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Marcin Smietana


Marcin is a postdoc fellow within the Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship of the European Union, from October 2014 through March 2016 at the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies of the University of California, Berkeley (USA), and from April 2016 through March 2017 at the Department of Sociology, Reproductive Sociology Research Group, of the University of Cambridge (UK). Within this postdoc project (‘SurrogARTs: Assisted reproduction beyond the nation state and nuclear family? Transition to parenthood and negotiating relatedness in gay father families created through transnational surrogacy’), Marcin is researching transnational surrogacy and reproductive tourism from Europe to the USA, as well as domestic surrogacy in the UK. The project is coordinated by the University of Cambridge and advised by Prof. Sarah Franklin at Cambridge and Prof. Charis Thompson at UC Berkeley.

Please see the project website at

Since 2011 Marcin has also been a member of the AFIN (Adoptions, Families, Infancies) research group at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain), within whose research project 'Adoptions and fosterages in Spain' he investigated transnational surrogacy from the Spanish commissioning parents' perspective. 

Marcin completed his PhD in sociology at the Department of Sociological Theory, University of Barcelona (Spain) with the Doctor Europaeus mention in 2011. In his research-based dissertation Marcin explored the question of how gender and family were constructed by Spanish gay father families both at home and in their social milieus such as schools, in order to see how and with what consequences potential differences between those two worlds were negotiated. From 2007 to 2010 Marcin was a research fellow at the Department of Sociological Theory and the Centre of Research in Theories and Practices that Overcome Social Inequalities (CREA-UB), with the support of the FI fellowship of the Government of Catalonia and the European Social Fund for the Training of Research Staff. For three years at that time he was also an assistant teacher of sociology of education at the University of Barcelona.

In 2010 Marcin was a visiting scholar at the Centre for Family Research of the University of Cambridge (UK). 

Marcin received his MA degrees in sociology (2006), as well as in journalism and social communication (2004), at the Jagiellonian University in my native Cracow (Poland).

Marcin's research interests have revolved around the sociology of alternative families, sexualities and lifestyles, notably gay father families, including surrogacy and adoption. The latter have also led him to engage with the global perspective. Throughout this research he has followed qualitative and critical sociology and ethnography.

Key Publications

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

Smietana, M., Jennings, S., Herbrand, C., & Golombok, S. (2014). 'Family relationships in gay father families'. In: T. Freeman, S. Graham, F. Ebtehaj & M. Richards M. (eds.) 'Relatedness in Assisted Reproduction: Families, Origins and Identities'. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Smietana, M. (2013). 'Las paternidades y maternidades en las familias de padres gays creadas por gestación subrogada'. In: J. Bestard, C. López, & D. Marre (eds.) 'Procreación, maternidades y crianza en transformación'. Barcelona: Bellaterra. 

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

Slany K., Kowalska B., & Smietana M., eds. (2005) 'Homoseksualizm: Perspektywa interdyscyplinarna'. Kraków: Nomos.

  • Position: Research Assistant
  • E-mail:
  • Address: Department of Sociology, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RQ