Making ‘assisted world families’? Parenting projects and family practices in the context of globalised gamete donation.
As a culturally pervasive technology, IVF and its related techniques have globalised at a rapid rate, spreading to most regions of the world. As one corollary of this development, cross-border assisted reproduction has emerged as a means by which individuals and couples can travel from their country of origin in order to seek access to fertility treatment services in another country. Little is currently known about a novel range of family forms created via these transnational processes. Whilst analytic comparisons can be made with the global connections found in cases of inter-country adoption, families formed using assisted reproduction can be differentiated on the basis of the complex sociotechnical negotiations required to achieve pregnancy. This paper draws on data from a UK-based study of cross-border assisted reproduction to consider the ways in which parenting projects and new familial subjectivities are achieved within the context of globalised IVF. It uses qualitative interview data from women and men travelling from the UK to a range of countries for fertility treatment and offers a consideration of how thinking with ideas about globalised reproduction can assist us in understanding localised family practices. The paper develops existing theorising about 'world families' (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim 2014:2); extending this formulation to reflect the increasingly internationalised nature of ARTs and the attendant complexities of biomedicalised family formation in this context.
Citation : Hudson, N. (2017) Making ‘assisted world families’? Parenting projects and family practices in the context of globalised gamete donation. Sociological Research Online, 22 (2): 4
Research Group : Centre for Reproduction Research
Research Institute : Centre for Reproduction Research (CRR)
Peer Reviewed : Yes