Eliza Garwood


This paper seeks to highlight the often overlooked interconnectivity of the cultural sphere and the economic sphere, particularly focusing on same-sex reproductive law and neoliberalism. Using The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, specifically highlighting its implications for same-sex couples, this examination demonstrates the way that policy and legislation frequently echo normative ways of being, encouraging the “good”, productive neoliberal citizen and/or family. This article is informed by Foucault’s notions of governmentality and biopower, problematising this limiting legislation, arguing that it is grounded on an internalised ideal of the traditional family, discouraging more transgressive or creative family formations. Specifically, I challenge the way that this legislation privileges marriage, the two parent model and bolsters the binary constructions of heterosexual/homosexual and male/female. Consequently, despite being celebrated as a victory for same-sex couples, The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 reaffirms the hierarchy of non-heterosexual identities, allowing only those who follow the hetero/homonormative ideal to legitimately access reproductive services.

Author Biography

Eliza Garwood has just completed a Masters of Research in Sexuality and Gender Studies at the University of Birmingham. Within her Masters she focused on LGBTQ populations and the LGBTQ family, specifically investigating intergenerational LGBTQ families for her MRes thesis. Her wider interests include Queer Theory, Foucauldian studies, Queer space and the intersection between public policy and personal life. She is keen to undertake a PhD in the future, with aspirations to develop a career is social research.