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Reproductive Sociology Research Group

Studying at Cambridge


Yvonne Frankfurth

Yvonne Frankfurth

PhD Candidate


Yvonne is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Sociology. She conducts her research under the supervision of Prof Sarah Franklin.

An increasing number of German women rely on egg donations to fulfil their wish for a biological child. However, the German Embryo Protection Act (1991) prohibits egg donations 'to protect the biological integrity of motherhood and the well-being of the child'. Since egg donations were legalised in Austria in 2015, a considerable number of German women have travelled to Austrian fertility clinics for egg donations.

Yvonne's study will thus shed light on the experiences of women and couples during their reproductive journey abroad. It will also elucidate how the legal prohibition of egg donations can tell us about a particularly German idea of reproduction, motherhood and morality – and how this relates to the constitution of the nation, futurity, and the reproduction of a notion of ‘German-ness’. For her research, she conducts in-depth interviews with reproductive clinicians, lawyers, politicians as well as German couples travelling to Austria. 

You can find more information about the project on (German only).

Yvonne received her B.A. Honours in Politics, Psychology and Sociology and her MPhil degree from the University of Cambridge. In her MPhil dissertation, Yvonne examined the legalisation of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis in Germany using qualitative interview data. 

Broadly, her research interests include medical and legal sociology (particularly concerning genetic and reproductive technologies), family and public health.

Yvonne has completed internships and traineeships at the European Parliament, the Sociological Institute of the German Armed Forces, the Konrad-Adenauer and BMW Herbert-Quandt Foundation. She is greatly enthusiastic about new disruptive technologies and pursues her interest in digital technologies through the project SympatMe, which she founded in 2014 to help immigrants in Germany deal with bureaucracy.

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Key Publications

Frankfurth, Yvonne (2017). Mothers, Morality and Abortion: The Politics of Reproduction in the Formation of the German Nation. Journal of International Women's Studies, 18(3), 51-65. 
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