• Germany's news in English

Schröder demands help for infertile couples

The Local · 9 May 2011, 13:41

Published: 09 May 2011 13:41 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Schröder, herself due to give birth in June, told Süddeutsche Zeitung she found it ''intolerable'' that couples wanted children but couldn't afford the cost of medical treatment.

“We hardly talk about it, but in truth most people know friends or relatives who have this misfortune,” she said. “These people suffer terribly from it and are often seriously affected in a second way because they are quickly faced with a blanket accusation of hedonism.

“We greatly overestimate the number of people who actually don’t want children.”

Many couples were in despair and deserved to better treated by politicians, she said, noting their reasons for remaining childlessness varied widely. The conflict between career and family played a role, as did the lack of a suitable partner.

But she said increasingly common were medical problems were arising through factors such as the later ages at which people were having children.

The Family Ministry estimates that nearly one in 10 couples aged between 25 and 59 were involuntarily childless and reliant on medical help.

Schröder said there needed to be more financial help for treatments such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and more opportunities for adoption.

“I find it intolerable if the hope for children is dashed because of money,” she said. “I get many letters from couples who tell me how they painstakingly scrape together the money, then despair when it doesn’t work, and start saving again – all that with the pressure of the biological clock ticking.”

Story continues below…

In any case, Germany urgently need to help such couples because of its sinking birth rate and looming demographic challenges, she said.

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

16:13 May 9, 2011 by PetraS
This is backwards. The money would be better spent giving it as a grant to women in their 20s to start families. The statistics are well know, and it doesn't make sense to spend tens of thousands of € on a couple where the woman waited until she was 35 to try to have a child.
17:18 May 9, 2011 by milly molly
Petra, I didn't have an account here but felt compelled to register just so I could respond to you.

I am 36. I have been trying to have a baby since I have been 29. I have had three miscarriages at 12 weeks. My husband and I have had lots of tests and they cannot find a reason. They do not blame it on age.

Please don't make sweeping generalisations when you do not understand what those "35 year olds" may have gone through already.
20:25 May 9, 2011 by Englishted
I am undecided on this issue ,but wish jeeves42 and his wife luck with their new family ,also milly molly and her husband luck in creating one.
17:28 May 10, 2011 by PetraS
I am sorry if I offended anyone in such a personal touching matter and wish everyone well in their desire to have a child. My comment was directed purely to a matter of social policy and what is the best way to spend money to achieve the most of a desired result.
Today's headlines
Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd