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Finding the ‘appropriate distance’ in egg donor kinship relations v. Matilde Lykkebo Petersen, ph.d.-stipendiat, Institut for Kulturvidenskaber, SDU, matilde@sdu.dk

This paper explores kinship and relational work from the perspective of egg donors in Denmark. Based on interviews with 15 Danish egg donors it is investigated how certain normative notions as well as legal, economic, and clinical circumstances in the Danish context materialize new kinship relations through egg donation. Building on analytical concepts developed in my dissertation on egg donation in Denmark, the paper argues how variations of a heteronormative ideal of the nuclear family constitute a main concern in the egg donors’ kinship strategies. The concept of ‘appropriate distance’ is applied in order to investigate how the donors’ kinship negotiations are based on their positions along a proximity/distance continuum, resulting in different approaches to the disruptive egg donor category. As an example, the different donor types in Denmark (anonymous, open, known) become a way of connecting or disconnecting to kinship. It is argued that the relational kinship work of the donors is a form of social pioneering work, wherein donors help define what an egg donor kinship relation is and can be. It is discussed how different normative constraints are embedded in the legal framework and structure which kinship relations are available. The findings contribute to the existing egg donation research with new knowledge about the Danish context and how it shapes what it means to be egg donor in Denmark.