Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationFordham U.
Grant numberGr. 9696
Approve DateOctober 5, 2018
Project TitleDeomampo, Dr. Daisy F., Fordham U., Brooklyn, NY - To aid research on 'Gamete Donation and the Meanings of Race in Asian America'
DAISY DEOMAMPO, Fordham University, Brooklyn, New York, was awarded a grant in October 2018 to aid research on ‘Gamete Donation and the Meanings of Race in Asian America.’ This project examined how ideas about race influence decision-making around reproductive technologies such as egg and sperm donation. The project’s focus on Asian Americans, the fastest-growing minority group in the country and the group most likely to seek third-party eggs in their own pregnancies in the United States, offers a critical perspective on the intersections of race and reproduction. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted with diverse Asian American communities, study findings reveal that race is a primary trait used to select gamete providers and that demand for ‘Asian’ eggs and sperm as a commodity reaffirms notions of racial purity. At the same time, the project illustrates how actors construct race along a spectrum in often contradictory ways, at times attributing biogenetic status to racial categories and at other times denying it. By analyzing how actors understand gamete donation, the study illuminates how racialized substances such as human gametes acquire meaning and value. In doing so, the study highlights the comparative aspects of gamete markets in order to demonstrate hierarchies of value and differentiation among humans. More broadly, this project advances anthropological theories of race and reproduction by situating them in relation to racial capitalism, commodification, and social stratification.