• Germany's news in English
 

Germany ready to inseminate you, minister says

Published: 28 Nov 2011 17:11 GMT+01:00

Schröder told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper that starting April 2012 she’d like the government to pay for up to half of couples’ insemination treatments, which can cost them up to €10,000 after just four pregnancy attempts.

State insurance plans used to pay for artificial insemination treatments. But since health coverage reforms in 2004, the plans have only covered half of the costs and only for up to three attempts, the FAZ reported.

“There’s no policy in which the relationship between funding and outcome is so blatant,” she told the FAZ, citing statistics showing births in Germany using artificial insemination dropped from 17,000 to about 8,000 per year after the insurance support was halved. That put the number of Germans using the procedures well below European averages, she told the newspaper.

She said she envisioned a partnership between state and federal authorities to help fund the procedures. Initial costs for the plan would be around €40 million, she told the FAZ.

Schröder’s push is part of a larger campaign to ease life for potential parents who would like to have children. The German government wants to boost the country's birthrate, as Germany's population is expected to implode in the coming decades.

Right now German women produce just 1.4 children on average, one of the lowest rates in the world. Statisticians now expect that the German population will plunge 21 percent to 65 million inhabitants by 2060.

This would put immense pressure on Germany's welfare state, because the pool of working people would shrink while the number of retirees increases.

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:22 November 28, 2011 by Lisa Rusbridge
This is all well and good that the German government wants to make it financially easier for German blood to continue through the help of science, however the powers that be may want to consider that there are other reasons why the population is shrinking. It may in part have to do with couples having a difficult time conceiving, but it may also be due to choice. And if this is the case Germany will have to look to immigrants to bolster their population and tax base for social programs. They may have to make it easier for immigrants to become citizens and integrate and as result the face of Germany will change. They (the gov't) may also consider that this situation didn't happen overnight. That for well over a generation people have had small families of maybe only one or two children and this is probably due to a myriad of reason that are likely cultural as much as anything else.
19:35 November 28, 2011 by catjones
germans should ask themselves what it takes to have and raise a family and then ask why they don't possess those qualities.

P.S. It's not because they're infertile.
20:53 November 28, 2011 by flipinwotsit
I can tell you straight away why people arn´t having kids. Because they´re too expensive, plain and simple. My wages were good....10 years ago. Today after I´ve paid the rent, the high heating and electricity bills, paid the astronomically high petrol prices for my car which I need for work, paid for the shopping etc , theres nothing left. we get 185 euros a month kindergeld which doesn´t cover the cost of nappys when your kid fills them 6 times a day. And the cheap ones are rubbish as they leak. The only people who have kids are assis who don´t want to work, or mega rich people...the average worker gets told he´s earning too much money for benefits...and I know this personally...
09:19 November 29, 2011 by freechoice
what happen to the good old method of going to church and asking for a God's miracle to make it happen? children are God's blessings for every family. even though they may get on your nerves sometimes, life is not complete without a normal family life.
09:20 November 29, 2011 by catjones
@flipinwotsit....it's called 'sacrifice' and people all over the world do it.
09:51 November 29, 2011 by GeeAitch
There are 7 billion people in the world. We don't need any more.

The German model of reducing population needs to be exported around the world.

Vital also to end anonymous sperm donations. It is a crime to conceive a human being who can never know its parental identity. You are not having a child, but producing a person who may live to 70, 80 or more. The identity of my own father was unknown to me and it was a huge source of angst until I found who he was.
11:39 November 29, 2011 by tueken
Everything is not easy these day, competition is everywhere, you have to know extra knowledge and skills to find a job to feed yourself and your family, and those income could barely be enough for you to enjoy your life, it would be tough to decide if you would like to have a baby. When you think you are ready financially, you are not okay physically, i think it is normal of what happened here, whatever government do, it will be the same. Instead of increasing the German kind, i will support more immigration, but it will never happen in Germany.
12:01 November 29, 2011 by Gretl
If you wait around until the perfect time to have kids, you never will. What about all the money wasted on booze, cigarettes, and 200Euro jeans? Or the Mercedes?

Children are about sacrifice. Your brain does not fully mature until you have them. Unintended pregnancy used to force people to grow up. Now, they never have to.

We weren't financially well-off when we had kids. We had to scrape by. But we did and we're better off now. The diaper stage doesn't last forever.
14:18 November 30, 2011 by flipinwotsit
.....with all these comments about `It´s called sacrifice`and `we´ve been scraping for years`,....I bet the politicians love people like you lot, ...and the rich laugh on...
22:21 November 30, 2011 by pegster
What a lame headline... God am so over reading this 'news' when all it is is fodder for the "We hate Germany" brigade to jump on the same tired bandwagon.

Whatever the motivation, Germany's population is ageing and something needs to be done as before its too late, good on them for trying to find solutions.

For all those extremely intelligent people whining on about overpopulation - yes there is such a thing but no such thing in Germany, or most of Europe or anywhere really except Asia/India/Africa, and while its a nice idea to just import people rather than have new ones it kind of goes against human nature on both sides. Bit like communism.
01:21 December 1, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
First poster - this has nothing to do with the cintinuation of the German race. This is merely another option for couples who have trouble conceiving, but still want a family. Are you prepared to make an argument against that?

Granted, this method is a little strange, but if it helps German couples acheive happiness, then its worth it.

No one really knows why the German population is shrinking, but it is a fact that higher income white people always have fewer children. Why? Probably because both parents have a career, there is a high divorce rate and so it discourages marriage in the first place, or perhaps its a culture shift where promiscuity is favored over a stable family life. Whatever the cause, I hope it ends soon. It isn't right for people to deny themselves the natural joy of having a family.
13:41 December 1, 2011 by Lisa Rusbridge
@ Jack Kerouac,

Of course this proposal of full financial support of artificial insemination is an option for couples having a difficult time conceiving. However, I assume Family Minister Kristina Schröder also is proposing full financial support for couples who wish to have a family via adoption. Adoption, especially international adoption (China, Russia and Africa esp.) probably is as expensive, if not more so than artificial insemination, pregnancy and delivery. The couples who do this are still having a family and more than that they're providing a home to a child (or children in many cases) who is already here and would not otherwise have a permanent, loving home. If Family Minister Kristina Schröder isn't proposing these same financial breaks to people who want to have adoptive families then I would have to assume that this has at least a *little* something to do with continuing German blood and is not solely about achieving happiness and the natural joy of having a family. Because, I assure you, adoptive families can also result in happiness and joy.
17:14 December 3, 2011 by EinWolf
If the problem is with a low sperm count for the guy ... eath to get around that!
Today's headlines
JobTalk Germany
Graduates desperate to work for car giants
BMW are the most attractive employer for business and engineering graduates. Photo: DPA

Graduates desperate to work for car giants

A survey published on Monday shows that the car industry is the most attractive place of work for German business graduates and engineers alike. READ  

Language fails
Minster wows crowds with Denglisch
Gerd Müller, left, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to his right. Photo: DPA

Minster wows crowds with Denglisch

Development Minister Gerd Müller recently captivated crowds at the Global Citizen Earth Day in Washington, D.C. with his enthusiastic - if erratic - English. The speech has since gone viral. READ  

Arms firms struggle to meet ethics mark
A Leopard 2 tank made by Germany's Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. Photo: DPA.

Arms firms struggle to meet ethics mark

A report released on Monday by Transparency International UK found that German arms companies had a spotty record in their ethics and anti-corruption programmes. READ  

Chancellor's office 'knew' of US economic spying
An 18-meter-across satellite dish at the BND's Bad Aibling listening post. Photo: DPA

Chancellor's office 'knew' of US economic spying

Chancellor Angela Merkel's office has known since 2008 of US economic espionage targeting European companies such as Airbus but did not react, Bild said Monday, citing intelligence agency documents. READ  

Munich toddler safe after late-night adventure
Munich streets in the dead of night. Photo: DPA

Munich toddler safe after late-night adventure

A two and a half year-old toddler was found wandering through the streets of Munich by police in the early hours of Monday morning. Luckily he was return unharmed to his relieved parents. READ  

Public pitch in to find refugee home arsonists
A set of keys found at the scene of the crime. Photo:DPA

Public pitch in to find refugee home arsonists

After police made a public appeal for information in the arson attack on a refugee home on a television programme on Sunday evening, more than 30 members of the public got in touch. READ  

Greece crisis
Merkel and Tsipras have 'positive' phone chat
Merkel and Tsipras meet in Brussels on 23 April. Photo: DPA

Merkel and Tsipras have 'positive' phone chat

Athens will resume talks with its creditors Monday, a Greek government source said, after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke on the phone with Chancellor Angela Merkel. READ  

Bayern stroll to 25th Bundesliga title
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola on the sidelines against Hertha on Saturday. Photo: DPA

Bayern stroll to 25th Bundesliga title

FC Bayern Munich found out they had won the Bundesliga title with four games to spare when their only rivals Vfl Wolfsburg lost 1-0 to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday. READ  

Government knew of threat to Ukraine flights
Investigators at the scene of the MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine in mid-April 2015. Photo: DPA

Government knew of threat to Ukraine flights

Berlin knew the risks of flying over war-torn east Ukraine before Flight MH17 was shot out of the sky last year but did not inform German airlines, media reported on Sunday. READ  

Pro-Kremlin bikers defy bans on Berlin ride
Photo: DPA

Pro-Kremlin bikers defy bans on Berlin ride

Dozens of bikers from pro-Kremlin gang the Night Wolves on Saturday set off on a ride to Berlin ahead of the anniversary of Soviet victory in World War II, despite Poland and Germany barring the riders. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,135
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd
?>