Speaker Bio

Marilyn Crawshaw

BSc(Soc) MA CQSW DipApplSocStud PhD


Now an Honorary Fellow (formerly Senior Lecturer in Social Work) at University of York, I have long standing interests in reproductive health and the outcomes of assisted conception treatments. I have written about and researched into donor conception, surrogacy, cancer-related fertility, adoption and birth registration, including with donor-conceived adults, recipient parents and donors.  I also sit on the editorial board for the journal Human Fertility which helps me keep up to date with multi-disciplinary research. Previously a community-based social worker, I went on to be attached to a Maternity & Gynae unit for twelve years where I offered a fertility counselling service and was also involved in placing infants for adoption. For many years, I was a Trustee for a post-adoption charity and still volunteer with it, seeing the impact of adoption down the line.  I have contributed to Preparation for Parenthood workshops for the Donor Conception Network since their inception many years ago. I am also in regular contact with parents, donor-conceived adults and donors.

I’ve held a number of other national posts. I was a Social and Ethical Inspector and External Adviser to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and advised them on the development of intermediary services for donor-conceived adults and donors. I was a founder member of the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA) and held various posts with them; I still edit its Practice Guides. I was national adviser to UK DonorLink – the government-funded DNA-based voluntary information exchange and contact register for adults genetically related through donor conception – from 2003 to 2013. Currently I chair UK PROGAR which brings together a number of child and family welfare organisations and individuals interested in the lifespan aspects of donor conception and surrogacy and which was instrumental in lifting donor anonymity in the UK.  Finally I’m a member of the UK Birth Registration Campaign and also of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York.