Assisted reproduction and homo-parenthood: desire, bodies and markets

Beatrice Busi, Chiara Caravà, Federica De Cordova

The first part of the seminar analyzed the new forms of parenthood, bearing clearly in mind that production and satisfaction of desire is always affected by power relations based on gender, race and class. The experiences of homo-parenthood, and assisted reproduction in general, are situated in a field of tension, produced by the intersection between self-determination, the State (the normativity), and the Market (the neo-liberal processes of capitalistic valorisation). The second part of the seminar was devoted to investigating the deep impact of assisted reproduction technology (ART) on parenthood. Sexless reproduction has a strong effect on subjectivity because it brings into question the idea of origin, which is strongly tied to one’s self-perception. At the same time, the use of ART creates a new embodied experience, particularly regarding parenthood: the desire creates its own genealogy that seems able to go beyond genetic affiliation. During the closing debate of the seminar, the attention was focused on the relationship between the “respectability” and the centrality of homo-parenthood within the public discourse related to LGBT rights – like a symbolic redemption for the non-reproductive sex after the AIDS pandemic.

Poster of the seminar