I’ve spent several years reporting on troubles in international adoption, and can tell you that, in family-making, a libertarian lack of law and regulation does not lead to liberation. In international adoption, for instance, there’s a gap between supply and demand: between the small number of healthy abandoned infants and toddlers who need new families, at one end, and the large number of Western families that want to adopt them, on the other. Without regulation, that gap gets filled by unscrupulous entrepreneurs who “find” healthy babies by any means necessary. Whether you grow up to discover that, to your shock, you have living birth parents in Sierra Leone or 149 half-siblings, you might conclude: In the absence of regulation, money makes its own rules—rules that are not necessarily the best for the rest of us.
At his blog, Adam Pertman thinks that how we do adoption can offer lessons to assisted reproductive technology issues like this. He urges attention to the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute's report on a way out of this kind of morass, Old Lessons for a New World: Applying Adoption Research and Experience to Assisted Reproductive Technology. E.J. Graff seems less hopeful that adoption rules & regulations would help. What do you think?