“Not all our wishes can be fulfilled”

The Catholic Archbishop of Berlin, Heiner Koch, has expressed reservations about the so-called Kinderwunsch Fair, which is to be held for the first time in Germany. Not all wishes can be fulfilled.

Archbishop Koch commented on Tuesday to the Evangelical Press Service (epd): "I know about the needs of couples who want nothing more than to have a child together, and I take these needs very seriously". At the same time, he was impressed again and again by how intensively bioethical standards were being fought over in the legislature. "It is good that not everything is allowed in Germany that is medically possible and already permitted elsewhere," Koch emphasized.

Egg donation, surrogacy, sex selection ..

The first German trade fair "Kinderwunschtage" is in the coming week (18. and 19. February) is planned in Berlin. The event is controversial because it also presents fertility treatments that are illegal in Germany, such as egg donation, surrogate motherhood or preselection of sex. The fair is aimed at people who suffer from unwanted childlessness. Exhibitors include numerous foreign clinics.

In this context, the Berlin archbishop considers the term "desire for children" to be "problematic, because it suggests that we could fulfill all our wishes ourselves". "For me, a child is and always will be a gift," Koch emphasized.

"No right to parenthood"

Marcus Weinberg, family policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, also expressed reservations about the "Kinderwunsch Messe": "If something is banned in Germany, then it can't be that you advertise it," Weinberg told the "Berliner Zeitung" (Tuesday). "With all understanding and support for medically justified childlessness, there is no right to parenthood in which third parties are instrumentalized," the CDU politician said. Previously, the Berlin regional association of gynecologists had also expressed its disapproval of the "Kinderwunschtagen" (desire for children days).

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