• 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
Mediterranean migrant crisis
Germany to take most in refugee quota project
The German navy rescues refugees in the Mediterranean. Photo: DPA.

Germany to take most in refugee quota project

Germany found out on Wednesday it will have to take in the largest number of refugees under the European Commission's new quota system which aims to rehouse 60,000 people over the next two years. READ  

Foreign investors rate Germany Europe's best
A worker assembling motors at a Magdeburg factory. Photo: DPA

Foreign investors rate Germany Europe's best

Germany is behind only China and the USA as a destination for foreign investment, a study has shown. READ  

Cologne evacuates 20,000 after bomb find
The bomb is burrowed deep in the ground. Photo: DPA

Cologne evacuates 20,000 after bomb find

Authorities In Cologne have begun the biggest evacuation since Second World War of around 20,000 people after a 1,000 kg bomb was found in the north-east of the city. READ  

Merkel 'deceived' public on No-Spy treaty
Photo: DPA

Merkel 'deceived' public on No-Spy treaty

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government tricked the public into believing the USA was prepared to sign a so-called 'no-spy agreement' with Germany ahead of elections in 2013, a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung claimed on Wednesday. READ  

Forbes: Merkel still world's mightiest woman
Photo: DPA

Forbes: Merkel still world's mightiest woman

Chancellor Angela Merkel tops the Forbes list of the world's most powerful women for the fifth straight year but Hillary Clinton is snapping at her heels, the magazine said on Tuesday. READ  

German public shop with renewed confidence
People throng the halls of the Milaneo shopping centre in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA

German public shop with renewed confidence

Consumer confidence in Germany is at its highest in 13.5 years, as the positive economic outlook and low inflation persuade consumers to open their purses, a poll found on Wednesday. READ  

Shocked fishermen hook a shell of a catch
Locals enjoy the normally tranquil Seeburger See

Shocked fishermen hook a shell of a catch

A couple of friends who went for a quiet spot of fishing on Lake Seeburg in Lower Saxony on Monday got the fright of their life when they pulled up their net to find an artillery shell inside. READ  

10 facts to celebrate Leipzig's 1,000th birthday
Leipzig's impressive skyline. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

10 facts to celebrate Leipzig's 1,000th birthday

This weekend the city of Leipzig is celebrating its 1,000th anniversary, since it was first mentioned by the chronicler Thietmar of Merseburg in 1015. The Local gives some insight into one of Germany's most vibrant cities. READ  

Police tighten borders ahead of German G7
File photo: DPA

Police tighten borders ahead of German G7

German authorities have reintroduced border controls two weeks before the leaders of the G7 economies gather in Elmau, southern Bavaria. READ  

North Germany feels pain of Russia sanctions
Photo: DPA file photo

North Germany feels pain of Russia sanctions

Schleswig Holstein's exports to Russia have dropped by 31 percent, state finance minister Reinhard Meyer said in comments reported by the Hamburger Abendblatt on Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
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

6,641
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd