Regulation of assisted conception services in Europe: Implications of the new reproductive technologies for 'the family'

Langdridge, D. and Blyth, E. (2001). Regulation of assisted conception services in Europe: Implications of the new reproductive technologies for 'the family'. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 23(1) pp. 45–64.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09649060010012264

Abstract

In this paper we attempt to draw attention to the widespread variation in legislation and regulation of assisted conception services throughout Europe and the implications that this may have for what is understood as 'a family'. At present, access to assisted conception services appears to rely on a 'traditional' notion of the family with the consequence that large numbers of potential service users are excluded. We believe that the existing state of assisted conception legislation already demonstrates a turn to the postmodern. This paper aims to make this turn to the postmodern more explicit and take it further towards what we argue is its inevitable conclusion. It is argued that a postmodern approach should benefit both assisted conception service providers and, perhaps more importantly, service users through an emphasis on localized knowledge, acceptance of difference and 'otherness', and a recognition of the complexity and ambiguity of human behaviour.

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