The Biotechnology Act in Norway, the most restrictive in Europe, forbids egg donation and surrogacy and has rescinded the anonymity clause with respect to donor insemination. Thus, it limits people's choice as to how they can procreate within the boundaries of the nation state. The author pursues this significant datum ethnographically and addresses the issues surrounding contemporary biopolitics in Norway. This involves investigating such fundamental questions as the relation between individual and society, meanings of kinship and relatedness, the moral status of the embryo and the role of science, religion, and ethics in state policies. Even though the book takes reproductive technologies as its focus, it reveals much about vital processes that are central to contemporary Norwegian society.
Preface and acknowledgements Chapter 1. Framing the issues Introduction Kinship - a new beginning? Some other issues Law/imagination The involuntary childless Some reflections on the precautionary principle and a bit more The state of Norway and the notion of equality Chapter 2. Children of one's own A first encounter Having an own child An issue of sameness An own child - a first approximation To try everything; to tell or not to tell What makes a child your own? Drawing together Chapter 3. Better safe than sorry Uncomfortable relations Legislative process: acts and revisions Artificial insemination by donor - pro et contra Bringing the past to the present The making of a law The first revision - 1994 Second and third revisions: 2003 and 2007 In sum Chapter 4. The inviolability of motherhood Establishing parenthood Of eggs and sper Mater semper certa est Disruptive effects Pater vero? Turning the tables By way of conclusion Chapter 5. The sorting society: knowledge, selection, ethics Reproductive choice The sorting society A parliamentary incident Looking back: a few comments on eugenics The law and the Church Ethical dilemmas/ethical publicity Some final remarks Chapter 6. Concluding reflections - and a Postscript Global reach - local appropriation Facts and values Controversies - contested sites Post script - legal (un)certainties Chapter 7. Some notes on methodology References Public documents cited or consulted