Profile image for Deborah Dempsey

Associate Professor Deborah Dempsey

Adjunct Associate Professor, Sociology


Deb’s research interests are in the sociology of families, sexuality and health, especially family formation through assisted reproductive technologies, and the personal and social wellbeing of LGBT adults and young people. Deb has published widely on the social aspects of family formation through assisted reproductive technologies and is best known for this work. Recent research reports include 'The History of Donor Conception Records in Victoria' (co-authored in 2018 with Fiona Kelly and commissioned by the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority) and Same-Sex Parented Families in Australia, commissioned by the Australian Institute of Family Studies in 2013. Deb was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant in 2017 for a project entitled: 'Families of Strangers?: the socio-legal implications of donor linking in Australia' (with Fiona Kelly, DP180100188). Other recent research projects include a study of LGBT homelessness in Australia (with Cal Andrews, Ruth McNair and Sharon Parkinson, funded by the Gay and Lesbian Fund of Australia) and 'Fertility Decision Making in the LGBT communities' (with Fiona Kelly and Jennifer Power).

Research interests

Fertility, technology and family change; assisted reproductive technologies, social aspects; personal and social well being of LGBT Australians.

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Co-Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Deb is currently supervising PhD projects on gender and work, family secrets, family formation through surrogacy, wives in family businesses and family values in Vietnamese migrant families: All postgraduate supervision enquiries welcome on topics relating to families, relationships, technologies and well-being.

Fields of Research

  • Sociology - 441000

Teaching areas

Sociology of family and sexuality; technology and society; social aspects of genetic technologies; qualitative research design and methodology

Further information



Also published as: Dempsey, Deborah; Dempsey, D.; Dempsey, Deb
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2018: Families of Strangers? The socio-legal implications of donor linking *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme

* Chief Investigator