What I’m thinking.. reproductive technology

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First of all — I doubt that sex is going anyplace 🙂 — some folks find it fun ;).

Second, I support people who want to be parents.  I also think that people who want to be parents but don’t conceive “naturally” should think deeply about how they could be parents to children who already exist and need families.  These children may not be Caucasian infants, but they need parents anyway.

Third, I have several close friends who are lesbians and have used artificial means to conceive a wonderful family.  I know how difficult the whole process is and I know that only the people who are most driven to be parents will do this process.  It’s painful, expensive, and has a relatively low success rate.

Reproductive technology gets tricky on the “edges”.. Recent situations involving custody battles between participants in an IVF arrangement are just the beginning of the challenges.  Who are the set of parents when a surrogate and sperm or egg donors are involved?  Is it the pair who paid for everything, the woman who carries the child, the people who donate genetic material?  What happens when those people don’t agree concerning the pregnancy?  There are as many as 5 people who could have some say — trying to decide where to eat dinner with 5 people is difficult enough, say nothing about a decision about what to do in the case of a problematic pregnancy.  AARGH!

As technology advances there are more opportunities to customize a fetus — or to choose among a set of fertilized fetuses.  How do you choose which ones to implant if all are healthy?  Do you choose based on likely physical characteristics?  Do you choose based on gender?  It seems more and more like ‘playing god’, which makes some people uncomfortable.

I suppose I have a solution, of sorts — if selecting for gender or physical characteristics is important enough for a couple, they could adopt a child who already exists and who fits those characteristics… who knew — you don’t have to be genetically linked to a child to love them.

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Filed under Applied Ethics, Feminism, Medical Ethics, Uncategorized

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