”I’m happily married to the state”
Josefin always dreamed of having a family. When in her mid-thirties and still no suitable man is around, she decides to travel to Denmark and buy donor semen in a fertility clinic. This is the very personal story of how her family came to be. At the same time it is an extraordinary analysis of the social, philosophical and political aspects of modern family forms. A woman who wants to have a child without a father is no longer discriminated by the Swedish state and is entitled to full legal and financial support in conceiving – and raising – her child.The state has opened the possibility for new family forms. But the state has no idea of how this feels for those involved. What do the children themselves say and think? How do parents react when hearing their daughter is pregnant but doesn’t know the father? How does a gay couple decide how to build a family?
And in a wider context: what does this actually mean for family constellations? How does it affect the self-concept of men and their social function? And why do men donate their semen?
Nobody seems to object to the idea of the liberation of the family from old patterns and structures, but will that also make everybody happy?
Josefin Olevik’s story is about longing for a child, anonymous conception, about those who conceive without knowing who will bear the fruit of their gift, and about her own son’s questions.
The author: Josefin Olevik is a freelance journalist and writer. The Liberated Family is her second book. She lives with her son in Stockholm.
originally published by Svante Weyler Bokförlag (Sweden) 2016