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Joanna Scheib


  • Ph.D., McMaster University, 1996


Joanna Scheib is associate adjunct professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. She conducts research on psychosocial issues related to the assisted reproductive technologies. Since 2000, she has been research director at The Sperm Bank of California in Berkeley.

Research Focus

Professor Scheib’s research focuses on understanding the experiences and well-being of families created through donor insemination and other forms of assisted reproduction. In collaboration with The Sperm Bank of California (TSBC) in Berkeley, she examines (i) the role of family relationships, openness and functioning in the well-being of donor-conceived adolescents and adults, (ii) the experiences of being raised in non-traditional families, (iii) the effect of open-identity donation on recipient and donor families, and (iv) the outcome of releasing donor identities to donor-conceived adults. Findings from this work help with policy development in open-identity gamete donation. TSBC is the oldest organization in the world to offer open-identity donation, meaning that people conceived with the help of this program are some of the first adults to access their donor's identity in planned releases.   

Lab Website

Selected Publications


  • Scheib, J.E., Ruby A. & Benward J. (2017). Who requests their sperm donor’s identity? The first ten years of information releases to adults with open-identity donors. Fertility & Sterility, 107, 483-493.
  • Goldberg, A. E., & Scheib, J. (2015). Female-partnered and single women’s contact motivations and experiences with donor-linked families. Human Reproduction, 30, 1375-1385.

  • Scheib, J. E., &  Hastings, P. D. (2012). Donor-conceived children raised by lesbian couples: Socialization and development in a new form of planned family. In D. Cutas and S. Chan (Eds.) Families – Beyond the Nuclear Ideal (pp. 64-83). Bloomsbury Academic Series.
  • Scheib, J. E., & Ruby, A. (2009). Beyond consanguinity risk: Developing donor birth limits that consider psychosocial risk factors. Fertility & Sterility, 91, e12.
  • Ravitsky, V., &  Scheib, J. E. (2010). Donor-conceived individuals’ right to know. Hastings Center Bioethics Forum 40 (4).
  • Scheib, J. E.,  Riordan, M., & Rubin, S. (2005). Adolescents with open-identity sperm donors: Reports from 12-17 year olds. Human Reproduction, 20, 239-252.
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Joanna Scheib teaches in the area of biological psychology, including Gender and Human Reproduction, Current Research in Psychology and Advanced Animal Behaviour.