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Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction Is Changing Our Worldby Liza Mundy
Synopses & Reviews
Skyrocketing infertility rates and the accompanying explosion in reproductive technology are revolutionizing the American family and changing the way we think about parenthood, childbirth, and life itself. In this riveting work of investigative reporting, Liza Mundy, an award-winning journalist for The Washington Post, captures the human narratives, as well as the science, behind what is today a controversial, multibillion-dollar industry, and examines how the huge social experiment that is assisted reproduction is transforming our most basic relationships and even our destiny as a species.
Based on in-depth reporting from across the nation and around the world, using riveting anecdotal material from doctors, families, and children—many of them now adults—conceived through in vitro fertilization, Mundy looks at the phenomena created by assisted reproduction and their ramifications. Never before in the history of humankind has it been possible for a woman to give birth to an infant who is genetically unrelated to her. Never before has it been possible for a woman to be the genetic parent of children to whom she has not given birth. Never before has the issue of choice had such kaleidoscopic implications. If you support reproductive freedom, does that mean you support everything being offered in the reproductive marketplace? Thawing frozen embryos and letting them expire? Selecting the sex of your baby? Conceiving triplets and “reducing” the pregnancy down to twins? Everything Conceivable explores the personal impact on individuals using assisted reproduction to conceive, and the moral, ethical, and pragmatic decisions they make on their journey to parenthood. It looks at the vast social consequences: for hospital neonatal wards, for family structure, for schools, for our notion of genetic relatedness and whether it matters, for adoption; for our nation as a whole, and how we think about the earliest human life-forms. The book explores questions of social justice: the ethics of buying or borrowing some part of the reproductive process, as with egg donation and surrogacy. It looks at entirely new family structures being created by families who have conceived using sperm donors, so that children may have half-siblings around the country with whom they are, or are not, in contact. And it looks toward the future, to the impact today’s technology may have on coming generations.
Fascinating, commanding, keenly observed and reported, rich in personal drama as well as in the science of evolution and reproduction, Liza Mundy’s Everything Conceivable is a groundbreaking consideration of the changes sweeping through our culture and the world.
A journalist for The Washington Post critically assesses the impact of state-of-the-art reproductive technologies on the American family, the culture of parenting, and the ways in which we think about life itself, integrating personal narratives with a history of reproductive technology, medical research, and evolution in a study of the social implications of infertility treatment. 75,000 first printing.
"An irresistible dispatch from the far frontier of parenthood. . . . First-rate at explaining the science . . . and finding the flesh-and-blood people living in this remade world." -The Plain Dealer "Welcome to the wild new world of reproduction. . . . Liza Mundy follows dozens of topsy-turvy tales from the reproductive edge . . . with] a fresh voice and with a keen eye for detail." -The Washington Post Book World"Fascinating. . . . The book gains considerable depth from Mundy's reportorial urge to dig into all aspects of a story." -The New York Times Book Review
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Table of Contents
Prologue : an unexpected development — The new reproductive landscape — Women and the dilemmas of modern motherhood — Every man a father, every man infertile — It takes a village to make a child : ART and the evolving human family — "Sperm bank helps lesbians get pregnant!" : how women changed the sperm-banking industry, and the makeup of the family — Two men and two babies : gay fatherhood through surrogacy — Single mothers by choice, and the magazine article that made them — ART and the rights of the child — Be fruitful and multiply : the big family, by overnight delivery — "It's always a party with triplets" : the advent of high-order multiples — Deleting fetuses : selective reduction, ART's best-kept secret — Twins : the new singleton — Souls on ice : America's frozen human embryo glut — Choice revisited : ethics, feminism, and ART — Epilogue : reproductive science and the future of our families.
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Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Infertility and Planning