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Accepted Paper:

What if "embryo adoption" would be mandatory? The story of adoption and embryo donation in Poland  
Anna Krawczak (University of Warsaw)

Paper short abstract:

According to the new Polish Law on Infertility (2015) each surplus embryo is now guaranteed to be transferred. For many patients the above results in compulsory "embryo donation / prenatal adoption". I will analyse this situation both from the perspective of the patients and anthropology of kinship.

Paper long abstract:

In November 2015 the new law on infertility treatment was entered into force in Poland. According to its provisions, surplus embryos must not be destroyed or donated for scientific research. Each embryo with preserved development potential is now guaranteed to be transferred. For tens of thousands of couples who have surplus embryos but do not plan on having any more children this means that they are forced to transfer them despite their reproductive plans or to donate the embryos. The regulations apply to all existing embryos, including embryos created before the new law was enforced. For all the patients who are not legitimate (i.e. single women and lesbian couples) or are not willing to transfer or donate their surplus embryos the above results in compulsory donation. After 20 years of storage without patients' consent or even knowledge the embryos will be overtaken and disposed as so called "embryo adoption". The new law on infertility has been announced in Polish media to be "a successful compromise between medical liberalism and bioethics." By analysing this political decision from an anthropological perspective, I will ask the following: what this transition means for definition and practice of the kinship? How the Polish patients evaluate this solution and what social and ethical costs will be entailed for people undergoing ART in the past and in the future? What is the relation between donation and adoption in Poland and what reasons lied behind perception of the surplus embryo as an adopted child to be?

Panel Body04
Assisted reproduction with "third-party" participation: surpassing the limits of kinship
  Session 1 Tuesday 16 April, 2019, -