Baby Markets and the New Motherhood: Reproducing Hierarchy in Commercial Intimacy
By Michele Goodwin | Huffington Post | May 13, 2015
In recent weeks, the private reproductive decisions of Elton John and Sofia Vergara have spilled over into prime time news cycles — albeit by the celebrities themselves. Elton John called for a boycott of all Dolce and Gabbana merchandise after the designers regrettably referred to babies born through in vitro fertilization as “synthetic” children. The swift backlash caused the designers to issue statements of clarification and apology. Elton John’s twitter followers accused D&G of being woefully out of touch — not only with contemporary fashion, but also baby-making. In part, they are right.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), tens of thousands of children are born each year in the United States through assisted reproductive technologies (ART). These technologies provide a stunning candy store of options: a spectrum so vast in array, scope, and breadth as to make heads spin: in vitro fertilization, ova selling, cryopreservation of ova, womb renting, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, embryo transfer, assisted hatching, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) of ova, embryo grading, and more. However, these technologies are not just for celebrities.
Michele Goodwin is a law professor at the UC Irvine School of Law. She is also the director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy and author of “Baby Markets: Money and The New Politics of Creating Families.”