Assisted Reproductive Technology

Many people want to have a child of their biological union with another person, often, but not always, with someone they love.  Sometimes the options seem simple but no child is conceived.  Separate from adoption, where the probability of a child sharing your own biological DNA is very minimal, unless the child is related to you by blood, by consanguinity, assisted reproductive technology (ART) has many facets.  I will address many of these issues and provide reading materials, but it is wise to consider very seriously the possible outcomes before providing your genetic reproductive material (i.e., eggs or sperm) to another person.  There are many pitfalls for the uninformed and going it alone may not be the best option.  Fertilization of an ovum, the human egg of a woman that is capable of developing into an embryo, can occur under many circumstances.  It is not always easy to talk about these issues because often people find talking about sex difficult, but when you take fertilization out of the realm of what might be called the “traditional”, it becomes even more difficult.  On the agenda: Should I give my sperm to my brother and his wife?  Should I provide one of my eggs to my sister?  And then expect her to give me the baby when it is born?  Should a gay man purchase an egg from a poor woman in India, have it fertilized with his own sperm, use a gestational carrier in another country, and keep the baby?  What are some of the problems in contracting for the services of a traditional surrogate or a gestational surrogate?  And what is the difference?  Oh, and how much does it cost?  Who pays?  And what if things do not work out or go terribly wrong, in one of the parties’ opinion?  We will address all these topics and more.

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