Daisy Deomampo

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Fordham U.

Grant number

Gr. 9696

Approve Date

October 5, 2018

Project Title

Deomampo, Dr. Daisy F., Fordham U., Brooklyn, NY - To aid research on 'Gamete Donation and the Meanings of Race in Asian America'

Preliminary abstract: The practice of medically transferring gametes (ova and sperm) from body to body is now part of a multibillion dollar industry that enables the creation of babies for prospective parents around the world. Clients who do not have or cannot use their own eggs and sperm depend on ‘donated’ gametes and assisted reproductive technologies such as artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization in order to conceive children; millions have become parents as a result of such technologies. However, ethnic minorities’ experiences of infertility and assisted reproduction in the US are largely absent from the social scientific literature. Even fewer ethnographic studies focus on gamete donation, a thriving aspect of the fertility industry, or on Asian Americans, the fastest growing minority group in the country. The proposed research addresses this gap by examining the ways in which Chinese, Filipino, and Indian American communities imagine race and identity in the context of gamete donation in the United States. Drawing on focus groups with members of these three communities, this project will elucidate the broader social and cultural context in which people make decisions about gamete donation. This project builds on my ongoing ethnographic fieldwork with doctors, donor coordinators, and gamete providers and recipients, highlighting the intersections between ideas about race, reproduction, and identity. At its core, this research is concerned with the processes of racialization that influence medical interventions and scientific research. This project contributes to anthropological theory building in race, gender, kinship, and commodification; it also holds particular relevance for social policy, by providing insights into the experiences and concerns of actors involved in assisted reproduction.