AFIN Conversations

The AFIN research group podcast

We seek to bring together debates and scientific research that help us better understand the contemporary world. We talk about health, reproduction, sexuality and families from the perspective of social anthropology
The AFIN group podcast started in 2023 with a series of eight episodes dedicated to exploring from different points of view the topic of the rise of egg donation treatments in Spain and the role of these reproductive cells in social imaginaries. Each chapter consists of a conversation with an anthropologist or sociologist expert on the topic, led by Anna Molas, Juan de la Cierva researcher at the AFIN group.

Available on Spotify and on Ivoox.

Podcast Conversaciones AFIN - Episode 1 Episode 1: Egg recipients in the Spanish context: trajectories, conflicts, and imaginaries

This episode is about reproductive changes in the Spanish context and particularly about the progressive delay of motherhood that has led Spain to be one of the countries in Europe and the world with the lowest fertility rate. For this, we interview Dr. Bruna Alvarez, an anthropologist with a long career in research around gender issues, families, and sexuality. With her, we talk about “late motherhoods”, the reasons behind the decision to delay motherhood, and its relationship with the rise in demand for fertility treatments that use donated eggs.

Podcast Conversaciones AFIN - Episode 2 Episode 2: Cross-border reproductive travel from France to Spain: in search of eggs

This episode addresses the reproductive mobility of French women and couples traveling to Spain to access treatments with egg donation, which represent a large part of the more than 18,000 foreign patients that Spain treats annually in assisted reproduction. For this, Alexandra Desy, a doctoral candidate in the AFIN group who is doing a doctoral thesis on the reproductive mobility of women and couples without access to these treatments in the French context, is interviewed.

Podcast Conversaciones AFIN - Episode 3 Episode 3: Egg donors in Spain: contexts, stories, and trajectories

This episode talks about the experiences of egg donors and the healthcare personnel who work with them in the Spanish context. For this, we interview Dr. Anna Molas, Juan de la Cierva researcher in the AFIN group, who in her doctoral thesis Taming Egg Donors: The Production of the Egg Donation Bioeconomy in Spain (Monash University, 2021), analyzed the processes through which around 15,000 young women annually go through Spanish fertility clinics to undergo egg extraction cycles.

Podcast Conversaciones AFIN - Episode 4 Episode 4: Genetic selection in fertility clinics: present and future trends

This episode analyzes the role of genetic selection of egg donors through carrier genetic screening in the Spanish context. For this, we interview Dr. Laura Perler, an anthropologist and geographer at the University of Bern, who in her book Selektioniertes Leben. Eine feministische Perspektive auf die Eizellenspende (Selected Life: A Feminist Perspective on Egg Donation) published in German by Edition Assamblage, analyzes the practices carried out in fertility clinics and the definitions of “healthy”, “sick”, and “disabling” that are constructed and deconstructed in a climate of constant change and evolution.

Podcast Conversaciones AFIN - Episode 5 Episode 5: Egg mobility from Spain to the world: the case of shipments to Brazil

This episode discusses a growing trend in Spain’s egg banks: the shipment of eggs abroad. Shipments to Brazil, the country that receives the most eggs from Spain, are particularly analyzed. For this, we interview Professor Consuelo Álvarez Plaza from the Complutense University of Madrid, who comments on the systems that Spain’s egg banks, governed by strict biological tissue export laws, have devised to send them abroad quickly and dynamically. At the same time, the challenges and dilemmas that this practice brings with it are analyzed, such as traceability and the (mis)information about these practices among donors and recipients.

Podcast Conversaciones AFIN - Episode 6 Episode 6: The role of ‘social’ egg freezing in Spain

In this episode on the rise of egg freezing treatments in the Spanish context, we interview Sara Lafuente Funes, a sociologist and postdoctoral researcher at the Goethe University, who has a long career in studies around reproductive markets. With her, we examine the social factors that may explain the rising demand for these treatments as well as the experiences, trajectories, desires, and difficulties of people who decide to freeze their eggs for future use.

Podcast Conversaciones AFIN - Episode 7 Episode 7: Homosexual fatherhood through surrogacy and egg donation from a queer reproductive justice perspective

In this episode about surrogacy and homosexual fatherhood, focusing on the role of the eggs used for these processes, we interview Dr. Marcin Smietana, a sociologist at Queen Mary University of London and the University of Cambridge, who has a long career in studies on homosexual fatherhood in Spain, the United Kingdom, and California. With him, we examine the current process in the United Kingdom, which proposes to modify the surrogacy law that has been in place since 1985, the existing circuits for homosexual fatherhood, and the place of the eggs used in these processes.

Podcast Conversaciones AFIN - Episode 8 Episode 8: A comparative perspective on the right to origins in adoption and assisted reproduction

In this episode, we analyze the differences in access to information about biological origins in adoption and assisted reproduction with Professor Diana Marre, an anthropologist and director of the AFIN group, who has numerous books and articles on reproduction and kinship in the Spanish context. With her, we address the radical changes that Spain has undergone in the last two decades in terms of adoption and assisted reproduction with gamete donation, and the differences in the approach to access to origins and anonymity in both cases.