In Germany, as elsewhere, couples and individuals suffering from unwanted childlessness have two principal means to overcome it. One, adoption, has existed and been quite heavily regulated for centuries. The other, assisted reproduction, has only recently come into its own and has not yet been comprehensively dealt with by the German legislature.
This monograph provides a survey of adoption and assisted reproduction as alternative (non-coital) ways of establishing parent-child relationships in Germany. Part 1 on adoption sets out the current regulatory framework and discusses a number of recent ‘hot topics,’ including adult and stepparent adoptions.
Unlike for adoption, there is little state regulation for assisted reproduction in Germany. Most of the complex legal issues are dealt with by professional self-regulation and ordinary family-law rules. Part 2 sets out what forms of assisted reproduction are currently permitted; who has access to them; and how parental status is allocated. It also discusses the child’s right to know its genetic origins; the risks to donors; and the implications of ‘reproductive tourism.’