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NYT “Assembling the Global Baby” & “Donors With Dossiers (and Star Looks)”

I’ve spent the better part of December refocusing and spending some time with family, but I intend to get at least a couple of odds and ends up before the end of the month.

Obviously a lot has happened in my ‘absence,’ so I figured I’d put up a couple of brief posts pointing at a few things readers might have missed.

For tonight’s micro post, for example, I wanted to point readers back to a pair of articles from mid December in the New York Times.

Start with this article and video from December 10th deserving of wide readership,


Illustration by Edel Rodriguez for The Wall Street Journal

Assembling the Global Baby

…The man bringing together this disparate group is Rudy Rupak, chief executive of LLC, a California company that searches the globe to find the components for its business line. The business, in this case, is creating babies.

Mr. Rupak is a pioneer in a controversial field at the crossroads of reproductive technology and international adoption. Prospective parents put off by the rigor of traditional adoptions are bypassing that system by producing babies of their own—often using an egg donor from one country, a sperm donor from another, and a surrogate who will deliver in a third country to make what some industry participants call “a world baby.” …

and from the 11th,

Donors With Dossiers (and Star Looks)

… The reason for the expanding profiles is a drastic change in sperm bank customers over the past decade. When California Cryobank started 33 years ago, most of its clients were couples who had infertility issues. A couple often chose a sperm donor based on how closely his looks matched the husband’s, and the child was raised as the couple’s own.

Now, 60% of the bank’s clients are single women or lesbian couples. These clients will be “faced with discussing the donor in an open and direct way with their child because there’s obviously no father involved,” Mr. Brown says.

California Cryobank’s website tells clients to “learn whether your donor choices were artists, athletes, musicians, or scientists” by reading their essays and profiles “as if you were reading them to your future three-year-old. Look at their childhood photos knowing how meaningful it may be one day when your son or daughter recognizes that button nose or big brown eyes as their own.”…

Both articles address aspects of reproductive and genetic commodification and how the babies couples seek can be created, for the right price, reducing reproduction to baby-by-committee & boutique shopping experiences.

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