Family, Relationality and Kinship

We bring together academics from various schools and disciplines at Sussex who are researching topics broadly related to the family and personal relationships.

Collaborate with us

We welcome contact from academics from any discipline who are working on related topics, including academics from Sussex, other universities and independent researchers. 

We are also interested in establishing contacts with non-academics working in areas that may be impacted by our research. This includes legal professionals, educators, social workers, relationship counsellors and mental health professionals. 

Contact us at if you are interested in working with us.

Selected Grants

It's (NOT) just blood: Identifying gaps and exploring the intersections of menstrual health, adolescent’s rights, and environmental sustainability Awarded by International Development Challenge Fund (IDCF) & Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP); PI Dr Chi Eziefuela (BSMS); CO-I Dr Maria Federica Moscati; Prof. Maya Unnithan, January 2020

We exist too’: Young Trans Perspectives on Legal Gender Recognition Laws in England and Wales Awarded by the SLSA; PI: Dr Maria Federica Moscati; Co-I Dr Peter Dunne, University of Bristol, January 2019

Selected Publications
  • Bremner, PGay and Lesbian Collaborative Co-Parenting in New Zealand and the United Kingdom: ‘The Law Doesn’t Protect the Third Parent’ 2020 Social and Legal Studies29(4):507-526, with Surtees N,
  • Bremner, P, Birth registration: ‘coherent and certain’ or ‘an occasion for exquisite embarrassment and confusion’? 2020 Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law
  • Bremner, P, Collaborative co-parenting and heteronormativity: recognising the interests of gay fathers 2017 Child and Family Law Quarterly 29:293-312
  • Bremner, P, Surrogacy and Single Parents Following Re Z 2017 EDINBURGH LAW REVIEW 21(2):281-286
  • Bremner, P, Lesbian parents and biological fathers – leave to apply for contact 2014 Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 36:79-81
  • Moscati, F, Family Mediation: Contemporary Issues, London: Bloomsbury Professional (Co-edited with Marian Roberts). 2020
  • Moscati, F, ‘Negotiating within legal ambiguity: same-sex partners, family disputes and negotiation in Italy’, in Moscati, Palmer and Roberts (eds) Comparative Dispute Resolution, Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 146-157. 2020
  • Moscati, F,  ‘We have method but still there is so much to do: mediation for gender and sexually diverse relationships’, in Roberts and Moscati (eds) Family Mediation: Contemporary Issues, Bloomsbury, pp. 227-250. 2020
  • Moscati, F, ‘Dispute Resolution, Domestic Violence and Abuse between Lesbian Partners’, in C. Ashford and A.Maine (eds) Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and the Law, Edward Elgar Publishing , pp. 270-282. 2020
  • Moscati, F, 'R (on the Application of Begum) v Governors of Denbigh High School' in Helen Stalford; Kathryn Hollingsworth, and Stephen Gilmore, (eds.) Rewriting Children’s rights judgments. From Academic Vision to New Practice, Hart, Oxford, pp.352-361. 2017
  • Moscati, F, Same-Sex Couples and Mediation in the EU, (edited) for EU Commission - DG Civil Justice – Project: Litigious Love: Same-Sex Couples and Mediation in the EU. Printed by Wildy, Simmonds & Hill. ISBN 9780854901661. 2015
  • Moscati, F, Pasolini’s Italian Premonitions: Same-Sex Unions and the Law in Comparative Perspective, London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill. 2014 

Upcoming Events

We host and take part in a range of workshops focusing on topics related to family and personal relationships. Find out more about our events below:

CORTH Autumn Programme 2022


Date: tbc

Time: 12-1:30pm (UK Time)

Hybrid, in-person tea and coffee meet-up after (room
and Zoom link tbc.)

Access to Transitional Justice in Timor-Leste

Chair: Dr Anita Ferrara (Irish Centre for Human Rights,
NUI Galway)

Book here via eventbrite


Date: 19 October 2022

Time: 12-1:30pm (UK Time)

Hybrid, in-person tea and coffee meet-up after (room
and Zoom link tbc.)

Chair: Hayley MacGregor (IDS)


(University of Bergen, Norway)

Date: 16 November 2022

Time: 12-1:30 (UK Time)

Hybrid (room and Zoom link tbc.)

Towards accountable health data production: A human rights perspective.

Chair: Helen Dancer (Law, Sussex)


(University of Warwick)

Date: 23 November 2022

Time: 12-1:30pm (UK Time)

Via Zoom

Gender Equality and Human Dignity in the Complete Decriminalisation of Abortion

Chair: Beth Mills (Global Studies, Sussex)


(Flame University, India)

Date: 7 December 2022

Time: 12-1:30pm (UK Time)

Via Zoom

On Not Choosing Parenthood in India

Chair: Maya Unnithan (Global Studies, Sussex)

Past Events

Generations Together (2021)


Procreative Systems with Dr Guerzoni and co-organised with the centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technology and Health (2021)

Procreative Systems, with Dr. Guerzoni, and co-organised with the Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technology and Health (2021)

Surrogacy and Gay Male Parenting: balancing the rights and interests of those involved, co-organised with the Centre for Cultures of Reproduction Technology and Health (2019)

Surrogacy and Gay Male Parenting: balancing the rights and interests of those involved, co-organised with the Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technology and Health – University of Sussex (2019)

Framing International Surrogacy, 23 and 25 July 2016

Framing International Surrogacy will bring together people from a range of disciplines with personal and professional experience of the system of surrogacy to explore perspectives on the UK legal framework for regulating the practice.

Due to concern that calls for change have been loudest when controversial legal decisions have been made — and an awareness that the practice of surrogacy has a domestic and international dimension that may be in tension — the event aims to interview affected people.

As part of the event, we will also identify problems that practitioners and their clients experience to develop an evaluation of the effectiveness of current legal regulation in the UK.

Participants will include those working in therapy (psychology and psychiatry), clinical infertility (medicine), social work, and law (solicitors, barristers and judges).

It will also include scholars from a range of academic disciplines in which there is interest in surrogacy, such as sociology, social work, psychology, medicine, ethics, anthropology, international relations, development studies, and law.


Due to the constraints of those working outside of academia, Framing International Surrogacy will be held over two days: 23 and 25 July 2016. It is possible to attend the workshop on only one day.

Saturday 23 July 2016

This session is dedicated to reflections of the experiences of those who work in the practice of surrogacy. An individual from each of the range of professions and interest groups currently working in surrogacy will lead discussion on the perspectives that they experience that are relevant to the discussion of legal reform.

Monday 25 July 2016

As part of this session, we will reflect on the perspectives shared in Saturday’s sessions. Scholars will contribute their views on what the Saturday sessions suggest about legal reform.

We will also consider whether further research might be beneficial to any reform agenda, and if so, what further steps will be necessary to promote that research.

Contact us

Contact us at for more information or if you are interested in attending or presenting.

LGBTQ+ Families, Wellbeing and Mental Health: Future Research Agendas, 22 July 2016

LGBTQ+ Families, Wellbeing and Mental Health: Future Research Agendas will explore future research agendas promoting LGBTQ+ wellbeing, focusing on the role of family, mental health and the intersection of these two areas.

The event is hosted by the Transforming Gender and Sexuality Research Group at the University of Brighton in partnership with the Family, Relationality and Kinship Research Group, 

Bringing together academics from a range of disciplines (including, but not limited to, psychology, law, social work, sociology, anthropology and humanities) as well as community partners working with LGBTQ+ individuals, the workshop aims to discuss current research.

It also aims to highlight potential future research collaboration in this area, with a particular interest in exploring the following questions:

  1. How important are notions of friendship, family and close relationships in terms of LGBTQ+ individuals’ sense of emotional and mental wellbeing?
  2. What support networks are available to LGBTQ+ individuals in distress and how are these being used to promote mental health and wellbeing?
  3. In what ways do legal frameworks support or hinder the recognition of LGBTQ+ families and support networks?
  4. What role do medical and mental health professionals, social workers, legal professionals and third sector organisations play in promoting LGBTQ+ wellbeing and mental health?


Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Daniel Monk, Reader in Law, University of Birkbeck
  • Professor Jacqui Gabb, Professor of Sociology and Intimacy, The Open University
  • Dr Elizabeth McDermott, Senior Lecturer in Health Research, University of Lancaster
  • Dr Katherine Johnson, Assistant Head of Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Brighton.

Book a place

Book a place at the event (Eventbrite)

You can contact us at for more information or if you are interested in presenting.

There are a limited number of places for this event.