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Reproductive Sociology Research Group


I have been a research associate in ReproSoc since 2016. My current work is part of ReproSoc's collaborative grant ‘Changing (In)Fertilities’, funded by the Wellcome trust (2018-2022). Within this project, I coordinate the 'LGBTQ+ (In)Fertilities' work package on the changing fertility behaviours and perceptions among queer people. My current research involves qualitative interviews with British gay men who have pursued altruistic surrogacy in the UK or compensated surrogacy overseas. 

This follows on from my previous EU funded study 'SurroARTs', which was based at UC Berkeley and Cambridge, and carried out with the participation of gay men who form families through transnational and domestic surrogacy in the US.  

With Prof. Charis Thompson (LSE), I co-edited the special issue of Reproductive BioMedicine & Society Online (Nov. 2018) ‘Making Families: Transnational Surrogacy, Queer Kinship and Reproductive Justice,’ where the perspectives of queer reproductions are put into conversation with those of stratified reproduction and reproductive justice. Currently, I am writing up a book on gay men’s reproductive decision-making and the thinkability of gay family projects in the context of transnational reproduction.  

I wrote my PhD dissertation on the social inclusion of families created through transnational adoption and surrogacy by gay men in Spain (University of Barcelona). Since then I have developed collaborations with the AFIN research group at the Autonomus University of Barcelona.  

In my research, I have also looked at queer resistance to undemocratic nationalisms, sparked by my early work at the Jagiellonian University's Sociology Department in my native Kraków (Poland). I am developing this work in 2021 within the project 'Queering Authoritarianisms: Conflict, Resistance and Coloniality', in collaboration with Hakan Sandal-Wilson and with the support of CRASSH and lgbtQ+@cam
My upcoming projects also turn towards relationships between species in human and nonhuman reproduction, queer ecologies and critical animal studies. 
Within the Sociology Department at Cambridge, I have been teaching on Sociology of Gender (Soc 10), Sociology of Health and Illness (Soc 13), Concepts and Arguments in Sociology (Soc 4), as well as the MPhil in Health, Medicine and Society. I have been supervising and co-supervising undergraduate, MPhil and PhD dissertations on reproductive technologies, reproductive justice, LGBTQ+ families and queer kinships, the politics of sexuality and race, and species and veganism.


Key publications: 

Smietana, M., Rudrappa, S. and Weis, C. (2021), "Moral frameworks of commercial surrogacy within the US, India and Russia." Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, 29(1): 1-17; DOI: 10.1080/26410397.2021.1878674.

Smietana, Marcin (2019) ‘Procreative consciousness in a global market: Gay men’s paths to surrogacy in the US,’ In: Marcin Smietana & Charis Thompson (eds.) ‘Making Families: Transnational Surrogacy, Queer Kinship, and Reproductive Justice’. Special Issue of Reproductive BioMedicine and Society, vol. 7 Nov. 2018, pp. 1-160, [open access]

Smietana, Marcin; Thompson, Charis & Twine, France Winddance (2018). Introduction: Making and Breaking Families: Reading Queer Reproductions, Stratified Reproduction and Reproductive Justice Together. In: Marcin Smietana & Charis Thompson (eds.) 2018. ‘Making Families: Transnational Surrogacy, Queer Kinship, and Reproductive Justice’. Special Issue of Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online,  vol. 7 Nov. 2018, pp. 1-160, [open access]

Smietana, Marcin & Thompson, Charis (eds.) 2018. ‘Making Families: Transnational Surrogacy, Queer Kinship, and Reproductive Justice’Special Issue of Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online, Vol. 7, Nov. 2018. [open access]

Smietana, Marcin (2018). «Mes pères d’intention et moi sommes amis sur Facebook» : comment des femmes porteuses et des pères gais gèrent les tensions entre don et échange marchand aux États-Unis. In: Isabel Côté, Kevin Lavoie & Jerome Courduriès (eds.) Perspectives internationales sur la gestation pour autrui: Expériences des personnes concernées et contextes d’action, pp. 225-247. Presses de l’Université du Québec.

Smietana, Marcin (2017). Affective de-commodifying, economic de-kinning: Surrogates’ and gay fathers’ narratives in U.S. surrogacy. In: Charlotte Faircloth, & Zeynep Gurtin. ‘Making Parents: Reproductive Technologies and Parenting Culture across Borders’ Special Issue of Sociological Research Online 22(2): 6. DOI: 10.5153/sro.4312

Smietana, Marcin (2016). ‘Families like we’d always known’? Spanish gay fathers’ normalization narratives in transnational surrogacy. In: Merete Lie & Nina Lykke (eds.) Assisted Reproduction across Borders: Feminist Perspectives on Normalizations, Disruptions and Transmissions, pp. 49-60. Routledge. 

Smietana, Marcin; Jennings, Sarah; Herbrand, Cathy; & Golombok, Susan (2014). 'Family relationships in gay father families'. In: Tabitha Freeman, Susanna Graham, Fatemeh Ebtehaj & Martin Richards (eds.) Relatedness in Assisted Reproduction: Families, Origins and Identities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Smietana, Marcin (2013). 'Las paternidades y maternidades en las familias de padres gays creadas por gestación subrogada'. In: Joan Bestard, Carmen López, & Diana Marre (eds.) Maternidades, procreación y crianza en transformación. Barcelona: Bellaterra. 

Smietana, Marcin (2011). 'Matczyni ojcowie? Męskość i kobiecość w hiszpańskich rodzinach gejów'. In: Ewelina Ciaputa & Katarzyna Wojnicka (eds.) Karuzela z mężczyznami: Kategorie męskości w polskich badaniach społecznych. Kraków: Impuls. 

Slany, Krystyna; Kowalska, Beata; & Smietana, Marcin, eds. (2005). Homoseksualizm: Perspektywa interdyscyplinarna. Kraków: Nomos.



Blog Posts (on ReproSoc Blog)

'I Wouldn't Mind a Kid Playing Around the Kitchen Here' (November 2020)

'Houses, Children, Animals and the Planet' (June 2019).

'Queering Fertility?' (October 2017).

'Conceivable Futures' (March 2017).

Research Associate
Dr. Marcin  Smietana

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