State and kinship: exploring assisted reproductive technologies in Latvia

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Since the middle of the 1990s, private clinics in Latvia offer services of assisted reproductive technologies. In 2012, a state-financed infertility treatment programme was launched and has been evaluated as successful by clients and clinics. At the same time, the state has not been able to set up a national gamete donor register in Latvia.  In this paper, I will discuss the role of the state in the formation of kinship in Latvia by exploring the state financed infertility treatment programme and national gamete donor register. The paper is based on the qualitative research (semi-structured interviews, secondary data and policy document analysis) carried out in the period from July till September 2020 in Latvia. The Sexual and Reproductive Health Law currently stipulates that medical fertilization cannot result in more than three children being born from a single donor 's germ cells in the country, and only the genetic and anthropometric data of the gamete donor may be disclosed to potential parents. In order to obey the law, clinics maintain their own donor registers, but no national gamete donor register has been established. The lack of state-run register and anonymous donation policy can create issues related to genetic malformation and inadvertent incest, which can lead to incestuous marriage - an illegal practice in Latvia. Accordingly, the state plays an ambiguous role in infertility treatment in Latvia. While it supports its desired kinship forms by financing infertility treatment procedures, it can also create undesirable forms of kinship in the future by not maintaining national gamete donor register.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021: PLACES - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 25 Mar 202125 Mar 2021
Conference number: 2


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: PLACES
Abbreviated titleRW2021
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 5.4 Sociology

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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