Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One Sperm Donor, 150 Christmas Cards

Yippee! E.J. Graff gives me an excuse to do two things -- tell you about her new blog at American Prospect and post about the NYT article, One Sperm Donor, 150 Offspring. (I feel like I need an excuse to post about artificial reproductive technology, since I try to hone in on adoption, but it's sometimes really hard to maintain the focus!).  E.J. Graff notes that the NYT story raises some of the same issues she's reported about in adoption, under the title No More Family Secrets:

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?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

EJ Graff? Now I understand a bit more of your frame of ref. Graff uses dated research on international adoption and her writing is very negative and one sided.

malinda said...

Yep, I admire a great deal of E.J. Graff's work. One person's "negative" is another person's truth.

Jessica said...

I think Adam Pertman is right on when he advocates for openness in adoption, which seems to me to be one of the core issues of adoption, and one of Pertman's personal platforms. Likewise, the Adoption Institute's essay "Old Lessons for a New World" hits the mark because, in many ways, the questions around adoption and ART--who am I? where did I come from?--are similar. This NYTimes article and other recent coverage (i.e. the "singleton" magazine cover story a few weeks back) offer a fascinating glimpse into new technologies and the challenges they present.

theadoptedones said...

Anon...

Heaven forbid that you consider any Human Rights issues when it comes to adoption...imagine what that would mean...

What Malinda said about EJ Graff...

The US DC community is fast covering ALL bad things that could have been learned and avoided if they had put aside profit, ego, and the ME mentality.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/sperm-donors-24-children-told-fatal-illness-medical/story?id=14115344


http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/secrets-of-the-father-become-the-mysteries-of-the-child-20110730-1i5fe.html

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/our-selfish-creation-of-human-life-20110804-1idej.html