Passport to Parenthood: The Transnational Flow of Gametes and Bodies

Stine Willum Adrian, Charlotte Kroløkke

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


During the past few years, Denmark has become a growing destination for single women, lesbians, and heterosexual couples wanting donated sperm. At the moment women from Sweden, Norway, Germany, Italy and the UK travel to Denmark. Simultaneously, long waiting lists on donated eggs and age restrictions are prime motivations for Danish infertile women and heterosexual couples to leave Denmark and travel to Spain or the Czech Republic for egg donation.

In this presentation we want to theorize and analyze fertility travel in or out of Denmark, in particular as far as gamete donation is concerned. Danish legislation recognizes the importance of Danish sperm as an export commodity, while eggs are legally prohibited from travelling outside of Danish borders. Theoretically, we are informed by situational analysis (Clarke) and the notion of reproductive flows (Inhorn). Our analysis centers the following questions: What happens to kinship when not only donated gametes are taken in to use, but the need of sperm and eggs encourage infertile women and men to cross borders and bend legislative restrictions to obtain them? How are nationality, ethnicity, and relatedness narrated in these transnational crossings? And how do women and men conceptualize their need to travel in order to buy gametes or the fertility treatment in question? Methodologically, we center interviews with infertile individuals and couples travelling to and from Denmark in combination with ethnographic observations carried out in Danish and Spanish fertility clinics.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date14 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2012
EventSelective reproductive technologies – routes of routinisation and globalisation - Københavns Universitet, København, Denmark
Duration: 13 Dec 201215 Dec 2012


ConferenceSelective reproductive technologies – routes of routinisation and globalisation
LocationKøbenhavns Universitet

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