Year of Graduation
Constructing Kinship in the Market for Gamete Donation
The development of reproductive medicine, the invention and the improvement of human reproductive technologies create new opportunities for people: expand reproductive ways’ alternativeness, support male and female infertility treatment and make reproductive risk management possible. Centers for reproductive medicine provide men and women with biogenetic material conservation services within the framework of personal donation, DNA paternity testing and karyotype analysis to detect genetic disorders. It seems that kinship is undoubtedly determined by the existence of common biogenetic substance, and, moreover, biological science tells us about this. However, assisted reproductive technologies are changing the previous understanding of kinship, breaking the integrity of reproductive process, fragmenting motherhood into the gestational and the genetic. In case of the cultural dominance of the idea that kin relatedness is understood as shared biogenetic substance, it is interesting to know how kinship is constructed in the market for gamete donation by staff working in medical clinics and reproduction agency – that is the purpose of this study. The subject of kinship construction is important for the analysis of sex cell market as its particularity is that the simultaneous construction and deconstruction of kinship between engaged participants become the key aspect of its functioning and legitimation. Author uses an empirical data – interviews with employees of Moscow and St. Petersburg organizations, specializing in the eggs and sperm donation, and shows how staff coordinates the various elements of donor programs in a way to eliminate the ambiguity in the definition of kin relatedness and establish new kinship patterns.