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Joanna Scheib


  • Ph.D., McMaster University, 1996


Joanna Scheib conducts research on psychosocial issues related to the assisted reproductive technologies. As an applied researcher, she uses findings from her lab group and others to contribute to practice and policy in family building through sperm donation. In addition to her academic appointment in the Department of Psychology, she is Research Director at The Sperm Bank of California in Berkeley.

Research Focus

Professor Scheib’s research focuses on understanding the experiences of families created through donor conception. In collaboration with The Sperm Bank of California (TSBC) in Berkeley, she examines the experiences of (i) intended parents ("recipients") using a donor program to have children, (ii) donor-conceived adolescents and adults across different family types who have an open-identity donor, (iii) donors after they leave an open-identity program, and (iv) the outcome of releasing donor identities to donor-conceived adults. Findings from this work help guide 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 and Current Research in Psychology.

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