“Child in every family” – Family planning, infertility and assisted reproduction in Georgia
This project addresses the cultural embeddedness of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) in Georgian culture. It focuses on questions of family planning and coping with infertility, as well as changes and constants in cultural concepts of biological, genetic and social kinship against the background of the availability of new reproductive technologies such as in-vitro fertilization, gamete donation and forms of surrogacy.
In Georgian society, having children is a normative cultural expectation and the choice to remain childless is hardly conceivable. Childless couples in Georgia have a multitude of options: from adoption to prayer, pilgrimage, and folk remedies to surrogacy and in-vitro fertilization. These last options belong to assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) and are currently highly debated in Georgia because the Georgian Orthodox Church criticizes these practices as harmful to Georgian values and families. Nevertheless, through advertisements, TV shows or fertility clinic ARTs have become very visible in the Georgian public consciousness.
This research seeks to answer the question how and in which way assisted reproduction is embedded in the existing social, religious and legal concepts of kinship, descent and reproduction, how these concepts affect the evaluation of ARTs and how the usage of ARTs might influence concepts of relatedness respectively.