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dc.contributor.authorFrankfurth, Yvonne
dc.description.abstractAbstract Egg donation is a fertility treatment developed in the 1980s to help a woman conceive and have a child with eggs provided by another woman. Germany is one of the few European countries that bans egg donation (German Embryo Protection Act 1991). The thesis provides an in-depth account of the costs that this ban imposes on, firstly, German (intended) parents travelling abroad for the procedure without guidance, secondly, on German fertility professionals who are criminalised for aiding in the process of egg donation, and, thirdly, what implications this prohibition has for egg donor-conceived children born and raised in Germany. Uncovering this complex set of costs that the ban enforces on a number of actors, this thesis recommends that the German prohibition of egg donation be revised. In particular, this thesis uncovers the myriad of unexpected challenges and difficulties German intended parents face when travelling abroad for egg donation, how they make sense of and develop coping strategies for the various uncertainties, fears and obstacles they encounter. Hope, uncertainty, doubts, fear, regret, and a lack of guidance are all themes that (re)surface throughout the different phases of their journey. Crucially, my research does not stop at following these couples abroad but elucidates their continued struggles as they return to Germany, how they experience the pregnancy, and how they continue to navigate an uncharted terrain facing questions of disclosure, secrecy and openness as they raise their child in a nation whose criminal code prohibits the very means by which this child was conceived. This study is based on in-depth, open-ended interviews with 39 German intended parents who travelled abroad for egg donation to countries such as Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, and Spain. Further perspective is given through interviews with 32 German fertility professionals, mostly doctors, gynaecologists, fertility counsellors, lawyers and politicians. Most interviews were conducted in person in 13 different federal states in Germany in 2017. Follow-ups took place via emails and video calls in the period 2018-2020. Additional insights were gained in social media groups, through attendance at public events and various sessions of a criminal lawsuit in Bavaria in 2017.
dc.description.sponsorshipEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Graduate Travel and Research Funds at Christ’s College, ESRC Overseas Institutional Visit Award, the Monica Kornberg Memorial Fund, the Reuben Levy Travel Fund at Christ’s College, the Postgraduate University Hardship Funding, Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust
dc.rightsAll Rights Reserved
dc.subjectegg donation
dc.titleEgg Donation in Germany, A Sociological Study
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cambridge
dc.type.qualificationtitleDoctor of Philosophy
pubs.funder-project-idESRC (1642209)
cam.supervisorFranklin, Sarah

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