Assisted reproductive technology (ART) surrounds us. Courts are certainly not strangers to the parentage questions that can arise out from situations made possible by ART—surrogacy, embryo donation, egg donation, and so on. Stories that revolve around ART births have hit the big and small screen: Vince Vaughn as a wildly prolific sperm donor in Delivery Man; a generation of donor-conceived half siblings in search of their biological father in MTV’s Generation Cryo; and lesbian co-parents Julianne Moore and Annette Bening in The Kids Are Alright, to name just a few. And it’s hard to pick up a celebrity or news magazine without finding some story about some complicated or controversial birth facilitated by ART.
Despite the prevalence of ART—and its incredible usefulness for people dealing with medical or social infertility—we are still learning about its safety and efficacy. More research is certainly in order; perhaps more regulation, too. Consider just these recent reports: