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Touch tour

Touch Tours for Blind and Partially Sighted Adults

Join the Polar Museum team for a touch tour and explore a range of objects from polar history. The tour will also include some of the objects and sculptures outside on the museum lawn.

Dr Marcin Smietana

#LivefromLucy: Pride Month - "Having children as a matter of Pride: Gay men, surrogacy and queer reproductive justice" with Dr Marcin Smietana

Wed 22 June

"When Kath Weston (1991) in the US and Susan Golombok (2000) as well as Jeffrey Weeks and colleagues in the UK (2001) first began to document creative family configurations formed by LGBTQ+ people, they could not have anticipated the surging popularity in the early twenty-first century of two-parent nuclear families formed by gay fathers, often seeking their own biological children through surrogacy. Over the last three decades, having children has become a thinkable option for LGBTQ+ people, including having them through surrogacy for some gay men. Based on my ethnographic data and interviews with gay men who have children through surrogacy in the UK, US and EU, I argue that a specific fertility transition (Greenhalgh 1995; Franklin and Inhorn 2018) has been taking place among those gay men in the USA and Western Europe who pursue surrogacy. I suggest the concept of thinkability in order to characterise a shift in consciousness that many of my interlocutors experienced in their lifetime from not imagining having children when they came out as gay, to later gradually imagining it as a thinkable option as gay men. On the other hand, through showing how the men’s thinking was positioned within structures such as sex, gender, social class and race, I argue that for many of them having children was a matter of not only reproductive rights but also reproductive justice. Their quests for parenthood have also unfolded in the context of the fertility industry marked by inequalities of race and class, which involved both the intended gay fathers and the women who helped them as surrogates and egg donors. Therefore I propose the concept of queer reproductive justice as a tool to address reproductive inequalities involved in LGBTQ+ reproduction."

- Dr Marcin Smietana

About the speaker

Dr Marcin Smietana is a senior research associate in the Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc), University of Cambridge. In his work, he looks at LGBTQ+ fertility, queer kinships and queer reproductive justice. His research focuses on gay men who create families through surrogacy and adoption in the UK, USA and Spain. For further details and publications please see: https://www.reprosoc.sociology.cam.ac.uk/research-associate/marcin-smietana

Please register to receive Zoom joining instructions for this event. This event is free and open to all.

Cost: Free

Enquiries and booking

Please note that booking is required for this event.

Enquiries: Ella Barrett Website Email: ella.barrett@lucy.cam.ac.uk


Live Stream

All times

Wed 22 June 6:00PM - 7:00PM


Please note: the venue is to be confirmed