Lesbian reproductive practices: reflections on genetics and health

Camila Vitule Rosana Machin Márcia Thereza Couto About the authors

Abstract

The relationship between science, technology and capital, which are intrinsic to Reproductive Technologies (RT), makes them a possibility of reproductive choice and an alternative for lesbians who wish to have children. The article seeks to reflect on the projects formulated based on the statements of lesbian couples who had used or had plans to use RT. Interviews were conducted with eight couples of women with ages between 26 and 45, all self-declared Caucasians, who had completed higher education and were living in the Greater São Paulo region between 2010 and 2011. The results reveal the preference of the respondents for donor sperm originating from a sperm bank and also the importance placed on information on the family history of health of the donor. A noteworthy finding is the interest in importing from an American sperm bank, because of an alleged limited availability of samples in Brazil and the fact that they provide more information about the donors. Thus, while RT enable non-biological parenting, genetics is considered important thereby contributing to the medicalization of parenthood.

Key words
Reproductive technologies; Medicalization; Genetics

ABRASCO - Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva Av. Brasil, 4036 - sala 700 Manguinhos, 21040-361 Rio de Janeiro RJ - Brazil, Tel.: +55 21 3882-9153 / 3882-9151 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: cienciasaudecoletiva@fiocruz.br