University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Making Families with Assisted Reproductive Technologies. > Openness or Anonymity? Germans Travelling abroad for Egg Donation

Openness or Anonymity? Germans Travelling abroad for Egg Donation

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Yvonne Frankfurth.

Egg donation is prohibited in Germany. It is estimated that approximately 4,000-5,000 Germans circumvent this law by travelling abroad for egg donation every year. Drawing on ethnographic interviews with egg-donor-parents and fertility experts, this chapter examines how notions of secrecy and openness shape the decision-making processes of these German travellers. Some couples choose ‘open’ egg donation, where the donor’s identifying information is available to the future child. These parents typically travel to countries, such as Austria, Denmark or Finland, even though having an anonymous donor would often involve less cost and waiting time.

This talk will explore: How do some intended German parents come to seek open donation, others anonymous donation? Is this always a matter of choice? It will conclude by discussing the ways in which the decision on openness/anonymity is linked to whether these German couples intend to disclose to their child, or keep the egg donation a secret.

Yvonne Frankfurth is an ESRC -funded graduate researcher at the University of Cambridge, conducting her research as part of ReproSoc, an interdisciplinary research group at Cambridge concerned with the social and cultural implications of new reproductive technologies. In her thesis, Yvonne explores the social and ethical aspects of the German prohibition of egg donation, specifically studying the journeys of German intended parents travelling abroad to have a child with the help of an egg donor (see www.es-klappt-nicht.de). She is interested in (in)fertility, emerging technologies, policy-making and national identity.

This talk is based on a book chapter of the same name appearing in Springer-Verlag in April 2020.

This talk is part of the Making Families with Assisted Reproductive Technologies. series.

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