN THE RESEARCH, WHAT WILL I BE ASKED TO DO?

  • Participants will be interviewed three times over the course of a year- the interviewer will travel to their area to complete these. There is also the option to participate in a private online group with the other research participants; where experiences, resources and messages of support can be shared. 

  • The interviews will invite participants to recount the story of their lives from their earliest memories up to the present moment at their own pace and guided only very loosely by the researcher.

  • If you wish, yourself and your partner can take part in this process together. 

  • In order to aid and prompt you to recount your experiences, at the beginning of the first interview, you will be invited to draw two timelines. The first timeline will represent your life, identifying significant events that you feel have led you to the point where you have chosen to find a sperm donor online. The second timeline will depict your hopes for the next year as you progress on your sperm donation journey. The researcher will ask you some questions about the timelines you have drawn during each interview. The timelines do not have to be very detailed or artistic, but if you do not feel comfortable with this part of the research, then you do not have to complete the timelines. 

  • Interview conversations will be recorded using a digital recorder to help me create an accurate account of the conversation, but you will be asked in advance if you are happy for this to happen and if so, you will be asked to sign a consent form to give your permission.

  • Each interview is likely to take up to 2 hours, but there is no time limit so it may take longer. You will be free to stop the interview at any time and there will be no negative consequences for doing so.

  • Should you wish to, there is also the option to take part in a closed Facebook group with the other participants. You can use your personal account to take part, or create a new account with your chosen pseudonym if you would prefer. On this group, you can post anything that you think relates to your journey to becoming a parent, examples include: updates about your journey, such as; how you’re feeling, any news or milestones, any set-backs, any questions you have for other members of the group, any tips or advice you have picked up along the way, or any photographs (as long as you feel comfortable with others seeing these and anyone identifiable has consented to these being posted).
  • If you choose to participate in the Facebook group, the posts will be anonymised and used alongside the interviews, to form part of a PhD thesis.
  • To say thank you for your time and your contribution to the research, we would like to offer you a £50 voucher for taking part. If you need to pay for childcare during your interview, we are able to reimburse you up to £30 for half a day of childcare. Please keep any relevant receipts so we can process this for you. 

IF I VOLUNTEER TO TAKE PART BUT DECIDE I NO LONGER WANT TO BE INVOLVED, CAN I CHANGE MY MIND?

Yes. It is up to you to decide whether or not you'd be happy to take part in the research. You can stop taking part in the study at any time and/or ask for part or all of your data to be destroyed until 1st December 2020 when the research analysis will begin. You do not need to provide a reason. It is important for you to understand what the research is about and what it will involve. If anything is not clear to you or you would like more information, please submit any questions via the 'Participate in the Research' page. 

HOW WILL INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE INTERVIEWS BE USED?

The information collected during interviews with recipients will be used as part of a PhD thesis, undertaken at Leeds Beckett University. This may include the use of anonymized quotations taken from the interview recordings and anonymized posts from the project Facebook page. The audio recordings and Facebook posts will be labelled with your chosen pseudonym and kept until the study has been written up and then it will be destroyed. The people who might read this in an official capacity are the project supervisor, other members of the psychology staff and external examiners. Additionally, the information may be published in academic journals, presented at academic conferences or used for teaching purposes. Although the information may be used for these purposes, you will not be identifiable in any way through these activities. Anonymity will be achieved by changing your name or any other identifying information. Once the results of the project have been written up, a short summary of the findings for the study overall will be published on the A.I. Confidential Website and other people will have the opportunity to read this summary and draw their own conclusions. It may be that some people agree with the findings of the research, while other people may disagree. Although this can be somewhat daunting, it is all part of a bigger discussion on what is an important issue. 

WILL INFORMATION PROVIDED IN INTERVIEWS BE CONFIDENTIAL?

All the information you provide in the interviews will be treated in confidence. This means that your name will not be passed on to anyone else and your information will be used solely for the research or teaching purposes of the university.  All of your information will be stored securely and only my project supervisor and I will have access to each person’s individual information. The only time that my project supervisors or I would reveal anything to an appropriate authority would be if you divulge information that we feel could potentially put you or another person at serious risk of harm. You will be informed if we need to discuss what you have said with someone else and informed why this is happening. This would be discussed with the project supervisors in the first instance, and then we would decide as a team if this needed to be passed onto an appropriate authority or not. Anything that you post on the closed Facebook group is subject to the terms and conditions of Facebook itself, as well as the privacy policy for the project which will be distributed to all members before the group is established.

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