Current Research on MPEs


Did you know only 40% of those who’ve seen a therapist that lacks experience working with MPEs found it helpful, while 80% did find it helpful if the therapist had prior experience? Or that 78% of those conceived through assisted conception have identified their donor through over-the-counter DNA testing? Julia Becker, LCGC, and Erin Jackson, founder of We Are Donor Conceived, discuss their recent research.

Julia recently received her Master’s Degree in Genetic Counseling from CSU Stanislaus in the San Francisco Bay Area. For her Master’s thesis, she conducted a qualitative study, interviewing 25 individuals with the experience of receiving misattributed parentage results through direct-to-consumer genetic testing (DTC-GT). This study is the first to systematically analyze the impact of receiving MPE results through genetic testing outside of a clinical setting. Her project focuses on the emotional and psychological impacts of receiving misattributed parentage results including impacts on sense of identity and family relationships. She hopes her study will increase professional familiarity with MPE experiences and provide both healthcare and mental health professionals with the awareness necessary to better support and care for their clients.

Erin is a San Diego-based freelance writer and founder of We Are Donor Conceived, a multi-purpose online space where donor-conceived people can share their stories and find information, resources, and community. The website also serves to educate the public through personal narratives and an annual survey that digs into the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of donor-conceived people. Findings include the profound impact of commercial DNA testing, the importance of knowing one’s genetic origins, and the urgent need for common-sense regulations and legal reforms that protect the best interests of donor-conceived people around the globe.