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Germany ready to inseminate you, minister says
Photo: DPA

Germany ready to inseminate you, minister says

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

German Family Minister Kristina Schröder has proposed a plan to help finance artificial insemination treatments for childless couples in a bid to encourage more people to use the method.

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)

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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!
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