IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Reception of oocytes from partner (ROPA): Exploring a pathway to motherhood of lesbians in China

20 February 2024, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Pregnant woman. Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Join this event to hear as Xuerui Hu explores the interpretations and relational negotiations in the decision-making process of ROPA.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Dr Sonya Sharma


Room G03
55 Gordon Square

Xuerui's research focuses on a specific reproductive approach highly valued by lesbian couples in mainland China, known as Reception of Oocytes from Partner (ROPA). In ROPA, one partner provides the oocytes (immature eggs), which are then inseminated with sperm from an anonymous donor, while the other partner carries the pregnancy by receiving the resulting embryos.

Drawing on in-depth interviews with 30 lesbians in mainland China, Xuerui explores the interpretations and the relational negotiations in the decision-making process of ROPA. Through an analysis of their narratives, this seminar reveals not only their longing for social recognition of their lesbian relationships from parents and close relatives, but also the internal conflicts these women grapple with regarding the discourse of worm-exploitation of the birth mother that is imposed by the heteronormative context.

This in-person event will be particularly useful to researchers, policymakers and educators interested in gender, fertility, inequalities, diverse families and social and cultural change.

Related links

About the Speaker

Xuerui Hu

PhD student at UCL Social Research Institute

She is interested in reproduction, family transformation, parenting cultures and modernity in contemporary China.

She is exploring the reproductive experiences of lesbians in mainland China, trying to understand how various changes in cultural, social, institutional and economic processes shape lesbians’ interpretation and practices of reproduction.