Genetic relatedness and family formation in Israel: Lay perceptions in the light of state policy

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Israel's reproductive policy stands out in the discrepancy it creates between genetic and non-genetic modes of kinship. Whereas fertility treatments receive almost unrestricted state funding, adoption entails severe applicant screening and long years of waiting, or else, if conducted abroad, high private expenditure and intricate bureaucracy. In the present paper this policy is the framework for an exploration of the perceptions of women who undergo fertility treatments and of the "general" public on these subjects. Findings from three surveys reveal that both audiences clearly privilege genetic to social kinning. However, the general public expressed a more continuous perception of the two routes to family formation, showing some reluctance towards certain aspects of fertility treatment policy alongside considerable openness to adoption, especially after fertility treatments have failed. The discussion offers an explanation of the difference between the public's stance and the state's dichotomous policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-85
Number of pages13
JournalNew Genetics and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Adoption
  • Assisted conception
  • Family
  • Genetics
  • Israel
  • Reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Genetics
  • Health Policy


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